I haven’t posted for over a week now. I have been spending time introspecting and seeking God. I believe that it is essential that you build your relationship with God and take time out every now and then to really focus on God and let Him grow you.
My 2 daughters and myself have also been sick over the past few days and that leads me into what I want to talk about today. For those who have never experienced a country like Indonesia, the things I talk about might be hard to grasp.
To illustrate my point : At 4:30am this morning, my wife and I took our 4 month old daughter to the doctor. The doctor we go to is very good and we often wait 3-4 hours to see him as his practice is very busy. We usually go at about 11pm when it is quiet and will see him after 1-2 hours. Today, we went in the morning as I am still off work sick and our baby was having trouble breathing because of a blocked nose.
Before we left, we dropped our eldest at my mother-in-law’s. When she heard where we were going, she made a quick call and got the number of the doctors receptionist. Turns out, if you slip the receptionist Rp 10,000 (US $1.20) you can go straight to the front of the queue.
We thought nothing of it and turned up at the doctor. The receptionist told us there were 12 people in front of us and asked us what number we wanted. I replied “number one”, he gave us a look, crossed out the number one name and put our daughters name there. I gave him the money and within 10 minutes, we had seen the doctor and were on our way home.
My wife and I soon talked about how what we did didn’t feel right. We determined never to do it again and I earnestly prayed for forgiveness. This little story illustrates a much bigger problem which got me contemplating.
In Indonesia it is so difficult to do some things without paying bribes that you are virtually forced to go along with the corrupt system. Getting a license or wedding certificate can take a longtime and be very expensive if you try to do it the legitimate way but if you pay the right guy the right amount, you can have either, or almost anything else you want, almost instantly.
So my contemplation was “ What does God want us to do in situations like this ? “ Become martyrs to the system by refusing to play along ? Blend in and try to influence from the inside ? Lose the battle but save our victory for the day when we can win the war ? Is it all a test to see if we will ‘live in the world’ ?
I discussed all this with my wife and she tried to say ‘ you’ve just been in Indonesia too long, you forget what Australia is like, everywhere is like this. “
I tried to illustrate the difference I see like this; If there was an Australian in a car at a red light and they could see 500 meters down all the approaching roads, there was no way a policeman could catch them and they knew there were no cameras etc, they would still wait for the light to turn green because that’s the rule. In Indonesia it would probably be the policeman running the red light.on his motorbike, with no helmet on.
Then I talked about how in Australia, similar to Singapore, everyone obeys the rules, everything is orderly and functions well. It was what I said next that I think is the most valuable thing for me to take away from all this…
But even if the country is like a garbage dump, God is probably happier because the people will turn to Him easier. In Australia, most people are so ‘comfortable’ with the rules and regulations that they feel quite happy to live life using their own strength and intelligence. God doesn’t require the world to succeed, He just requires his lost sheep to return to His flock.
God Bless You