Sunday, April 4, 2010

VCASS Year 11 Photos =)

We recently took some year level group photos with our Year 11 schoolmates. Both with dancers and our specialist music group. They’ve been posting on Facebook and tagging peeps. So I thought I’d just share them here.

Haha, I know, its been ages since I’ve blogged! I don’t even have the snippet of time to update during weekends. Now we’re having term one break for two weeks. Half of it is gone already. And all I’ve done this week is practice 5 hours a day and catch up on the mountain of repertoire, both solo and ensemble, that I need to get a grip on. Phew.

But I’ve really been settling in well in VCASS and mind you, its not all fun. We probably have 5 times the workload and stress to handle compared to “normal” kids. Haha. But the school itself is really comfy and in between classes and music we can chill out on the bean bags and couches. It’s really cool. Just thank God for such an opportunity to work with people who are focused and dedicated and truly passionate about what they do.

Everyday I travel to school and sometimes I look around me and realize how far-fetched this life is if I were to imagine such a life 2 years ago. Just 2 years ago! It’s pretty amazing that everyday when I go to school I pass the Arts Center and the VCA, and the National Gallery of Victoria and Melbourne Recital Center. It’s pretty cool when I think about it. But some days I seldom notice and I take things for granted. Oh wells. I mustn’t forget to be thankful for each day. =)

A Year 11 group shot with dancers and musicians. Spot me, I'm wearing orange in the second row. =)

The musos in our fun shot - there are only 17 of us musicians in Year 11 =) I'm standing with Tatjana and Lena, behind Matt, the guy with the guitar.

Aww. Year 11 fun shot. Whee. =)

Seeing Beyond…

The world is becoming a scarier place each day. I realize that it is no longer ruled by God or men. We are all ruled by delusion and deception.

It is so hard to think straight, to think right, to stand firm. Everyday I am persuaded, knowingly or unknowingly, that God is not alive. We all are happy to live our own lives. We are glad to forget the things that matter. The world pulls me in the direction that I exactly do not want to go in. The point is whether we choose to keep going in that direction, or to put up a struggle against it. Those who are submitted to God will always face this great tug of war in our hearts.

We see so many terrible things happening where we live, and everywhere else. Yet who cares? Bad news is only interesting news. Then we get on with our lives. Do I stop and think about what is actually happening? Why are all these things happening?

The Bible says to watch and pray. Not to be so occupied with our own lives that we forget God’s bigger picture. The Bible warns that in spite of terrible things happening in the world – famines, floods, earthquakes, wars, pestilences – people will still continue eating, drinking and partying, forgetting those who are already suffering from evil and forsaking God’s commands. We fall in the same category.

Recently, Melbourne was hit by a wild hailstorm with hailstones the size of tennis balls. Thankfully, in our area, it was only the size of marbles. Not too bad to break windows, as what happened in the city and other parts. I remember it struck when I was happily walking in a shopping mall.

Later when I walked home in a light drizzle, I didn’t know it had hailed before. But halfway through my walk, it started pouring. The storm returned so suddenly. I was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt because earlier it was actually about 25 degrees! But when it started raining, I was freezing and soaked!

We learned that many parts of Melbourne were damaged by the hailstorm. Even my school in the city was flooded and a few pianos got wet! It’s amazing how the storm came upon us so suddenly without us realizing it. It was actually bright and sunny an hour before the storm clouds blew over and the sky went dark and gloomy! Unbelievable.

I learned from this freak hailstorm that we are truly living in such times where anything can happen. Don’t be too sure of your plans for tomorrow. It could all be gone the next day or in an hour. We must be reminded that this world is ruled by delusion and deception, and we need to stay on track. Many actually choose to believe lies and they get annoyed if someone tries to present them the truth of God’s word.

It’s true, it’s difficult to come back to God’s word. If we are really reading and seeking, we know that something of our lives must be changed and set aright before God. But it is hard. And most people will avoid coming back to the truth. They prefer to wallow in the darkness where no one can see what is really happening, and they themselves cannot see what’s not right in their lives.

That’s the struggle we face today. To heed God’s voice or to ignore it.
To tune in to the truth or to believe the lies of the devil and succumb to the temporal pleasures of this world. I find it so hard, you know. Especially when now I’m so busy with school and practice and trying hard to do well in music. It’s easy to forget what truly matters and see beyond the little challenges I face now as a high school student.

But I realize that this is precisely what we must do in such times. We need to SEE BEYOND this world. And perhaps, this life is about seeing beyond what is here and now, and then only can we truly live the life that God wants us to live here. To live this life in light of eternity.

God has been providing for me and my family all this while. I counted the months we’ve been in Melbourne, this foreign land: 16 months. Not too long. But by God’s grace we are doing alright. My dad was reminiscing the day we arrived in Melbourne, 4th November 2008, carrying our bags, pretending to look alright on the outside, but actually we all had our worries about what would happen next. Finding a job, school, home, how we’d settle, not going back to M’sia for at least the next 2 years – oh gosh, where do we even start this new life?

That’s how it was. But by God’s leading we got from one month to the next.
Now is no different either. We are still settling and surviving. But God is good and we are able to enjoy what we’ve got here and each other. Life is an adventure, about seeing beyond here and now, and becoming more like Christ day by day. I’m excited for now, and for the future. Not that everything is bright and sunny, but because no matter how bad things get, God is always on our side and He will get us through this side of heaven. =)

The Visitors