Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Life is Too Short to be Impatient

A young friend chatted me up the other day, asking for a simple advise: should she stay with her current company who only offers her a small salary, or should she shift to a call center company where the immediate benefits is way better.

First of all, I have nothing against call centers. I respect their occupation and role in the society, being the recipients of our social ires — both valid and illogical. Sometimes you just gotta admire how their eardrums and brains can take the consistent pound-for-pound calls of irascible complaints, retarded questions, as well as the helplessly hurtful criticisms for their company (when it deserves merit).

But hey, I'm not talking about call centers.

I fondly remember (with absolute annoyance) how one youth in our church insists on wanting to become a manager immediately. Not that it's bad to be a manager. But being an employee for some time, I've seen good managers and bad managers. And becoming a manager without experiencing what it means to be managed is bad. So why does this disillusioned youth want to be a boss immediately? Because he just wants the perks. He just wants to enjoy the privileges immediately.

Well, I can't blame him. If there's one thing common in this current generation, it's impatience. Impatience to enter a relationship. Impatience to graduate. Impatience to transfer to the next company with better offers. Impatience to experience travel. Impatience to buy the latest gadget. Impatience for their food order. Impatience to get from one place to another. Impatience to cook their own meal.

Life is short. But how can we enjoy it when we neglect to savor what it really means?

I myself have been having dilemmas, both in life, career and relationships.

On one hand, I'm starting to both consider trying to look for a better job offer in other countries. Or maybe seriously consider going full time on freelance work. Or maybe just transfer to a higher-paying job with better benefits.

On the other hand, I'm going 32 this year — and like most adults, the sudden realization that with the average life span of 65 for most people, I am almost halfway through my life (unless I die from sickness, accident or heroic act haha). Thus I start getting tempted to twist my personal principles on relationships a bit. The prospect of growing old and alone is a terrible thought; more so, growing old and alone and forgotten.

And despite having both hands full with these thoughts, I stay up at nights thinking, "What has my life been all about for the past years?" "What am I doing? Where am I going?" "What if God doesn't exist, and after I die — there's nothing out there?" or "If I'm going to die soon and move on to the second life with Christ, why am I wasting my time with these things?"

(And ruefully, I also have to contend with my dietary conscience urging me to lose weight, while the other parts of me parade visions of good food.)

Life is short; I guess that's what makes it beautiful. Does it matter whether we take the fastest road to pleasure? Will going the long way round to fulfillment be better — not knowing what the future even holds for us? In the end, it both doesn't matter.

What are we living for? What are we working for?

Being involved with church and the youth ministry since my teenage years, I have come to learn that plans doesn't always go as we plan. We train people — but we can't control how they grow. Some people stay, some people go. And we can't judge either of them for their decisions in life, because there's a higher purpose that God only knows. Yet, I also find myself getting impatient with results — whether it be with a youth who is stubbornly avoiding to confront his/her personal problems, or young leaders who are too lazy to listen to sound advice, or even adult leaders who start becoming mediocre in their passions to serve God.

Impatience. Yet, is life too short for us to be patient at all?

I realize that we often burden ourselves with too many desires, too many plans, too many responsibilities. "I want to do this." "I want to have this." We try to cram our lives with too many meanings, too many definitions, too many purposes — but to what end?

Life is too short to be impatient.

But I just can't wait to see what God has in store for my future :D

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