“Holy holy”. This was a term I self-labelled people who went to church. Even more so, I recall giving this phrase jokingly as a nickname and having some chuckles with my non-religious friends then.
Anyone who remotely lifted their hands to pray or declared association with God, my subconsciousness automatically classified them under this category. This was my opinion, some 15 years ago, having no basic knowledge of religion.
I recall part of me was curious to "become" one of them. Maybe it was the fear of missing out (what we aptly hashtag these days as #FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)) or just that deep sense of wanting inclusion rather than exclusion. Ironically, I may have wanted to belong to a world I knew nothing about yet may innately desire.
Yet for years my actions were zero. My drive to question people and their faith, nil. My curiosity level non-existent. Life went on as if religion never touched my world. Or rather life went on with me being ignorant of my surroundings.
Then my circumstances changed. It was like a sudden 'ding' where the imaginary lightbulb pops up and you have this eureka moment. I was moving to New Zealand. The land of the long-lost cloud. Except this would be the land of finding the ‘long lost me’.
I recall before stepping foot in New Zealand, I thought life was about to change. It was one of those indescribable feelings. To this day I do not know the finer details of how, why, when, who, what was going to change and why I felt that way. But I knew my life would change. Full stop.
This sense of life changing moment came when I was sitting innocently looking at the stars one night in my mother country - the numerous and uncountable amount of them shining so brightly in the dark sky.
That feeling prompted me to think of how I would act to change my life myself. What actions would I take when in New Zealand to change my life? Then the notion of going to church came to mind. I thought I could become a better person by going to church. I equated going to church = better life just like my ‘holy holy’ friends. Except I did not define this ‘going to church’.
I accepted that it would be just going to church every Sunday, singing a few songs and doing occasional community work. That’s what I thought of the church. And that is what I did. I went to church.
Little did I know one Sunday while going to church I would be 'hit by a bus'. I describe it now as how I felt it then. The lifting of my hand, acknowledging that Jesus Christ my saviour, felt like I was hit by a bus. I had accepted Christ into my world without knowing one, that I did and two; how my life would change after.
Fast forward to today. On my reflection, God has pointed what that ‘fateful night’ looking at the stars meant. For me it was a personal revelation. A revelation that God without me realising it, was already working in my life.
This revelation echoed a similar story in the bible. The story in Genesis 15, verse 5: where the Lord took Abraham outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them”. I parallel this story to my own word for my life where that night, that feeling, is credited to the Holy Spirit speaking God’s promise over my life. Even when I did not know him personally. Even when I was far away from him. Even when I was in another country.
For me today, this means if I continue to always trust, always hope, always love God – my life can be as abundant as the stars in the sky. The only limit is far as I will allow my human eye to see. God’s promise for my life is just as relevant today as it was to Abraham.
Cindy Adwong lives and works in Auckland. My aim in life is to live life to the fullest daily. I love being effective and efficient in all I do. My hobbies include spending time with people, baking, cooking, travelling and just being alive, amongst numerous to name.