November 13, 2018

Make A Space for Him


Di tengah kehidupan dunia yang hiruk-pikuk ini, ada begitu banyak pengaruh yang membuat kita tidak lagi bertekun di dalam Tuhan. Pekerjaan, hobi, dan aktivitas-aktivitas jasmani lainnya telah menguras waktu dan mengupas tenaga kita sehingga kita pun mengabaikan persekutuan kita dengan Dia. 

Kita harus punya ruang, menyediakan waktu buat berduaan dengan Tuhan. Make a space for God.

Jangan cuma sediakan ruang atau waktu untuk pacar, pasangan kita, urusan kita, kesibukan kita. Semua itu saja kok bisa? Masa buat Dia kagak bisa, sedangkan Dia yang selalu memberkati kita dalam kehidupan. Sedangkan pacar, pasangan, kesibukan, dan lain-lain sering kali mengecewakan kita.

Banyak orang berpikir bahwa menyediakan waktu untuk berdoa dan merenungkan firman Tuhan adalah sebuah pemborosan waktu. Padahal, justru semakin kita bertekun di dalam Dia, hidup kita makin diperbaharui dari hari ke hari sehingga kita memiliki kehidupan yang berkualitas. 

Jadi, tidak ada kata sia-sia atau mubazir jika kita berjerih lelah dan bertekun bersama Dia. 

Alkitab dengan tegas meminta: "Latihlah dirimu beribadah. Latihan badani terbatas gunanya, tetapi ibadah itu berguna dalam segala hal, karena mengandung janji, baik untuk hidup ini maupun untuk hidup yang akan datang" (1 Timotius 4:7b-8). 

Bertekun juga di dalam doa dan firman-Nya adalah sama seperti orang yang membangun rumahnya di atas batu,  "Kemudian turunlah hujan dan datanglah banjir, lalu angin melanda rumah itu, tetapi rumah itu tidak rubuh sebab didirikan di atas batu" (Matius 7:25). 

Memiliki persekutuan yang karib dengan Tuhan = fondasi yang kuat bagi kehidupan kita. 

Bagaimana jika kita mengabaikan persekutuan kita dengan Dia?

Sudah pasti kita tidak akan memiliki kekuatan untuk menghadapi setiap tantangan dan badai kehidupan yang datang menyerang kita. 

Daud mengingatkan kita bahwa di sepanjang hari Tuhan telah mencurahkan kasih setia-Nya kepada kita, maka sudah seharusnya pada malam hari atau di waktu-waktu pribadi, kita mempersembahkan korban syukur bagi Dia melalui doa kita.

Milikilah kerinduan untuk mendekat kepada Dia seperti Daud. "Seperti rusa yang merindukan sungai yang berair, demikianlah jiwaku merindukan Engkau, ya Allah. Jiwaku haus kepada Allah, kepada Allah yang hidup. Bilakah aku boleh datang melihat Allah?" (Mazmur 42:2-3)

Kedekatannya dengan Tuhan adalah kunci kekuatan Daud dalam menghadapi setiap masalah, bukan karena kekuasaan yang dimilikinya sebagai raja.

Daud sadar, ia tidak bisa hidup tanpa penyertaan-Nya. Itulah sebabnya ia memohon kepada Dia, "Janganlah membuang aku dari hadapan-Mu, dan janganlah mengambil roh-Mu yang kudus dari padaku!" (Mazmur 51:13)

Di luar Dia kita tidak dapat berbuat apa-apa—dan kita ini bukan siapa-siapa, karena itu: "Carilah Tuhan dan kekuatan-Nya, carilah wajah-Nya selalu!" (Mazmur 105:4)


—by Yusnia Febriani
 



November 7, 2018

The Hound of Heaven

The Hound of Heaven
—by Francis Thompson

 
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
'All things betray thee, who betrayest Me'.

I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followed,
Yet was I sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.)
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to:
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateway of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clanged bars;
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o' the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossom heap me over
From this tremendous Lover—
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue;
Or, whether, Thunder-driven,
They clanged his chariot 'thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o' their feet:—
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat—
'Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.'

