First Take—Bangkok!

By Eugene Seah, Singapore

On my first trip to the Land of a Thousand Smiles, I must say that it left me dumbfounded. Grand skyscrapers are juxtaposed against rudimentary, yet charming, markets. Modern and traditional aspects of life in Bangkok appear side by side in the many advertisements for luxury condominiums, simple housing, and buildings. Glamorous malls co-exist with quaint ornate temples and high-tech train systems with retro buses that still have on-board ticket conductors. Do you know that the streets in Bangkok at night can have a life totally different from that in the daytime? And just a few hours out of this hyperactive city, you can find serene national parks that are probably documentary-worthy.

Bombarded by such incongruous sights and sounds for just a few days have left me feeling overwhelmed. I still cannot put a finger or find an exact word to describe that feeling until now. As a whole, it was a truly interesting experience!

In life, do we often experience this feeling of going through changing circumstances, fluctuating emotions, multiple what-seem-never-ending transitions—like a wave tossed in the ocean? It left your senses numbed, and your feelings and thoughts blanked. It’s like being in the eye of the storm—all is calm, but you know you are surrounded by the invisible swirling winds.

Some of us attempt to wait out the storm by staying put in the calm, asking God to take the turbulence away.

Others attempt to find a safe zone for exit—letting our parents, bosses, clients, work and/or self provide the assurance and certainty. We keep questioning God if the planned routes are of Him. We need to know. We need to acquire the certainty in our situations, jobs, relationships, and aspirations. We cling on to these propositions and queries fiercely. We hope that God will give us a clear project brief with definite to-do check boxes so that we can get started achieving significant milestones and have a fruitful, successful and satisfying life, out of the emptiness and mess.

May I suggest that in the cacophony, let us fix our eyes on Jesus who is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2 ESV). In our struggles, plans and doubts, let us rest in Him (Matthew 11:28-29). Let us commit our cares to Him (1 Peter 5:7) and continue to abide in His presence (John 15:4-5).

I’m not saying that we should stop planning or listening to sound and constructive advice. Rather, let’s underpin our living, actions and waiting on our steadfast cornerstone that is Jesus Christ who lives in us. For our lives are not lived solely for an end point or for periodical look out points, but it is to be lived dwelling in Christ, in God’s Word.

2 replies
  1. N. Wang
    N. Wang says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. It is very encouraging. I am in the middle of what you have described on this blog. Hope this will also encourage many to dwell in Christ, in God’s Word.


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