Time. What a precious resource.
If only we all realized we’re living on time borrowed from our almighty Creator God.
The value of time has struck me in the recent months. If not for God’s providence, today, I would probably be in TRACOM (Police Training Command), beginning my physical training phase of my mandatory 2 years of National Service.
Lesson 1: I learnt not to procrastinate. I knew my NAPFA (National Physical Fitness Award) test was to be taken this year, and the date of my medical showed I was likely to enlist end of the year. I knew that if I would pass the NAPFA, my enlistment would be postponed to next year as my NS would be cut to 1 year and 10 months.
Quick overview of NAPFA:
You need a silver award to defer, and the criteria is such:
1. Sit Ups: 42 and above
2. Pull Ups: 5 and above
3. Standing Broad Jump: 222 cm and above
4. Sit and Reach: 37 cm and above
5. Shuttle Run: 10.6-10.7 secs and below
6. 2.4 km Run: 12:30 and below
Well, I started off well…training myself…and slowly fizzled out. Lesson 2: When training, get a partner, it often helps to be accountable to someone. Well, I planned to pass by June, but June passed, and so did July, and August…and when September came, I got anxious as I planned to pass before my birthday so the standards would be lower. (My birthday is in October) I booked my NAPFA test date, and I asked my officer church friend for help in training….It was some sort of last ditch thing, 2-3 weeks left only 0 chin ups. (I needed 5 to pass.)
I tried for two weeks of training and I realized, before my birthday is NOT a realistic timeframe. Canceled the NAPFA. My enlistment letter came, 9 DEC. (equals have to pass two weeks before last test date is 19th Nov) I decided to book: 29th October. I gave myself 1 month! I need to pass by then!
Trained hard and 29th October was approaching. Absolutely no confidence as my chin ups weren’t even proper and I couldn’t clock 5 in. 29th October came and it was my first attempt. I passed all but one of my stations, (including a standing broad jump that hit a personal best of 225 that was just enough to pass) the last station was my pull up station, and I failed with 0. It was demoralizing, but I was spurred on as I thought to myself, I can’t do in early for two months just because I can’t do 5 pull ups!!!
During this time, I was also praying. I told God, King Hezekiah asked You for longer life and You gave him 15 years. I am just asking for 8 more weeks! I wanted to properly hand over my ministries, as well as continue to follow up some children that I had just started Bible study with. Lesson 3: Pray and learn to trust God. I claimed this verse as my promise:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
The expected end. For me, the expected end was 8 weeks more of civilian life, but I also knew God has His ways and prepared to submit to it. BUT, it did not mean I would stop trying. I trained for my chin ups morning, noon, and night. I installed a chin up bar in my house. I wouldn’t call it a feat, only a miracle of God, but in two weeks, my chin ups went from 0 to 5. I booked my next two test dates: 12 November, and 19th November. 19th is my deadline. I went to take my NAPFA on the 12th, going in God’s confidence. (My self-confidence is very low…even my friends and family have more confidence in me than I do of myself. :P)
It was miracle day on 12 November, and I passed with flying colours.
1. Sit Ups: 42 and above RESULT: 43
2. Pull Ups: 5 and above RESULT :5
3. Standing Broad Jump: 222 cm and above RESULT: 231 (Personal Best)
4. Sit and Reach: 37 cm and above RESULT: 52
5. Shuttle Run: 10.6-10.7 secs and below RESULT: 9.6 secs (Personal Best)
6. 2.4 km Run: 12:30 and below RESULT: 11:32 (Personal Best)
Well thank God. Starting from today, I’m living on God given time. I pray to use these 8 weeks wisely to glorify God. King Hezekiah used his 15 years to bring the Babylonian ambassadors in and bring upon Judah the Babylonian captivity. I pray I will not fall into the same trap.
God always gives His best to those who continue serving Him. During my training, I trained hard, but I purposed never, never to give up or cut down on my Bible study with my church Sunday School kids, outreach efforts, and ministry. Lesson 4: No matter what, stay faithful to God and His work. I believe God honored that. God has been faithful to me, to us. May we be faithful to Him. 🙂
I also want to thank my family who has been so supportive throughout my training, Bro. Song Leng, my trainer. 😛 :D, my youth leader, Bro. Desmond, who came to support me on the day of the test, (the photos are all taken by him) and my whole church family who was behind me with prayer throughout my training. Thank you all! 🙂