2014

I should be so depressed at the moment, after failing (another) master’s scholarship application, failing to meet a dearest old friend after 2 years since last meeting (and 6 months of silence), the AirAsia QZ8501 accident which triggered all emotions from 2012’s Sukhoi accident, and watching a friend with his significant other sharing some good times while here I am standing and pouring all those feelings out (and secretly hoping to not meeting any of them again). That was stupid and momentarily though, I should not be expecting to not meeting any of them. In fact they have been such good friends, it’s just me who found it damn hard to face reality as it is and stay too long in the past.

Anyway, to ease such pain, I decided to make a list of things that happened throughout 2014 that I should be hugely grateful of. Even though the year 2014 ended quite chaotic for me, I believe there will be something good come through this messed-up yearend, maybe this year, maybe 2 yrs from now, maybe 10 yrs from now, God knows 🙂

1. Graduation ! After another depressing episode in the past of doing my undergraduate thesis, dealing with those daphnids, struggling and pleading to be permitted to have the examination before new semester started, finally I tackled the exam on January 17th (new semester started at January 20th!) and enjoyed a bit of the ceremony on April

2. First job. I was offered to fill-in my thesis partner in assisting our advisor on an EIA project for 500 kV transmission line for the national electricity company. The project is still ongoing until now (national company’s habit) but we are hoping to finish this by April. Nonetheless, so far the project taught me a lot of things and gave me chance to work with the assistants (my classmates). We have been stuck here for a long time and hopefully we’ll end this soon enough !

3. Prothumia Camp. I have been a long time fan of Christian apologetics but did not have any chance to learn it thoroughly. So when I saw this announcement of apologetics camp at South East Asia Bible Seminary , Malang, East Java, I was so attracted but I did not apply immediately. After finding myself drown in apologetics questions, I applied on the last minute. So many knowledge and faith-strengthening insights. Sometimes we do not ask questions because we are afraid that the answers will not make us satisfied, or worse, disappointed. I am so grateful that in this camp I got the answers to the questions I were afraid to ask.

4. Second job. Since the EIA project progresses very very slow (typical national company), I decided to apply for another job while keep applying scholarships. Submitting my application 2 days late than the actual deadline for the position, I found out that they replied my application pretty fast and offered me a full time job in the interview! This ordinary motion turned out to be super extraordinary when the projects we were involved in are in fact challenging my personal skill while at the same time facilitate what I have been longing for : working with foreigners. The project were super time-and-commitment-consuming but I am so beyond grateful to finally finish the project. Combined with the responsibility trusted on me, words cannot express how grateful I am.

5. My best friend wedding. It was super fun to be part of my besties wedding, the 1st year college gank returned to have some fun and witnessed the happiest moment in our friend’s life

6. Christmas Eve service. As I have mentioned before in #4, the project my office was involved in made me unable to craft any ideas for the XMas Eve service, where I was assigned to accompany. Thank God on the D-1 day, I found out that the choir conductor’s husband has been longing to play in the service (If only I found that out earlier!). So we had practice in the morning and played in the evening. Turned out the congregation was really enthusiastic to sing the songs in the liturgy.  I could say that my comeback as an accompanist after 2 month hiatus just made my day, while earlier at the same day I found out that another scholarship application was just turned down. It was such a blessing to close that day.

There were lots of things that happened that should be grateful of and I cannot made a detailed list of everything. At the end of this post I just want to wish everyone a happy and memorable new year! Stay thankful (to me also) !

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Ethics, Revisited

Ethics

Not very long after I had started my journey as a church accompanist, I was invited to a seminar held by the church’s sound operators.  The issue brought out was our church’s poor acoustic condition and how to deal with it.  One of the speakers said that in most churches, the big problem concerning audio is not caused by the technical issues , it is the non-technical issues that get in the way.  These days, the latter seems to be the cause of many damages done , in churches and other places as well.

One of the most crucial non-technical issues of living in a community is ethics . Ethics are shown in one’s etiquette.  To be clear, Oxford Dictionary explains ethics as “moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity” while etiquette as “the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group”

There is an assumption that these days people’s rules of etiquette is diminishing.  Not only in children , but sadly in adults too .  Even more sadly, this also happens in community where people’s ethics are supposed to be ameliorated because that place was built for religious services. Yes, I’m talking about none other than the church, and the servants, specifically. Contrary to the fact that ethics are being held high by business executives, ironically.

Ever seen these behaviours?   Accusing another person for a mistake rather than giving an advice, shouting to another fellow in anger (which is unnecessary), discrediting another person solely on personal judgement rather than fact, and so on. These behaviour resulting in people got hurt and not a few chose to leave and thus we lost another member of the fellowship. Leaving another soul broken and damaged relationship.  There are just too much arrogance and self-centeredness inside everyone of us.

H.B. London presents an argument on the fact that people these days are losing ethics , beside the influences of postmodernity and media . ” In my work as a pastor to pastors, I see ethical mistakes, financial integrity mistakes, and men and women disregarding one another and their families because success is so important to them. Sometimes I think we use God as J.B. Phillips describes in Your God Is Too Small. When we put God in a box and only pull Him out whenever we need Him, it presents ethical problems. When we speak, teach, and think for God, it is really not for God at all. It is for our convenience. We are simply using God as a crutch.

Churc h is meant not only to facilitate worship services, but also to build fellowship.  There should be a strong bond between the members so there is no need to blurt out ego and being unethical instead.  There are indeed a lot of challenges for church servants, but that should not be the reason to be sarcastic.  Problems should not be a reason to justify our unethical behaviour, even though we could argue that we did it to make things “better”.

I am glad to quote Tina Seelig on how to execute the right thing: “There is a significant difference between doing the right thing and rationalizing a decision that’s best for you.  Your actions always affect how others see you, and, as mentioned innumerable times now, you will likely bump into these same people again.  If nothing else, you can be sure they will remember how you handled yourself”  See, impressions are indeed matter .

Another cause for unethical behaviour is lack of communication.  This is a classic, devil’s circle problem that always appear anywhere.   We tend to get to a certain goal fast, without including other people’s interest and capability in achieving it whereas the goal itself is mutual rather than personal.  We need to take a little time to approach our partners in a friendly way to help us reach the shared goal.  Although this is not an easy task, time spent being friendly is clearly not wasted, it is an investment for the sake of the healthy community.

For all the people who felt uncomfortable in the place where they should feel most welcome, for those who endured at the place where they have been personally discredited, let’s be ethical rather than a self-centered person.   It is not too late.

Cheers,

Lydia

Resources :

http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200404/200404_022_London.cfm

Burchett, Dave. 2011. When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. Waterbook Press : Colorado

Seelig, Tina. 2009. What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20. Harper-Collins: New York