Its all about relationship

udonthani-rice-field

I recently chanced upon a video clip from Youtube and that kept me thinking for a while. The video is about a university lecturer addressing his students. It was a science lecture and he was telling them that the basis of everything, or to be more specific the basis of life is relationship. Everything on this planet earth is all about relationship; one thing links to another. The mysterious thing about life is how all these things are interconnected and how, to a large extend, can’t do without each other. He explained that when God created the universe, He first created the physical elements that support life, such as light and heat, water and the air. These elements are then interconnected and eventually giving breath to other life-forms, such as plants, vegetations, living creatures and finally humans. After He created man, He found that it is not good for him to be alone, therefore He created a companion for him, the woman. There, humans are again interconnected through various kinds of relationships. When the man and woman fell from grace, this first relationship and the whole interconnectedness of things in the world changed.

Although shared from a biblical perspective, I find this whole idea of interconnectedness very mesmerising. The fact is we are more connected than we are divided. We need each other more than the fact that we are separated. And perhaps, we are more similar than the differences we thought we have.

Some years ago, I went through a very dark period of my life and I decided to cut myself off from the people around me. I did not physically isolate myself from them, but what I was going through greatly affected my relationships with them. I felt disconnected and life was very miserable. I went away for a period of time and started traveling from Thailand to Vietnam, Malaysia and eventually to Bhutan. In Bhutan, I found a very different kind of connection. I was connected back to nature, back to the mountains and back to the valleys. I was connected back to the living streams that gave life to the trees in the forests and the creatures that inhabit the ground.

In Bhutan, I was surrounded everyday by the Himalayan mountains and everyday I walked through the woods and passed through the rivers and streams. Each step I took and each breath I breathed in, I was making renewed connection with creations and rediscovering the lost connection. It was when I reconnected myself with nature’s energy, I realised how small and tiny I was in all of these networks of life; this vast interconnectedness that we are all living in. My Bhutanese guide often told me that Bhutanese do not see themselves as superior to nature, neither do they see themselves as inferior. They see themselves as all part of nature: the trees in the forests, the rocks in the field, the fish in the streams,  the creatures roaming in the woods and the humans that inhabit the ground, all are part of this whole networks of life and breath. We all breathe in the same breath and received heat from the same Sun and enjoy the coolness of the same moon.

When I came back from my retreat in Bhutan, the first thing I wanted to do was to restore my relationships with my family and friends. With the renewed relationships, I set to make things in order, set the wrong right all over again and slowly build up my strength to face the challenges of life all over again. We never have to live in defeat and despondence if we understand how interconnected we are and how we can draw strength from one another.

Chang, from Bangkok

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Cafe Hopper in the Land of Smiles (Thailand)

Its been about one month since I first arrived in Bangkok on the 3/12/2012. I still remember that it was right after my Standard Charted Full Marathon. Before I could be fully recovered, with all the aches in my muscles, I made my way to the airport. The impact of the 42 KM and slightly more was still on my body but still I felt a sense of relieve to be leaving the country to doing something very different in my life. This is really something that I have never tried….to leave home for more than a month and to step into unknown arena. But I must say that this venture has been a very fruitful one and I have learnt a lot about overseas works and I have also discovered a lot about myself. Trust me, there is so much of dying to self and being alive in God. I am not just saying this out of my head knowledge of the Bible. Dying to self is not something for the Apostles of old…it is real and everyday I commit a murder…sometimes with great violence I killed them. Sometimes the process can be very bloody and of course some are easy to kill. There are more to be killed…I don’t know how long more before the killing stops. I am sure that as long as I am alive, I will kill!

I have left Cornerstone Students’ Centre as of 14/1/2013 and I travelled up to Korat on my own. I have never done that in Thailand and that was the first time. Turned out that it was not difficult to travel from Mochit to The Mall in Korat. The nature of the work in Korat is very different from Latkrabang. In Latkrabang, the work is more direct as far as teaching is concern. In Korat, there’s alot of pioneering works to be done, such as BB, Boonwattana and etc. My every week would probably be packed with many activities and meeting with various people to build bridges and establish connections. I sort of like it so far.

This is my second day in Korat officially and I am sure that I will be expecting exciting times ahead. May God bless my journey here in Korat!

the gatekeeper