Be like Jon… or John

The green-eyed monster… (And the priest referenced Shakespeare for it this morning during his homily. 😜)

Saul was jealous of David. Seriously, all the young boy did was slew a soldier with acromegaly. But the green-eyed monster in him made him hunt David down to have him killed. What drives a person to act on their jealousy?

People are often envious – the word is synonymous with ‘jealous’, the priest pointed that out, too – of the looks, possessions and abilities of their ‘neighbour’. We are also, in a way, jealous when we ask how someone could get away with what they’ve done and gain something good out of their ‘inconceivable’ act.

Insecurity. It’s a sick cycle carousel. When you’re insecure about yourself, you start to feel jealous about another person, you act on it, eventually making that person feel insecure about themselves, too.

Insecurity. Something I’ve come to be so familiar with in 2015. It probably started way before that but last year was hell year for me because it surfaced itself in all its smugness. I wouldn’t say what or who caused it. Because, now that I’m on the road to freedom and recovery, I’ve thought back on how I could’ve ignored those provocations but I felt too trampled upon to think rationally.

As ironic as it may seem, I am a writer whose weakness is with words. It is ironic but also mostly only verbal. I shut down instantly when abused verbally. I do not know how to stand up for myself when caught in the path of worded bullets even when I know I didn’t do anything wrong. A surprise interrogation is the best way to take me down. I would get into an anxiety meltdown, possibly even a cardiac arrest. Unless I have a reply scripted out beforehand, I would just… well, die. At this point, I look at my son and realise where he got his anxiety disorders from.

There, you can try ambushing me when you see me next and watch me wilt in my little corner. (I did NOT just associate myself with a flower, did I? 😒) But I doubt most of you would be satanic enough to pull that off without feeling an inch of guilt. I don’t care if I’m right about that last statement. Just want to see everyone as naturally good.

There is no way to go around our insecurities but to feel good about ourselves. There is no other way to feel good about ourselves but to see ourselves through the eyes of our Creator.

Jealousy, in my opinion, is the most deadly emotion. It clouds our judgements. It kills. Jonathan, son of Saul and John the Baptist are biblical figures who were not jealous. Be like Jon and John. 😆


NATURE CALLS… and whoever said anything about going to the loo?

Here’s something I wrote some years back for a publication… can’t remember which one. (Gosh, my memory is failing me horribly!) And I think it’s time we reflect on what Nature’s call really is for all of us given how bizarre this world is turning out to be lately. Anyway, here it goes…

I am afraid of nature… I begin with the word ‘I’. That’s naturally how we all are. We’re the ‘I’ generation… naturally. It is a very natural thing to look out for oneself first. After all, ‘I’ comes before ‘w’ in ‘we’ and ‘you’ (doesn’t matter whether it begins with the letter ‘y’ or ‘u’).

The previous tsunami incident in 2004, which claimed the lives of more than 230,000 people, freaked me out into weeks of sleepless nights. It shook me so badly I didn’t dare to go anywhere near Damai or Santubong. Even the thought of walking along the Kuching Waterfront was too much for me to take.

With the recent tsunami & earthquake that hit Japan, I’m sworn off the media. It scares me how the phenomenon of the days of Noah is actually coming back to haunt the world. ‘Act of God’, it’s called. Really? But why? Have we sinned against nature? Has it really been that bad? Our abusive behaviours towards nature, that is?

Ok… looks like I’ve sidetracked a bit from my topic. I just thought I’d touched on the recent natural disaster since my title has got the word ‘nature’ in it.

Here’s what I am about to do: reveal the natural side of me. If you can relate to my character, laugh with me, and say, “Cheers, mate!” But if you can’t, and feel that you have the utmost desire to judge me, you’re most welcome to do so. After all, it’s who I am… naturally. Seriously? You be the judge… And if you feel like dropping this article right now, do it before you start cursing at me. I have no intention of leading you to sin. But if you’re convicted to find out the moral of the story (if there is any…), then by all means, tear open that bag of nachos and enjoy a good read!

