The Everything and Nothing About Time

I’m a bit of a nostalgic person. I personally prefer reflecting and revisiting old memories, particularly the good ones. I’m not exactly fond of unexpected things that are out of my control, like: the future, so I tend to not get super stoked about time moving forward.

So there is one thing I’m super excited for: When I die and go to heaven, I’m most excited to sit down with God while He shows me His Grand Plan, then He’d take out a massive time-map and He’d lay it out, and He’ll explain everything.

I’ll be able to see how events link together in a beautifully chaotic mind-map. I’ll get all the answers from why did Jesus have to die in this particular moment in history, to why is pink such an aesthetically pleasing colour, to the actual confirmation that Captain America ended up with Peggy Carter forever, and more!

I’ll finally get to fully understand God because I have all of eternity to understand Him.

Right now as I’m still on earth and are confined by space and time, so the only way I access His Grand Plan is through hindsight. And even then, my hindsight is limited by my perspective.

But even with the small glimpse of perspective that I am honoured to get, I already am in awe of how God is the ultimate architect, designer, mastermind, Creator.

One of my least favourite moments of my life so far is when I fell sick for an entire summer after graduating from NYU in 2017.

I remember spending two months mostly horizontal on the sofa or the bed, only having the mental capacity to play Mario Kart because even reading would make me nauseous, dreading every meal because I had no appetite and right after that would be medicine time, and thinking extremely futile and defeatist thoughts when I was awake.

We went to all kinds of doctors and no one could fully diagnose what the problem was. I flew back and forth between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing – both Western doctors in Malaysia and Eastern practitioners in China couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

Eventually, after 2 months, we figured what was wrong with me: I didn’t know how to rest and relax, and I was losing more blood than the average person. 

A gynaecologist finally figured out that I lose more than twice the amount of blood on my periods than the average woman every single time I have my period, which is once about every 6-7 weeks, and I’ve never did anything to replace the lost blood. Plus I grew up never sleeping enough, so the lack of blood and sleep finally caught up to me 21 years later.

My life was changed that one summer. Now, I practice the Sabbath and am more intentional about proper rest that recharges not just my body, but my soul. And I take iron pills along with other supplements and am extremely glad to have an excuse to eat more steak.

Thank God it was only 2 months. It was 2 months of being taken care of and doing nothing, which was actually crucial for me before returning back to NYC to start my journey as a funemployed fresh graduate. 

However, 2 months in the perspective of 21 years on this earth felt like way too much time wasted. I remember being extremely angry at God for knocking me out at my prime. I was only 21! I was young and supposed to be starting my career with a degree from NYU and an impressive resume.

But here I was, unable to apply for a job because I didn’t know when I’d get well, stuck in Asia when I know God was calling me back to NYC, and worst of all, being ungrateful for everyone that selflessly took care of me and loved me at my absolute worst because I was too self-absorbed in my own pain.

But to my mum, who is the best and had to take care of me during this whole ordeal, said that 2 months in the grand perspective of 50ish years (not revealing her age) is nothing.

Plus, during all the aunty lunches that I sat through because my mum dragged me out saying that company is better for my misery, all the aunties reminded me that a month or two of not ‘working’ isn’t the end of the world. After all, these aunties are now my heroes – they live the best lives and their husbands fully financially support them. They serve in church and Bible study and orphanages, they have lunches with each other all the time, and they’re all in bed before midnight. #Goals. 

And then to make the big picture even bigger, 2 months in the grand scheme of His Grand Plan, in the grand scheme of eternity – that’s actually nothing.

Yet all it took for God to change the world forever was 3 days. 

In all the superhero TV shows and movies that I consumed growing up, one of the best plot devices is time manipulation (Flashpoint Paradox is a prime example and a fave). Even though these superhumans could do supernatural things, they still had to abide by the rules of time, so it was always interesting to see them try to overcome a linear timeline that binds our humanity together. 

Perhaps that’s why I’m fascinated by the concept of time. On top of the limitedness of time, I’m even more fascinated by the relationship between God and time. God didn’t just create time; He exists beyond time. Time doesn’t affect Him. It didn’t need to. Yet He chose to create time for us, and lower Himself to become constrained by time, so He can fully embody the pain, healing, growing up, suffering, walking, journey we undergo as humans.

And in this post, I’m just talking about one particular season. When I even try to list out all the specific days, moments, people and everything that has been instrumental in orchestrating me into who I am today – I’m overwhelmed.

I’ve specifically reflected on how God has used one summer to change my life and the way I live. But apart from the Great Summer Sickness of 2017, I think of the summers that affected me: like the summer I spent in Oxford, or the summer I interned at Pinewood Studios in the middle of nowhere Johor, or the summer I’m going through now.

I can’t wait to see how this blog has affected people, or how something I said has changed a stranger’s life through hearsay, or how everything in my life was not an accident.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is: as excited as I am for the Grand Plan of the universe, I’m even more excited for the Grand Plan of my life.

Because if the God of the universe cared so much about the universe He created, to synchronise every aspect of it to perfectly and beautifully co-exist in harmony with each other – then how much more does He love You, His son or daughter, that He would craft an incredibly unique story, filled with miracles and relationships, that can only be fulfilled through all of the quirks and experiences that are only from you?

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