Updated: Feb 5
It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:32
My father was a hifi enthusiast and had a record player and a hi-fi system. I grew up listening to hits like Teresa Teng's Siew Bak Chang (燒肉粽), Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini to Chal Chal Mere Haathi from the Hindi hit Haathi Mere Saathi (1971).
And so when I converted, it was only natural that my musical inclinations turned to my new found love for the Christian faith. The new world of Christian music filled my life with depth, joy, meaning and inspiration in a way which secular music could not. This passion continues till this day.
During last year's circuit breaker, I came across Josh Wilson's country song, Dream Small. I found it inspiring and a reminder that, very often, it is the small things that truly count. Here is an excerpt:
It's a mama singing songs about the Lord It's a daddy spending family time the world says he cannot afford These simple moments change the world It’s a pastor at a tiny little church Forty years of loving on the broken and the hurt These simple moments change the world Dream small Don't buy the lie you've gotta do it all Just let Jesus use you where you are One day at a time Live well Loving God and others as yourself Find little ways where only you can help With His great love, a tiny rock can make a giant fall Dream small
I have had my fair share of what many would consider the bigger moments in life. There were exciting ventures in ministry which not many are privileged to experience. But if I look back and check carefully, the fruits of ministry which last and truly matters often lies in small decisions, actions and moments. These small moments go by quietly. They are hardly memorable.
Somehow, in the hands of the Lord, some of these small seeds took root and grew. He willed it for His purpose. Only in time did I realise that these moments mattered. What were these small moments? I am sure I will get to share some of them through my sermons.
Let me share one. In my first year of studies in NUS (mid-80's), we were visiting various churches. Obviously, we were sampling the well known and larger church services. One Sunday, we were invited to a small Anglican service at Dover Road (see picture). The service was very simply run and there was nothing engaging about the worship or sermon. We thought : this small church was worth just one visit and no more. However, the Lord prompted and somehow we visited it again and again. And finally, in God's providence, we stayed.
This simple decision changed my life (vocation and marriage!) and many of those who joined me. A good number entered the full-time ministry and some are serving as missionaries today.
Indeed, "these simple moments change the world."