Camino de Singapore: Finding Your Place in the World Today
Three months ago, in the thick of all the madness that surrounds us in the COVID-19 pandemic, I went through a minor identity crisis when I tried desperately to be someone I was not.
As one fortunate to still have a job, I found myself feeling bad for being “safe” while so many others in Singapore and the world continue to be badly affected by the ongoing repercussions of lockdowns and circuit breakers. Though thankful that I at least had a roof over my head, I fretted over how I should play a part to make all that is happening in the world less depressing than it already seems to be. What better time than now to bear the Light of Christ to those around us?
I prayed, but it did not feel sufficient. I donated to different groups that served the needy and the poor but that felt too convenient. I wrote to organisations asking if they needed volunteers but they either did not respond to me or already had sufficient volunteers during the weekends. I found myself feeling a little lost because whatever little I did failed to assuage my heavy heart.
The turning point came when He reminded me of who I am and who He created me to be during this time. I will always be called to bring Jesus to the world, but He does not expect me to do so in ways that are less extraordinary than what I can offer.
I am inspired by the many stories of individuals who are doing what others view as extraordinary but could not be more natural and ordinary through the eyes of these individuals. Some provide refuge to the homeless by opening their homes while others rally together to create programmes that address social issues experienced by tens of thousands. The extraordinary fruits that they continue to bear come from a call that is unique to them because they were created to be so.
I can do the same too, but in my own way.
Since our churches were closed, we have been challenged to move beyond ministry and to embrace our call as lay apostolates. It is perhaps timely to ponder on the words of Frederick Buechner who explained that “vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need”.
What does the world need now during this pandemic? Have you experienced a call that brings you deep joy? And where do the two meet today?
More than ever, this is the time for us to take the opportunity to discern our call and mission field as we navigate the future through choppy waters with the rest of the world.
I invite you to find your own place and do not be afraid to own it.
- Winners of Youth Action Challenge summit get $50k grant to carry out initiatives to address societal problems (The Straits Times, 27 Jul 2020)
- Shelters for the homeless have enough space: MSF (The Straits Times, 2 Aug 2020)
- Families are opening their hearts and homes to house the homeless and others in crisis (The Straits Times, 2 Aug 2020)
Timothy Wong is a friend of Caritas who seeks to unravel God’s plan in his life together with many others who are on a similar journey. Along the way, he takes great pride and joy in introducing good food to them.