Prayerful In All Circumstances

“All that experience basically showed me that if I wanted to be a Christian, I had better be comfortable with being uncomfortable about it.”

I must confess that I did feel varying degrees of cautiousness about the Christian things I posted concerning Yale-NUS College over the years. Sometimes it was more about me being self-centred about my image rather than the community being hostile. I would harbour fears that I would say something unlikeable or say something that I would later realise was not quite right, even from a Christian lens, but have the damage done. Other times, the sense of cautiousness was healthier and cultivated only because of my time in YNC. I would breed a consideration for my friends in the community to whom what I say might be inconsiderate, especially if I had not the willingness to spend time with them afterwards to build context, trust, and understanding between ourselves. It was a healthy sense of cautiousness, too, because it served as a thorough search of my soul to think about the motivation behind posting Christianity-based content out in the open. The community’s diversity taught me how it might be better at times to just speak to the people who already made it clear that they were open to Christian perspectives; not quite ‘mind your own business’, but more so to be considerate of others’ business.

Contrary to what many outside of YNC believe, the college has proven to be a fantastic place to season as a Christian. I have met all sorts of people and interacted with the gamut of ideas in YNC throughout the years. All that experience basically showed me that if I wanted to be a Christian, I had better be comfortable with being uncomfortable about it. Although, I’ll leave a deeper reflection on that for another time.

At this juncture of a mourning period for YNC, I just want to make a record that speaks for myself. I would find it incongruous if I continued to write about YNC without any hint that my Christian faith made up a large part of my time in college. Alas, I am now experiencing a higher degree of cautiousness. Should I share my prayer posture out in the open? However, I also see the need to grow up a little and practice greater ownership about who I am — did YNC not teach me that too? I did, after all, respond to the call to spend more time building and serving the on-campus Christian Fellowship, and I think the history of YNC deserves to remember all that transpired in YNC’s 9-cohort run, including in the CF.

Since yesterday, quite a number of us did wonder how we could pray in light of the announcement. Or what even to pray about, when even our emotions at the time seemed out of whack. My heart sank as I mourned and worshipped from afar with the CF members on campus. This evening came to a question about the posture of prayer in such a confusing time, and there was one quick response I managed to type out. That would be the text in the accompanying picture.

This helped me think about our (Christians) posture of prayer before God regarding YNC (and, by extension, all the other injustices we experience). Anger is very much part of our being. And even if sometimes that anger was retrospectively roused for the wrong reasons, it should not prevent us from bringing it to God once the feeling arises. I, too, have often struggled to wonder the so-called best way of taking things to the Lord in prayer. But honestly, sometimes the answer is just to always go to God first. By running to Him in all circumstances, we begin to build a habit of leaning on Him, rather than attempting to sort ourselves and our business out before being presented before Him. Sometimes, when our mind brings about such inertia regarding prayer… the answer is to just immediately take it to the Lord.

In time, our spirit is likely to mature, and we would have greater wisdom in our approach to prayer. Even then, one thing stays the same: we would always go to Him first, and it is always Jesus who intercedes for us.

To the CF I love and grow and serve with, the alumni will always be here with you. My bold prayer is that CF will continue to go from strength to strength in its faith and reliance on God in the remaining years of YNC. See you all soon when the season permits. ❤️ .

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