The upcoming December school holidays will be the first time in a long time that many of us in Singapore are not traveling out of the country for our year-end holidays. My own children have lamented that they have missed out on all their trips this year and were rather distraught when we recently informed them that we also had to cancel our December holiday plans too.
In this new age of excessive consumerism, we often measure our sense of fulfilment and happiness on the scale of what we acquire, where we can go and what we can do. Birthdays or special occasions are incomplete without presents; rest times are unfulfilled without electronic devices; holiday seasons are hollow without overseas trips.
Yet, the Bible reminds us to find rest in Him and value in things of heaven:
‘”For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.” Jeremiah 31:25-26
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3: 1-2.
I find that it is a constant challenge to live out these truths daily. Thus, I personally feel that the government-imposed restrictions on travel are timely, and a good opportunity for my family and I to reflect and recharge, as well as to reconsider matters that should really be of value, without the hustle and bustle and excitement of overseas travel. To this end, I plan to do the following simple things in the upcoming holiday season:
- Set aside time each week to commune with the Lord and to find rest in His presence.
- Lead the family in the time-honored practice of memorizing Scripture.
- Participate in one family activity where we can “love our neighbors” as a family and be a blessing to them.
- Spend time outdoors to appreciate God’s handiwork and creation even in our city-state. Indeed, God’s creation is varied and marvelous – we can all learn to marvel at all of God’s creation daily. Singapore may not have majestic snow-capped mountains, but God’s brilliant handiwork can be equally seen in a humble but intricate spider’s web or a delicately designed and subtly perfumed flower petal in the neighborhood park.
And even as my family and I look forward to our next overseas holiday when our borders open up, I pray that this month of reflection spent together in Singapore will stir our hearts to look forward even more to the greater glory that awaits all of us who put out trust in Him:
“But, as it is written, “…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him” – 1 Corinthians 2:9
By Brother Shem Khoo