Most of us, if not all, want to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a simple party game, in an official tournament, or in the challenges of life. We are nicknamed “competitive”.

I grew up in a society where I was always told to do my best and bring home the bacon 🏆, and that the only thing that matters is rising to the top. I remember someone telling me that being the second best also means you’re the best among the losers.

Recently I’ve been thinking, what does WINNING really mean? My default/cliché answers are popping up but I am not convinced. I know there’s more to filling your cabinet with medals and awards, which will be thrown away someday. There’s more to the recognition of the people. There’s more to reaching the “best *insert title here*”.

Then I came up with another (maybe more appropriate) question:

Is our idea/picture/meaning of WINNING the same with God? How does it look to Him?

As followers of Jesus, do we consider His kind of WINNING? Do we run after the things that matters to Him? Do we run in the race He set before us? Do we compete by His rules?

Because maybe, just maybe, we’re trying to win a race, a competition, or a fight for a prize that will rot and be thrown away.



Swim even if it weighs too much
See, you’re moving forward.
Stop asking why you can’t fly
Nor worry if the sky’s fully booked.
Swim deeper ’till you can
Learn and embrace the ocean
There’s so much room for more.

Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

To the world, operation Auca was a failed mission.
But for the missionaries, it was a mission accomplished.

This the first book I finished this year and what makes it even more special is that I finished it in less than 10 days! My personal librarian, my memory, would present a bad reading record for my 2017 and I hope that this would be the start of a healthy reading habit.

I am not sure if I should call it “bias” or based on preference but this book, unlike any other book, thrilled me to read each chapter. It was probably because, first of all, the first chapters totally blew me away. The testimony of the five missionary men and their wives challenged and inspired me. There were also parts where I just scanned it through and hadn’t understood and others I was dragging myself into. But it was faced with excitement to reach the next chapter and wait for the moments. Thank God for Betty (Elisabeth’s nickname as written in the book) didn’t write prologue or introduction because I am often stuck on this part of the book especially if it’s poorly written.

“I dare not stay home” was the first chapter’s title I fell in love with like handling a rose with its thorns. I was astonished reading Jim Elliot’s principles and reasoning that are no doubt from God. He said that he would not dare stay home while Quichuas (any group of Indian tribes in Ecuador) perish. It, surely, had been a long time because today most of the Christians think differently from him. Instead, we say “I’d rather stay at home than reach out my neighbor.” Of which, I am guilty. I was really rebuked of how self-centered I had become which was the opposite of what Christianity looks like.

It was also evident in the life of these men that they got their priorities right. I was awakened by the fact that our youth ministry was in this kind of state. The young people, sadly even as leaders, were so preoccupied with things that aren’t necessary and miss out some of the important essences of life. I have nothing against excelling in studies or a certain field but maybe we had crossed the line and put these on the top list.

Faith and compassion were the driving force that fuels this mission. They believe that called them to reach one of the dangerous tribes in Ecuador. They could not stand doing nothing especially when they know that the root of such behaviors came from fear and ignorance of the Truth.

This bravery of the missionaries came from their confidence in God. As Ed Mc Cully said, “We’ve already put our trust in Him (God) for salvation, so why do we not do it as far as our life is concerned?” This is faith in action. They believe God not just a Savior but their Lord and Master, well.

One of the things I love about classic books like this is that it is refreshing to read their perspective on love because I believe it was in their time when love was not yet perverted as ours. Before pursuing the ladies, the gentlemen prayed for the will of God and even consider its effect on the mission God gave them. Oh, how pure their intentions are. As a result, their wives also played an important role in their lives and their mission.

I knew that these men will be killed by their new friends as our preachers used to share their stories. It must have been a tragedy giving yourself to the people who would soon take it savagely. However, reading it from the perspective of the missionary families, it was as if they finished a race. They did what God called them to do and returned home with the Father.

I first thought that the title of the book, Through Gates of Splendor, was just about these men entering into the pearly gates of heaven as they had fulfilled their mission here on earth. At the end of the book, I realized that they didn’t just enter through the gates but they opened that gates for the Auca or Waorani people.

After reading and thinking through the book, I can help but ask myself, what am I doing with my life? What am I running after? What am I doing with my mission?



Related image

I know you change the atmosphere
Shifting the mood every time you’re near
But today I never felt so special
Like a child to whom fun is essential.

You said it’s okay to pour it out
If you’ve reached your tipping point.
To release that heaviness and mess
To Him who can turn it to be blessed.

You pat me on the shoulder,
And wiped every doubt and fear
Because even if you’ve given it all,
Know for sure that you’ll overflow.

World of Comfort Food

What if the world is full of chocolate?
Well, everyone must celebrate!
What if the world is full of banana pie?
Will we really be satisfied?

I once asked God, why aren’t this world,
Filled with all kinds of comfort food.
He replied, “I didn’t because I love you!
Darling, comfort isn’t all you need.”

Well, that wasn’t I expected.
“There’s more to that” he continued,
“You need strength that comes from above.
You need to grow and mature, grow in love!”

Why do we run after those things,
Those habits that are temporal and perishing?
When we can drink from the Fountain of Life
That never runs out, never runs dry.


Hello?! Is anyone here?

I once was lost then found.
But can something found be lost again?
I crossed the river and reached the land.
Haven’t I? Or was it just an illusion of mine?

Search me, wouldn’t it be just one click away?
Or maybe I’m in an out of coverage area.
Have I left your presence or ran away?
Or you had lost sight of me in the process?

The power rangers is flying high
But here I am, not knowing where I stand.
Who cares? They busy saving the city.
Why search for the one at the expense of many?

This place is kinda scare, you know.
No place to hide, no one to talk or ask direction.
A place of nothingness and emptiness,
Lost in the map, no GPS, where am I?

Yes! Maybe one call may help!
I might not know where I am, but as you call
Surely, I will know where to go, what to follow
I sat there waiting… waiting for that call.