I sought no more after that which I strayed
In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children's eyes
Seems something, something that replies,
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
Come then, ye other children, Nature's—share
With me’ (said I) 'your delicate fellowship;
Let me greet you lip to lip,
Let me twine with you caresses,
Wantoning
With our Lady-Mother's vagrant tresses,
Banqueting
With her in her wind-walled palace,
Underneath her azured dais,
Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.’
So it was done:
I in their delicate fellowship was one—
Drew the bolt of Nature's secrecies.
I knew all the swift importings
On the wilful face of skies;
I knew how the clouds arise
Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;
All that's born or dies
Rose and drooped with; made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful divine;
With them joyed and was bereaven.
I was heavy with the even,
When she lit her glimmering tapers
Round the day's dead sanctities.
I laughed in the morning's eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine:
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
I laid my own to beat,
And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven's grey cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says,
These things and I; in sound I speak—
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
Let her, if she would owe me,
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
The breasts o’ her tenderness:
Never did any milk of hers once bless
My thirsting mouth.
Nigh and nigh draws the chase,
With unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
And past those noisèd Feet
A voice comes yet more fleet—
'Lo! naught contents thee, who content'st not Me.'

Naked I wait Thy love's uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou has hewn from me,
And smitten me to my knee;
I am defenceless utterly.
I slept, methinks, and woke,
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amidst the dust o' the mounded years—
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
Ah! is Thy love indeed
A weed, albeit an amarinthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
Ah! must—
Designer infinite!—
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i' the dust;
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpsed turrets slowly wash again.
But not ere him who summoneth
I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man's heart or life it be which yields
Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields
Be dunged with rotten death?

Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at hand the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
'And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!

'Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught' (He said),
'And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited—
Of all man's clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!'

Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
'Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.'



Third Entry — I decided to try not to use my cellphone for the whole day

Rencananya mau mempostingkan besok, tetapi ya sudahlah hari ini saja, lagipula rencana kita memang bisa berubah, bukan?

Nah, berikut ini entri ketiga saya untuk Dear Reader Contest tahun ini. Walau belum menang, seperti halnya sejumlah peserta lainnya yang telah beberapa kali mengikuti, saya tidak akan menyerah. Sekali lagi 🙂, mohon maaf untuk bahasa Inggris yang masih sederhana karena saya masih terus belajar. Semoga memberkati.


***


I decided to try not to use my cellphone for the whole day yesterday. Starting from 4.30 am in the morning until the same time this morning.

My wife said, “Okay,” when I asked her permission before doing that.

I just wanted to know what would I feel or what would happen if I don’t use my smartphone for one day? Besides, there used to be so many things that we could live without, don’t we?

It could not happen overnight. I had to practice a while, some days earlier, not to use my phone on several occasions in some minutes or so.

There was still an urge to find where my phone was—which I already left at home before leaving for work—or to see whether there were notifications.

I happened to talk more actively, and attentively, to people because of not using my smartphone yesterday. And, my wife said last afternoon that I seemed to be having more stability. Perhaps it was because of I didn’t feel any urgency to rush out everything—a habit that is usually owned by many people nowadays.

I know, we still need technology. But, some say we need a balance. But, what is exactly a balance means? I think that a balance is really knowing when to put down your gadget and when to actually use it again. It’s not our third hand. It’s not our second life. A smartphone, or any other gadget, is only a gadget. And we shouldn’t have to be addicted to it nor with anything inside of it.

That is why I tried not to use it for one day. Just for one day. It could be more.

You should try it. No matter what. No excuses. There is no vain in trying.

October 6, 2018.


Second Entry — I wanted to know the childhood of my dad

Hari ini postingan untuk entri kedua saya bagi Dear Reader Contest 2018.

Sekali lagi, semoga menjadi berkat, dan mohon maaf untuk bahasa Inggris yang sederhana karena masih terus belajar. 


***



I wanted to know the childhood of my dad.

Was he like me?—That is having a look that seems so serious even still as a child. Did his dad, my grandad, whom I never got the chance to see and know, treat him the way he used to discipline and spend time with me when I was a child? Did he have a happy childhood life and memorable moments?

That is why I tried to reach out to him to find out more. And as usual, each time I got him on the phone, he always gave the phone to mom—or someone else next to him such as my sisters Grace and Agnes, or my brother Atlanta—after talking for a minute, which seems that dad still has not much ability to really express his feelings.

"How's your relationship with grandpa, Dad...?" I asked him after telling mom to give back the phone to dad and several chitchats.

He said, "Well... nothing so special. He used to told me bedtime stories about the lives of many people. He lived during the Japanese occupation era in Indonesia (1942 – 1945), and one day he saved the life of a Chinese merchant from being killed by Japanese soldiers."

"Bulang (a Batak Karonese language for Grandpa) had to struggle in his life at that time," Dad concluded.

