Friday, September 05, 2008

English Roadtrip - July 2008 - Closing

This post is mainly for completeness, though it feels nice to FINALLY close off this series of (12!) blogs. All in all, it was a great trip -- to admire His wonderful creation, to enjoy the joyous fellowship of friends and family, to appreciate mankind's history, culture, and gastronomy, to work through our spiritual deficiencies and to re-find His Grace -- and for all that, I am thankful.

Two more funny points to share:

1. Disconnected -- I was extremely disconnected throughout the trip, since I had no patience for the wireless connection at Rhinefield House, and our B&Bs also did not have internet connection. Granted, I did check email at various times on my phone, but only occasionally due to the slow speed (ok, I'm spoiled in Hong Kong.) In the end, it was likely a good thing for me.

In contrast, my mom checked email and internet at least five times as frequently as me, and it seemed like she almost checked every night at Rhinefield House (I checked only twice, out of necessity for communication with our Bath tour guide and the horseriding place.) Here, we are enjoying our wonderful dinner after the windy hike at Hadrian's Wall, while my mom was very much enjoying the free internet access. I didn't even do that...she is so into it! It's great!

2. Text messaging -- Incidentally, it also involves my mom, and I was greatly surprised at her text messaging savviness. My dad followed in another car behind me, and while we had walkie-talkies to communicate, it was easy to lose each other through city traffic or roundabouts. There were two times when we lost each other in a major way and both times, we were able to rejoin at various landmarks due to my mom's text messaging skills. Way to go!

That pretty much sums it up for this trip; it was a great one!
Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

English Roadtrip - July 2008 - The Spiritual Renewal Tour II

Well, after coming back to the right spiritual centre, we continued on the rest of our journey until I departed from my parents in Manchester (they continued to 'play' in England, while Alison and I took the train to London). Unfortunately, it wasn't without difference of opinion, since my family had an idea of how they wanted to spend the rest of their vacation and I provided different practical suggestions, but in the end, they worked it out.

In London, Alison and I saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which... was not the greatest musical. Did I emphasize already that it was really cheesy? Nonetheless, despite the cheesy music and costumes, to me, there was an effect like a sung sermon on the Joseph story. Since I had never heard the music before, the lyrics of "Close Every Door" touched me.. in fact, I found myself very much in tears at the reprise of this song at the closing. [Probably the only one in the theatre, I think! :p]

"If my life were important I
Would ask will I live or die
But I know the answers lie
Far from this world"

Why? The Joseph story is about his obedience to God in all circumstances -- after having been sold as a slave to Egypt, after being falsely accused for a crime -- but despite his circumstances, through his obedience, God used him in a great way to serve his family (especially his brothers who betrayed his life) and his people (the Israelites). And, it reminds me of myself (actually, everyone), because I believe God has similar requirements of obedience for each of us. I have been thinking about that lately for myself, since I believe God brought me to Hong Kong... but what next? Surely, Ernst & Young is not the world and my entire life. ;) As part of the search for direction, I think the Joseph story reminded me of simple obedience. Daily.

I guess I have quite settled into my many years at Ernst & Young. I know it is a lot more comfortable than I think is healthy. I think I was crying because the thought of leaving this huge comfort zone is scary... even paralyzing. It is so uncertain that leads to the feeling of being lost...

What I felt was a reminder of the need for daily prayer and continued searching. Through it, I believe God will show me his way for me to find it. So who knows where my life will lead, but I trust it will be used, if I allow it. And in this daily obedience, we may find joy and peace. :)

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? -- Ecclesiastes 2:24-25