Life is when a newborn baby comes into this sparkling world, naked and barehanded. Very soon, he would have to leave this familiar and dazzling world and return to the gloom, being naked and barehanded again. A famous ancient Chinese poet, Su Dongpo from Song Dynasty exclaimed that “Life is like an adverse journey and I am also a traveler.” An author of the Bible also wrote that “We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.” Life is just a passerby in this world.
Purpose & Itinerary
Going on a trip is a great enjoyment that we all look forward to. The first thing to do is to plan for a suitable itinerary and luggage which depends on the duration of the trip. By the same token, life is like going on a trip in which we are only travelers, carrying our luggage as we visit the world. Life is a series of reaching our goals and going through the process of growing through hardships. Your aspiration determines the goal, and the luggage is determined by the journey. Packing will be adjusted according to the itinerary, supplementing essential items, omitting minor ones, and discarding excess. This can avoid overloading and leave room for future harvests.
Relationships & Stories
Family is the starting point of life. As we and our family members live under one roof, we are deeply rooted in love. Our family would still be our home sweet home and hiding place no matter how far or how high we go in the world. We make friends with different people at different stages of life. For example, during childhood we have playmates, in school, we have schoolmates, at work we have coworkers, and in our neighborhood we have neighbors. There is a deserted tribe that classifies human beings as three groups: tools, landscape, and mankind. Surprisingly, people can be degraded as tools to be utilized or to be treated as a landscape for a background. I hope you may make friends with more people as you walk on the path of life and leave more stories behind.
Challenges & Growth
It’s hard to avoid facing frustrations, obstacles, disappointments, fears, and invalid accusations in life. Although the world is constantly changing, changes can still be an opportunity for growth and strengthen people’s thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and qualities. During the journey, the body and mind sometimes become weak and confused. We need God’s help so much that we have the strength to move forward with perseverance. A poet from the Bible wrote: “Hear my prayer, Lord, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were. Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.”
Destination & Home
Life is like a traveler who must find a home to settle down one day. Lately, Life and Death Education for Caring Professionals in Hong Kong has started a certificate program for participants to actually get inside a coffin to reflect about life and death. Some questions could be: If you were to die, how different this world would be without you? If you could come back to life, how would this world become because of your return? That’s a good reflection for us to treasure life for its true meaning.
Jesus says, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Let’s not get discouraged by keep the following Bible verse in mind: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Author’s credentials: Bachelor at Overseas Theological Seminary, Master of Pastoral Counseling at Chinese Mission Seminary, Former minister at Hong Kong Christ Evangelical Church and Hiulai Church