I want to share a bit about why I am here and what is my purpose in life. I was born and raised as Christian. Before I was born, my dad had made a vow to God that he would give his first child to God as his servant. He did this as an act of gratitude of God’s grace. When I was a child I was happy to tell everyone that I want to be a pastor. But then when I was in high school I realized that being a pastor was not a cool dream. I was in a band (I played the lead guitar back then), partying, being the kind of person with so many friends, and to become a pastor is the least coolest thing I want to be. Then I had doubts about my future especially because I was thinking about pursuing other career, becoming a lawyer for instance. But then I realized that God always set the course in my life. God pulled me off whenever I tried to set my own course in life. When my band was about to sign a possible contract with some local clubs in Jakarta, I broke my arm in a motorbike accident. I couldn’t play the guitar for sometime. Then my cousin told me that I will not be able to play guitar as fast as I wanted anymore because one of the nerves on my arm was not working properly anymore. Then I had to decide to which college I have to go. I decided to go to theological seminary while taking the test for a state university. I passed both. But then somehow without hesitation I choose the theological seminary.
In the seminary, I had a lot of wonderful experiences that provoked my intellectual as well as my spiritual side. I was never been sure about my calling until my second year in the seminary. I felt that God talked to me and wanted me to serve God. I think that was the time when I went to Porsea, North Sumatera, to accompany my late friend’s body back to his parents. Effendi Manurung was a student at our seminary, one year ahead of me but much older; and he was a taxi driver so that he can support his own study. He was robbed one night while trying to get some extra money and two people stabbed him and took his money. I was so stunned to hear the news. With my dad’s wise advice, I decided that I have to go to bring back his body to his parents as a sign of our solidarity as student from the seminary. There were three students who decided and have the time to go: me, Yan Horas Simanjuntak, and Alharis Sinaga. It was truly an unforgettable moment in my life. We were on a mini bus (metromini), with 25 people and a coffin in the middle. We were traveling from Sunday evening until Wednesday morning in a non-airconditioned bus, packed with people, slept on the floor of the bus, and we stopped only for food and toilet. When we finally got there, the whole village was already waiting for us and the cries were just overwhelming. Everyone remembered him as a great person, always trying to help the family, active in the church, and was already ordained as a teacher preacher in the church. I decided to walk away from the scene because I just couldn’t handle it anymore. It was really a sad moment. He was buried that day, and I can still remember the look on his mom’s face. She was devastated. We said, ‘God giveth, God taketh’. Its not easy to rejoice in everything, but everything will be beautiful in God’s time. I think I felt God was there. God embraced everyone and said, ‘this is the best for him and for my plans, but I will always be with you.’ As I looked at his face for the last time, I thought I saw him smile peacefully and heard him say, ‘I’m alright now, I’m at home!’
God gives and God takes. I was not sure about why I was there, but I felt that I was challenged by God to serve God and realizing that it is not going to be a smooth road ahead but God will keep me company as God did to Effendi.
After the seminary I was sure that there are so many wonderful things in this world that my knowledge is actually nothing compared to God’s providence. All the trainings that were given outside the classroom were really meaningful. I learn how to deal with senior (aging) people, congregation in traditional village, in the big city like Jakarta, inter-cultural experiences, interfaith encounters and social analysis on life on the streets. After I graduated, I had another dilemma, whether I should go pursuit my study or enroll to the church to be ordained as a pastor first. I remember praying hard for this; I decided that I will leave it to God to arrange it for me and I applied both. The church called me first to undertake the enrollment test and I passed. And then, just before the church placed in my post, I was accepted at the Vrije Universiteit for my master’s study with partial scholarship. Again, God showed me that I have to go to study after I was registered as a vicar at my church. Then I returned home after finishing my master’s degree study and then I worked at the communion of churches in Indonesia, and became a lecturer at my theological seminary in Jakarta. Now I am back again here to continue my studies. This is my short story on why I am here again in the Netherlands.
It has not been an easy road for me here, but I feel that God really provides. I can see that everything is smoothly arranged for me, my scholarship, my writing, my work at the restaurant, my work at Crossroads, the Indonesian community where I preached, the band, my music ministry at Crossroads Church, friends, brothers, sisters, even love (I lost it and thought that I almost got a new one but then I realized that it was only wishful thinking). I think I was told to concentrate on writing now which is the only thing that I find very difficult to do at the moment. But then again, I believe God will arrange it for me as long as I give my best for it.
2 Responses to “Why Am I Here?”
- on 03 Nov 2007 at 4:18 am # naTaLia
Waduh…merinding deh baca tulisan yang satu ini.
Really the existences of GOD in our life is everything. He works in a way that we had never imagine before.
Semoga TUHAN lebih lagi dan terus berkarya ya dalam hidup abang =)
- on 05 Nov 2007 at 9:53 am # binsar
Thank you Lia, yeah… even looking back to that moment still gives me the creep. God is working sometimes in a very strange way…
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