The Daily Devotion

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” - Luciano Pavarotti

Life in Singapore is busy.

I don't need to tell you that.

Nearly 6 million people living, travelling, studying and working in a small area of 719.1 km².

When I was in Toronto for my Sabbatical a few years back, I realise the size of the city and population density matters. 

If it snows heavily, you have an excuse to skip meetings. 
If you want to meet someone, you make an appointment way in advance.
You don't bump into your friends as frequently as you would in Singapore. 

And the more friends you keep up with (i.e bump into), the more birthdays, anniversaries and weddings you will now feel obligated to attend. 

Coming back to work, did I say that there is no end to it? There is an end to a conference. But there is no end to conferences. Given my profession, I should add that there may be an end to a sermon. Gladly, a boring sermon, no matter how long, has an end. Either you finish it with an Amen or you hear a thud. A parishioner fell to the ground as your ramblings send him to his dreams and early return to the Lord. But of the preaching of sermons, there is no end.  Likewise, projects, meetings and events.

In my job, the hardest kind of work is, believe it or not, listening. It is very hard work giving attention to someone's complaints and having a thousand thoughts in your mind streaming in and screaming out as solutions to end the conversation quickly. As the person pour out his or her woes, for a counsellor or pastor, it sometimes feel like a Shylockian demand for a pound of flesh from you. A few Shylocks in a day can pretty much strip you of your energy. 

Hard and draining work it may be, listening is one of the best gifts you can offer to another. 

Now, busy a life may be, I love the necessary pauses. They may come early in the morning, at noon days or in the evenings. Where one has to stop to eat. As Pavarotti put it, our necessary devotion to it. 

Sometimes it is a meet and eat thing, where appointments are made over a lunch. Often it is a personal pit stop amidst the frenetic pace of a day. In the evening, the family put everything aside to devote time to eating and one another. I often enjoy meals alone with a Kindle in hand. 

It is strange how some see eating as a luxury in life that one should not pay too much attention to. As if it is a vice. I defer. I think God create life with these necessary stops like eating and yes, sleeping, to renew and slow us down that we may think, rest and get some perspective. 

I love these word from the Old Preacher:

"Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one's labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward." (Ecclesiastes 5:18)

The meetings, events and projects never end. 

And I am glad, neither does the need to eat.


Photo credit: Mark Ong

You Might Also Like

0 comments

//]]>