Driving… it brings out the worst in me. I love it but I can’t seem to share the road with any slowpokes. I’m aggressive, impatient and that’s right, I have absolutely no amount of tolerance for anything that goes below 60. While I don’t believe in identifying anyone with something filthy that no dictionary in this world would even consider as a word, I do however, thrill in insulting the next driver with the most creative word replacement for anger according to my own thesaurus. Addressing James May with the name ‘Captain Slow’ is not even in my top million words of insults. The keyword to this is ‘Anger’, naturally…

Stop staring at the skinny girl who just had two bowls of kolo mee and is ordering Choon Hui’s famous popiah, roti kahwin and maybe even a bowl of laksa. You can’t stop the growling stomach. You can’t put a cap on the bottomless pit.  You can’t figure her out. So you might as well stop whatever it is you’re conceiving in that mind of yours and start eating your food before it gets taken away right from under your nose. The message I’m getting from that naturally skinny girl is ‘Glutton’.

While I do not enjoy seeing anyone bare themselves in public or like I said, blabber words that prove the bearer’s incapability of producing meaningful words, I must admit sometimes I do find trashy jokes… well, funny. Who on earth will not find a good joke funny? There must be something absolutely wrong up here. (Let’s do it together now – point to your temples, thank you, everyone! You’ve been very participative so far.) The word I had in mind, well… closest, that is… is ‘Lust’. If you don’t think it’s related, just remember the word, anyhow… for nature’s sake.

Between idolatry and idling, I just can’t stand the couch potato. Please, there are so many things to do around you. I’m talking about the productive ones. Not making the most frags, managing the best football clubs or eliminating the biggest race. We all know what this is about, don’t we. But having said that, I do fall for the gaming and the scoring and the posting. There’s a big ‘Sloth’ in us sometimes, we’ve got to admit that and that is what we have to take account of, the natural part of us.

Money… who doesn’t want money? And popularity… and status? Let’s face it. All these keep us going in whatever it is we’re doing. These are the encouragements, acknowledgements, and appreciation for everything that we have done. Having them once makes us want more the second time, and the third, and then fourth, and then forever. We can defend ourselves however we want to but at the back of our minds, a little ‘Greed’ creeps in once in a while. It’s only human. Naturally… don’t you think?

Back to that skinny girl with the endless digestive system: don’t you ever wish you were her ‘cause while you’re at it, she’s probably wishing she was you. That’s right. Natural instinct, out of ‘Envy’. Dates right back to Cain and Abel.

‘I’… here we go again. ‘I’ is the culprit. If ‘I’ was never invented, our next nature of the human being would not have existed. ‘I’ causes a lot of pain to ‘you’, ‘we’ and ‘they’. But worst of all, ‘I’ causes the most pain to ‘I’ itself. But ‘I’ would never admit it because ‘I’ has a lot of ‘Pride’ in its nature.

Anger. Glutton. Lust. Sloth. Greed. Envy. Pride. Naturally me. Naturally you. Or is it? It sounds like a bunch of animal attributes – survival features of the world of nature. Given the tsunami and the human being, I’d say the human nature is the bigger disaster, anytime.

Is there some other nature that we can perhaps consider as ours? Something more subtle. Something less aggressive. Something less destructive. Something more humane, maybe? Like what God created us to be – His image.

Then again, none of us were created to be so perfect we’d be at the same level as the Creator Himself. Look what happened to the Greeks who tried to recreate gods with human nature. These gods fail in both worlds. They were too out-of-this-world to enjoy mortal life, as much as they desire to. And they have too many flaws to be considered powerful divine beings.

If you asked me, naturally, we are just like the Greek gods. But there is a nature we can always adapt to. One that brings the lovelies out of ourselves. One that would make this world a better place to live in. One that could bring joy, peace and love. One that could turn all tears to laughter and bring the sunshine back into the darkest hours of our lives. One that surpasses all human nature. One that has been around for a long, long time, ever since the time of creation.

It’s the divine nature. The God-nature. It came together in the package of human creation. It was ripped off by human evolution. But was brought back to us by human sanctification; by the most popular Person in the history of the world – Jesus Christ. A taste of this nature could change the world. A dose of this nature eliminates the imperfections of this world, enhances the quality of life and attains freedom for souls in captivity of sin.

So… nature calls. Are you responding to the right one? Sometimes I don’t but I’m trying to. Care to join me?