Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Great Man Fading

I cannot believe it. Roger Federer lost in the quarterfinals of the Beijing Olympics 2008 to James Blake. I was so shocked, crest-fallen, almost disgusted. Could his reign and supremacy be over after almost 5 years at the top? No one can be the best forever. Someday you get old, you lose your strength and youth, and others will overshadow you, and your success and glory will be forgotten.

I realised that all this success, is really just temporary, is it not? A great man like Federer is starting to fade and look like a dim shadow of the past. When it is all said and done, what will we be?

This reminds me of a motivational program organised by my school yesterday. A lecturer by name of Dr. Sia from Inti came to give a talk. She asked a question that bothered me. "Why do we work hard for success? Why be successful?" At that point I was bursting to rattle off all the five purposes in Rick Warren's "A Purpose-Driven Life", but the answer she gave was simple, yet so bizarrely worldly.

"To lead a comfortable life, get a good job, and not have to think twice when going shopping." [paraphrase]

Is that all to life? After work and grit and fame, is comfort all that success can bring? Money to feed your family and the occasional beggar; clothes to wear and show off to friends and colleagues. If that is how the world wants to live, that is fine with me; go ahead and live your meaningless life where every breath you take is just a random chance in the Big Bang, and every heartbeat a drop of time in evolution.

I, on the other hand, have a greater purpose than that. I want to succeed for God. I know that sounds cheesy, cliche, or even hypocritical. Yet I mean it with all my heart and soul. Why work hard when at the end of the day, you just... die? I want to glorify my God in all I do, like in "Facing the Giants": every success and glorious achievement in the world will someday be forgotten, but glorifying God goes into eternity - a life far more glorious than anything in this world. If one day I become a doctor, it will be to reach out to the sick in body and sick in soul; if I become a teacher I want to be a light and guide to the young souls who desperately need Jesus. Nothing else.

...I wonder how Federer will fare in the US Open.

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