"Did you happy as a child, Dad...?" I asked him with a bit of timidity.

"Well..." Dad said, "I also had to struggle back then in the village (Singa Village in North Sumatera) when I was a child. And I just still particularly remember those times when Dad and Mom shared those bedtime stories."

Anyway, my dad is 65 years old right now, living with mom in Medan City, North Sumatera. They decided last year in 2017 to move there from Surabaya City so that dad, especially, could live near his mother, my grandma who is already 101 years of age! Dad has six siblings actually, and he is the fourth child, with four sisters & two brothers. Two of his sisters (number one and three) have passed away though.

And finally, I asked him whether he had any memorable moment as a child—just like the one that I have with them when they took me to a beach called Boom Beach in Tuban, East Java, where we played together there with a little green water pistol in my hand.

"Well… I used to walk to go to school, Lao Simomo Elementary which was about two to three miles from home every day. And I had to cross a river, and when finally arrived at school, my uniform got dirty with mud. And each time the school ends, I swam in that river along with friends. I was 3rd grade that time."

One more thing, dad used to say to me that I still have a long way to go in life. I'm thankful for his example in keeping on pushing.

I'm also thankful for that brief moment, talking with dad through the mobilephone. I believe there are still many things I don't know yet about him, and I'd really love to know. Because honestly, indeed there were times that I did not want to be like him, my dad, because of what he has or hasn't done. But as time moves forward, I realize that I DO want to be like him. Just because of who he is. And I hope that my children, Cherish and Jhesua, want to be like me too, their dad. Or even like their grandad. My dad.


image courtesy of billygraham.org

November 6, 2018

First Entry — English debate contest : )

Ini ketiga kalinya saya mengikuti Dear Reader Contest. Dan masih belum ada yang menang sepertinya : ). Entah mungkin akan masuk dalam honorable mentions.

Komentar dari Suzanne Beecher yang mengadakan kontes tersebut hampir sama dengan pujian dari beliau tahun lalu. Dia berkata, "The quality of the entries this year was amazing--I'm sincere about that. It was very difficult to choose winners."

Saya tidak akan menyerah : ). And I'm eager to wait the next year's contest.

Berikut ini saya akan memposting entri pertama saya di kontes tahun ini, dan esok serta lusa akan saya posting tulisan yang kedua dan ketiga.

Semoga menjadi berkat, dan mohon maaf kalau bahasa Inggris saya masih sederhana karena masih terus belajar. : )



***



It was during my 12th grade year in 2001.

I forgot whether it was my English teacher who chose the names, or myself and other friends who voluntarily representing our school, SMU Negeri 18 Surabaya, to compete in an English Debate Contest againts other high schools in East Java Province.

I couldn't recall the whole activities during the event also actually, but I do still remember one exact moment.

Along with my teammates named Lady Ishar and Wadeng Prayogi, we have made some preparations due the debate.

And finally, it was our time to compete.

The audiences were ready. Our opponent was ready. We were ready—at least, that was what I thought.

Our opponent took the first opportunity to present their views regarding a particular subject we agreed to select to debate. After several minutes, it was finally our turn to oppose their conclusion, and to present what our team had in mind. It was my turn first in the team.

I could see many faces of the audiences. Among them, I could see one familiar face, staring straightly at me, kind of believing that I could deliver my material. It was our English teacher, Mrs. Ratna.

As I stood and about to deliver my speech, a moment of silence took place. At first, it was for ten seconds, then a minute, and two more minutes. Not to impress the judges or the audiences and to grab their attention with my silence before speech. But …

I couldn't say a word!

Not a single word came out of my mouth.

Was it because I was so nervous due to stage fright? Probably 50 percent.

Was it because of lack of preparation? It might be.

But most of all, I think it was because the attitude of my heart—underestimating and being so cocky that I thought I could do it and beat any opponents.

A minute of silence felt like an eternity.

I was sad, especially inside.

I could see Mrs. Ratna's face as I still standing right there, who seemed disappointed at that time regarding my performance, although I never asked her about it afterwards.

As I began to sit down again, I couldn't think about anything else but streams of words that were still buried in my mind and didn't have the chance from me to let them go.

I couldn't remember what happened next, but since that time, I believe that I have made a little promise in my heart that I will always learn English.



Make A Space for Him

Di tengah kehidupan dunia yang hiruk-pikuk ini, ada begitu banyak pengaruh yang membuat kita tidak lagi bertekun di dalam Tuhan. Pekerja...