Actually reflect is hardly the word to describe it. I think, as I “zoom-reflect” over the year that is coming to an end..I think I can heave a big sigh of relief. I doubt that over the next few days I would actually have anytime to just sit back in a quiet place, open my journal (the old diary..been keeping one since I was 12 years old) and just reflect. My kid is starting school tomorrow, then my in laws will be back from Perth this weekend and I still have to do one more ward round on Saturday. I can foresee a lot of driving and very little time for anything else ( did I mention I hate driving?).
I used to do that u know, I mean, reflect. Back when I was a young guy, no commitments, no screaming and crying kids fighting over the darn plastic figurine of Peter (from Narnia) dished out with the Mac Donald’s Happy Meal (How can they call it “Happy” when I don’t even feel any sort of elation!), no house chores to do, no calling the painter to paint my old house with flaky paint on the walls, no mounting credit card bills to pay, no Christmas tree to take down (it’s double the time and half the fun compared to putting it up), no New Year dinners to attend, no church service to go to (where I will be again reminded of my “covenant” with God last year which I have broken by February 2005, or was it earlier?), no sheer fatigue from work, no worrying over my thesis (oh, btw, I got another 8 patients today…only 961 to go!), etc etc..
Yup, it was just me and the quiet moments then. Me and my God. I could go through all my triumphs and failures, tell them to God, beg for forgiveness, pour out my gratitude to Him for His mercies and blessings, resolve to start anew, asking for strength to be a better person.
I am not complaining. I love my family and kids. They are the best part of my life! And the commitments that come with them are a given. I gladly take them up.
So, in a super-duper zoom reflection, I think the year has been a good year. Well, I did PASS my exam!! I swear it had to be the worst exam I have ever taken in my life! Only by God’s grace did I pass. I did mature and move on in many ways. My kids have given me so much joy. My wife has been a pillar of strength to me. It is also a joy to see my patients get well. Even more joyful when they remember me quite some time later even when all I could remember of them is a vague feeling I have seen them before (sort of like dejavu). The gratefulness in their eyes more than compensate any short comings of working in the civil service.
But I have lost many patients too. I have seen a lot of grief in their loved ones left behind. I have stood alongside wailing families strickened with grief when told that the one they love was no longer here. I have had problems in my family too. My kids have this capacity toof being angels one second and behaving like primates the next. My wife and I had our fair share of quarrels and misunderstandings. I have compromised on my principles and beliefs many times, each time scarring my heart just that little bit more. I had ran very fast, many times..but in the wrong direction. I have changed. We all have. It’s inevitable.
So, as the year draws to an end…I thank God. I thank Him for a wonderful year, a year with many ups and downs, joys and sorrows, blessings and despairs, for my family, for my work which I so enjoy, for my parents who still treat me like a 5 year old (all guys need to be pampered once in a while), my brother who so gladly let me take up a room in his house in KL, my friends who supported me, prayed for me, cheered me on, my patients who unknowingly have rewarded me with much joy just by getting well, my superiors who guided me, my fellow colleagues who are a pleasure to work and fight with (heh heh!)…but most of all, I thank God for being there for me, all the time.
We all change, I am so glad that God is unchanging. And because He is unchanging, His love for me, His grace and mercy for me, His pleasure in me, cannot be any MORE or any LESS than the day when I first came into this world, kicking and screaming! Thank you Lord. He had me at Hello…
Happy New Year to all of you! The New Year will surely bring with it new challenges, new possibilities and new surprises aplenty! Can’t wait!
Ok…time to make a new COVENANT.