Coming back to Malaysia is a funny thing.

People ask me when I’m gonna finish my studies (I graduate Aug 2011), and what I’m gonna do after that. I give no certain answer…which I guess portrays quite a different impression from the Jasmine who once propagated the ideals of patriotism and serving your motherland.

And here is where I have to say: I’ve not really understood the different factors affecting life decisions previously. I’ve been a little narrow minded, and not very insightful at all about what I was apparently rather passionate about.

One of the important things I learnt this year as a result of having new experiences, meeting different people and gaining broader perspectives on life, is that it can be a challenge to discern and not to have a judgemental attitude, to think critically and yet not to have a critical spirit.

As someone who has always been well-provided for, I used to be able to say all I wanted from a position of comfort. But I now realize we all want and need to look out for ourselves in life. To a certain extent, this is why people are selfish, why I am selfish, and why it is so hard NOT to be selfish.

My stance now takes in the broader scheme of things. I don’t have the option of remaining in Australia on a temp/working visa after 1.5 years of study, but I could do a Masters degree – not in Journalism as that would be unpractical, but maybe in International studies? Business? Even education? I don’t know.

The choices are: Work at Home vs. Study in South Australia vs. Study elsewhere.

South Australia is far from the best place to be doing a degree in those areas, but if I remain in Australia, that’s where I think I wanna be because my church is there. The time will come for me to decide whether I want to be off chasing a prestigious degree elsewhere, or whether God has called me to build His church in Adelaide/KL. The former is not necessarily selfish and could be a good choice to extend boundaries and to grow in skill sets, but in my own personal context, something different is at stake: God’s call and God’s kingdom.

The time has come for me to decide who I’m living for. I realize no one can make this decision for me and my parents’ role in my life will decrease as I mature.

The window of time for me to know my purpose and calling has also become smaller.

I realised I cannot afford to ignore the huge role ‘church’ plays in my life decisions. This is because from a very practical viewpoint, church is probably one of the few places in a world of capitalism where dreams have the potential to take flight. Without a similar-minded community running with me towards my goal, my weaknesses will let me down. Without the support of a church family, the proud person becomes isolated. Within a community, I can capitalize on the strengths of others and compensate for their weaknesses…it will be my best shot for the success I am looking for.

Unlike people who have left homes and families for terrible, dangerous places, I’ve never needed to make big decisions. But now I realize how complex these decisions can be. You have to take into account:

  • family needs
  • availability of a good support network of friends
  • personal development, career or otherwise

After you realize the costs involved in many decisions, you might realize that behind many decisions many older individuals made were selfless choices of sacrifice, letting go personal dreams for the welfare of family…

My question is, is it big enough to think family? Will I have the faith to think bigger, knowing that if I think God first, God will take care of my family?

Just thoughts I had when I had a little time to myself on Sunday 🙂