Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Taking Shelter or Depriving Others of Shelter

Taking Shelter in the Harbour Posted by Picasa This picture was sent to me by a dear brother-in-Christ back home and it triggered some interesting reflections.

1) We are like the ships
I have always thought that studying in a place like Regent, despite its pressure and high expectations, it is still a place of shelter and protection from the rest of the world. It reminded me that after a long journey or period of work, we need to refuel, to stock up our food/essentials, to rest. The preparation must be done with the next goal in mind. The further and harsher the next journey, the more we need to be prepared for it.

2) Purpose of the Ships
This is like the vocation in life. All of us are built specially for unique purposes. A ship is meant to sail, to ferry people on board to their destinations, to bring important shipment from one place to another. I liken it to us being called to travel beyond our comfort zone, to help guide/bring people to their next step in life, to carry the message of the gospel to the other parts of the world, culture or society.

3) What happens if the ships stay put?
Barring adverse weather conditions, if the ships are left parked there, not only will it fail to exercise its use, it also occupies parking slots that will deprive other ships from taking shelter there. If we as Christians simply chose to remain where we are stubbornly refusing to obey our call, we would have failed in our calling. We would have failed in our stewardship of gifts and talents God has given us. We would have deprived other pilgrims a place of rest/refreshment. We would have deprived the mission field the opportunity to hear the good news.

4) The Storms and Dark Clouds are Not in Our Control
As Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunamis have taught us, sometimes, the harbour is not necessarily the safest place to be. Ships that remained inside the harbour can become dangerous objects to be flung at buildings and property in the coastal city.

5) The City Behind
Not everyone of us is called to be a ship. Some might simply be passengers in the ship. For them, the mission field has just begun. The city presents the most challenging mission field for Christians in the current culture.

So it is, one picture, many thoughts. There are more. May the Lord guide.


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