Love for Country
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” – Acts 17:26-27
One of life’s greatest paradoxes is the fact that worst of times oftentimes produce the best of times. Such was the case of Singapore, a city-state so tiny that it is invisible in the world map and an island devoid of natural resources. Singapore was easily tagged as a nation that would not survive the failed Malaysian merger. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founder, initially championed the vision of a unified Malaya and Singapore. He became the visionary that drove the idea of the Malaysian merger into hearts and minds of the Singaporeans. When the two states agreed that the merger could not succeed because of innumerable irreconcilable differences, Lee Kuan Yew found himself as the first person that he should disprove. He once believed that Singapore will not survive alone. When the responsibility of becoming the father of the Singapore nation landed on his shoulders, he had no choice but to prove himself wrong. Singapore must survive.
The temptation to succumb to the accoutrements of life confronts us everyday. Our eyes are easily lured by the trappings of the world around us. We oftentimes find ourselves mesmerized over the luster of the surface rather than immersed into the depths of life’s beauty. We easily hope for a lesser version of what God intended for us to be. There are times when we hear ourselves say that we cannot thrive in our own path if we choose the road less traveled. We discover that the first to give an excuse for us not to live out the purposes and plans of God for our lives is, in fact, ourselves. It is when we have found ourselves in such a state of being that we find ourselves living in fear – fear of losing our comforts and fear of losing our sense of security. Rather than being courageous, we find ourselves fearful. Rather than being men and women of faith, we find ourselves worried by the unpredictability of life. We are then reminded by the truth of Matthew 16:25, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” The moment we choose to save ourselves is the moment we begin to lose our God-given DNA.
Just imagine what could have happened if Lee Kuan Yew opted to save himself and his family at the time when Singapore’s situation was at its worst?
When we choose our own little crowns and kingdoms versus the privilege of taking our cross and following Christ, we may find comfort and happiness at the onset but, as our own lives begin to pass us by, we will begin to understand that we have chosen to give up our birthright for something much less. We will then live a life of sorrow and regret.
Since our nationality and motherland are not an accident, we have a duty to always look for the silver lining, to be bearers of hope. In the midst of the worst tragedies, the question that we ask ourselves is whether we choose to stand our ground, roll with life’s momentary punches, and faithfully carry our nation from a point of apparent defeat to victory.
When Lee Kuan Yew finally accepted the historic call for his life to be bound to that of his motherland, he uttered the words that showed the depth of his commitment to the fulfilment of his dreams for his new nation. “I am not here to play somebody else’s game. I have a few million people’s lives to account for. And Singapore will survive.”
We too have a few million people’s lives to account for. And the most immediate among them are the members of our household, our classmates, our colleagues, and our brothers and sisters in church. By how we live our lives, we must be able to say with utmost conviction, “My country will survive.”