What a great sigh of relief! The PSLE examinations are over! Or is it? The next stressful phase is waiting for the results to come out and vying to get our kids into the best schools they qualify for. All-in-all, as believers, it’s time for us to get over this and not prescribe any more to a devaluation of our lives by letting ourselves be ruled by the tyranny of a 3-digit number.
Firstly, I’m not here to criticise the system. As far as I know, there are no perfect systems. The simple reason is that God made every child unique and systems simply can never be versatile enough to accommodate the uniqueness of each child. Nonetheless, we only have ourselves to blame if we permit any system to dictate our lives and future instead of making conscious decisions for ourselves based on the values that we embrace.
One of my all-time favourite persons is Pastor Andrew Yeo. I’ve known him for well over 20 years, and for me, he’s a sign and wonder in our generation. I love “gazing” at his life, because there’s an indelible message that God is shouting out to us through it. For one thing, Andrew has loads of disadvantages in his life. He was not born in the higher end of the socio-economic spectrum of Singapore. In fact, he was not even found in the middle of that spectrum.
At some point in his life, he found himself selling pirated VCDs (for those of you old enough to remember those days) at Katong Shopping Centre – that should give you a little indication of his background. I remember him when he was young. Not much poise, center-parting hair-style, and he used to come to church in his flip-flops. Academics was not his thing but he was a master of Singlish. In fact, when I found out what his PSLE score was, I didn’t believe anyone could score lower than that!
Yet I vividly remember the Lord telling me then that He was going to make this man, whom the world has discounted and marginalised, into a sign and wonder in our nation. I sort of think that God somehow gets a load of fun putting dents into the conventional wisdom of this world. He likes to buck the trend and do some jaw-dropping stuff just to show that this world hasn’t gotten it right.
While still in his mid-thirties, Andrew had already written many worship songs that have been sung all over South East Asia and around the world. He has led worship and preached all over the world as well. Several years ago, on our nation’s 50th year of Independence, he was tasked to lead worship before 56,000 people at our National Stadium. By the way, he has over 20,000 followers on his social media, which is more than all the rest of the pastors in Cornerstone added together! For someone that our system terms a failure, he isn’t doing too badly, is he? Let me first admit, I’m not even telling half the things that God has done through this man.
If we’ve our eyes open and our ears tuned, surely we cannot miss what God’s saying to us. It’s high time that we cease our conformity to this world and have our minds transformed (Rom 12:2) by allowing it to be renewed. Are we setting our kids up for temporal, fleeting success in this world or are we preparing them to make a difference for eternity? Unless we can break out of our own limited sight, how can we possibly see a higher vision of what God desires for our kids?
So here’s my suggestion:
• Let God redefine for you what true success is;
• Let God show you what His plans are for your children;
• Train your child up in the fear of the Lord (that means to teach them what’s right and wrong from the Bible);
• Nurture them in spiritual things first before nurturing them in the natural;
• Nothing beats spending time with them and having fun –make that a priority;
• Treat your spouse well – that has a greater effect on them than you can imagine;
• Serve the Lord in your own lives and they’ll serve the Lord as well.
And hey, whatever the results of the examinations are, they’re by no means a determinant of your children’s future. If the Lord is your God, then He’s the One who holds your child’s future in His hands. One last thing – sign your kids up for Kingdom Invasion Kids’ Conference. It’ll make a difference in your child’s life to have them encounter God at a young age.
Pastor Lim Lip Yong