Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who is in need of change?

I have never blogged about Ray until a recent event prompted me to do so. As a reader, you will be pleased to know too that I have sought his permission to share here, which was generously given.

In the past year, Ray picked up a new hobby, well at least to me it was new. He was into remote control cars, not those from Toys’ R Us but those there were specially made for hobbyists (never knew that such a term existed until now)! In fact, he began to develop such an appetite for RC cars, that not only did he procure many units, he also started to assemble his own by buying “complete knocked down” units from shops and played them in front of our house whenever he had any spare time.

Soon, the burnt in our pockets began to matter. As a typical accountant, I thought splashing out money on hobbies was illogical and profligate. Afterall, being a normal household, we have bills to pay, bank loan to service and occasionally, bank overdraft to settle.

Gradually, I had allowed this new hobby to creep into my relationship with my husband and eventually, blinded me from distinguishing what was important from the less. Its almost as though someone had moved a statue into my vision, that prevented me from seeing what was beyond, and this statue was situated right in between our marriage. This statue has a name called bitterness.

For a long time, we couldn’t come to a compromise and tension began to build: Ray couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him live his childhood dream and I couldn’t fathom why he needed to fulfill his dream. I have even started to pray that he would not be carried away by his passion, not realizing of course I was the one who was carried away.

Finally, one night, he came up to me and suggested that we should set aside a budget for him to spend on himself for special occasions. “Let me think about it.” I replied with a grudge. That night, I went to the Lord in prayer. “Lord, I think it should be adequate to give Ray a small budget since he has already splashed out so much. Plus, there are many more needy areas such as uncountable number of charities that we could consider giving money to.” I tried to justify my action. However, I felt somehow that God was telling me to be generous to Ray.

After a weekend of struggle with God, I decided to obey His prompting and gave Ray a generous budget, which caught him (& me) completely by surprise. Immediately out of the blue, I felt my heart lightened. As though scales had fallen out my eyes, I began to see how much good this hobby has done for him and our family.

Joseph was amazed that daddy could build and paint such beautiful models, that he would sit on Ray’s lap to examine how cars are put together. I have never seen such a tender bonding between them until now. In addition, I noticed that Ray had been busy fetching the kids to and fro school and tutorial sessions during my confinement period without a word of complain. The best part was, he even offered to continue the ferrying process after I returned to work! “I quite enjoyed fetching the kids to school as it was something that I had never experienced with my own father when I was young.” He said. I had never seen this fatherly side of him before. Then it dawned on me that bitterness has prevented me from seeing what are the more important issues in our marriage.

Perhaps Ray has always been who he is but I have not been who I should be. I felt greatly humbled by such revelation as I discovered that God was telling me that it is me who needs to be changed. This would not have been possible if not for our Heavenly Father who had granted me the willingness to obey Him and wisdom to be generous.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3: 17-18

Joseph restoring joy to a friend

We were at a family retreat at Cameron Highlands. Children were having a fun time playing frisbees when one child, Ashton, threw the frisbee...