The Switch

I haven’t been writing as much as I used to – a better arrangement than otherwise perhaps! – primarily because I haven’t been able to reach the end of my thoughts with something to actually say.

But I think as the year wraps up, I am obliged to write out of reasons of posterity and maybe even to place a little landmark in terms of my  personal journey. I made a switch in my life around this time last year. Unbeknownst to me, the switch was a tremendous one. It wasn’t merely shifting companies or shifting job roles or ascending slash descending any kind of income or power ladder. In fact, what I actually do on a daily basis is not far from what I used to, or entirely alien to me. What I actually did seems more like removing the core of the apple, and replacing it with a new one. Or even, taking away the insides of the earth, while retaining the crust.

My shift, or switch, from the private sector (“driven” to be added in reference to the trade association I was attached to) world to what I would loosely refer to as civil society is forcing me rethink, relearn, reorient my thinking patterns from one that is dominantly profit-centric, to one that considers the social or environmental aspects as equal parameters in any sort of human or business action. My time at the Institute of Public Policy and Administration (INPUMA), University of Malaya, has opened up a new world to me – concepts which makes sense to me intuitively, but takes a whole new level of disciplined learning to grasp and retain.

Jargons has changed. Even my own evaluation systems have changed, or rather, widened.

And I would just highlight here that amongst all these changes, my relationship to God – how I relate to Him – has also changed. It’s challenging to find yourself growing faster than your faith is – and how does one explain this notion? But faith “catches up” when you play by the rules – when you hear, and hear by the word of God (Romans 10:17). When everything needs to be affirmed by triangulation, more evidence and research, approaching the Word for answers appears almost too simplistic. But then out of that need for God, you reach out to Him – and meet Him, the Living Waters which quenches your soul – you know that this God is real. And then once you’ve gained some kind of emotional stability, you realise that the Bible actually has elements of triangulation, evidence and research (because it’s really a collection of 66 books written across an extensive period of time, and affirm each other in various ways) – and that’s really great and amazing. Phew!

Back to the topic, I realised that I’ve never been so fully myself. And it’s not merely because of the switch in work and picking up a course. By God’s grace, I’ve been able to lead the life that I enjoy and desire, manage my time well enough to not be at risk of burning out. I’ve not been emotionally healthier than the way I am now, I’ve not been freer from fear of the opinions of others. And hopefully by being a lot more free from the clutches of “oh-but-what-will-they-think-of-me”, I am freed to obey my Lord more fully that I have been able to.

And so I’m looking forward to the end of the year. Reviewed my aspirations from the start of the year and by God’s grace, I’m finding myself almost fulfilling every bit of it, with about a month more to get on with the outstanding. Some of could be summed up with the phrase “maturing gracefully”.

Looking forward to what is ahead.

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