23 January 2005

Among Friends

I've just returned from a weekend trip to Kota Bharu. Students there had invited me to meet with them to discuss issues about Cell Groups in their student fellowship. That and an afternoon with graduating students to talk about preparing for their housemanship was the 'official' reason for my trip.

Official or not, all I intended was to meet with friends. And that I did with a minimum agenda and no expectations.

With Yoke Li & Hui Jin over noodles & coffee, hanging around after a church service, dialog with 15-odd leaders over CG issues, long conversations with my old friend Meng Hun, and an afternoon with final years in McDonald's - all were wonderful conversations. I have been deeply blessed by so much honesty and openness. Challenged by their willingness to ask difficult questions that have no answers. Humbled by their deep love for one another and for God.

My life is enriched by the intersection of so many journeys - each of us finding our own way to be true to self and God. I've learnt far more than anything I had to give.

My personal discovery is that the key to unlocking deeper connection is only this - an inner dialog. We cannot dialog honestly with others without an ongoing dialog with ourselves. We can only connect with others authentically when we are in touch with our true feelings. And we can find peace with others when we are at peace with ourselves. When we relate in this way, we are able to respond with true understanding and we are deeply enriched and renewed by every encounter.

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