"...all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." -- Romans 8:28
AFTER ATTENDING JIM MURPHY'S TALKS about a month ago, these words of St Paul kept ringing in my ears. i find them extremely comforting. If i had a misunderstanding with a good friend, if i mistakenly did something wrong, or if someone else did something wrong (intentionally or unintentionally) which hurt me or a loved one, it's alright -- because all the things that have gone wrong will eventually be alright!
"Many times, God's priorities are different from our priorities," said Murphy. "His first priority is to save our souls. Everything else are unimportant compared to this."
Coincidentially (or providentially), i came to the same conclusion after going through the four-day silent retreat at the Ignatian Spirituality Centre. Yes, now i believe that in God's divine lesson plan, one key objective is that we creatures come to the realization that our prime goal in life should to save our soul and one another's souls through praising, revering and serving God in prayer and action.
This morning, i took a bus and then the MRT to go to Jurong East MRT station to catch a shuttle bus to Nanyang Technological University so that i can attend a talk on e-lecturing. Reached there by 8.30am, early by half an hour. Met colleague J.G. there. Then M.L. came with her new colleague, J.X. Then B.C from another institution.
We started talking and talking and talking until a man interrupted us and asked us if we are waiting for a bus to NTU. It was 9.30am, half an hour after the scheduled time! The 'original' bus has broken down, he said. He's driving a different one, a much larger one. No wonder we just waited and waited and could not find the bus that we were supposed to take.
So, we hopped onto the bus and the driver drove on quickly to NTU. Then he called out to say that he did not know where he's supposed to go. We quickly consulted the map given by the organizer. "Hey! We've just passed the NTU Heritage Centre. We are near the Innovation Centre, but there's no Innovation Centre on the map! Just where are we?"
Nanyang Avenue. "We are on the right track. Keep driving on the same road," i told the driver. He drove on until he had to stop by a gantry with height limitation. According to the map, we were supposed to drive on. What now?
He did a three-point turn, went straight ahead and turned right -- trying to find an alternative route. i peered at the map again. No other way to the South Spine than the way just now, "Wait, we are overshooting. Why don't we just drop where we were just now and walk over to the other side of the South Spine?"
All agreed. The driver did a U-turn and returned to the Innovation Centre. We all alighted. A half-hidden staircase. But what else is there to do? i walked up and hailed the rest, "Let's go this way."
We were about to cut across to the other side of the South Spine when someone said, "Better ask for directions." So i asked a student who was walking towards us. "Take a lift to go up one level to cross over to the other side," he said.
We did as he said dutifully, except that we weren't listening very well. We were on B3 and we chose Level 1 (Comm Skills Lab 6 is on Level 1, according to the map) instead of simply "go up one level". Walked through a long corridor with Tutorial Rooms on both sides until we came to a dead end.
The sign said, "Comm Skills Lab 7 & 8". No Comm Skills Lab 6.
B.C. examined the map thoughtfully and exclaimed, "We are on the wrong side of the spine!" So, we backtracked. No through road from Level 1 of one side of the spine to the other side -- a Cooler room is in the way.
"Let's walk through the room," someone suggested. J.X. walked backwards to look more carefully at the connecting floors and said, "The connecting floors are only on B2 and B3. We have to go down."
We took the lift to go down to B2, walked across to the other side of the South Spine, took the lift up to Level 1, walked on and finally arrived at Comm Skills Lab 6. 10am. Just on time.