Today is a guest Westview Wednesday written by our seminarian intern Kyo Chan Koo.
After getting discharged from my military service on June 6th of 2022, I was finally able to visit my parents in Singapore whom I haven’t seen in 2 years. Although I wished I had visited much earlier, the timing couldn’t have been better because Singapore’s Covid-19 restrictions were slowly being lifted around the time of my arrival. This was great news because that also meant that I was now able to visit my home church in Singapore as they were allowed to shift back from online worship to in-person worship again.
Upon my visit, I didn’t just receive much awaited warm hugs and greetings, but I also received an offer to preach for the youth group for a couple weeks. I accepted the offer to preach and ended up having one of the most exciting and impactful experiences of my summer break. Though I have to admit it was not an easy task for someone who’s been calculating and computing firing data, firing direction and explosives for 2 years in the Army. I spent many days and nights getting back into more academic aspects of life and trying to come up with creative approaches to reach out to young minds. Was I successful? Not entirely. But! There were some moments of nodding heads, bright smiles and laughs. Today I want to share just one of my stories/lessons/portrayals that my youth group students and teachers liked, hoping that you could appreciate them as well.
This funny story is about a young boy and his mother on a Sunday morning. The mother called her son before he left to go to church. She handed him 2 quarter coins and said, “I’m going to give you 2 quarters. One quarter coin is for your lemonade and the other quarter coin is for your tithe/offering.” The boy received the coins, slipped them in his pockets, and rushed out the door to get to church. The boy was running fast, maybe a little too fast. He accidentally got his steps mixed up and the boy tripped and fell on the sidewalks. And as he fell on the ground, just 1 of the 2 quarter coins slipped out of his pocket and gently rolled down the road until it fell down the sewer. The boy watched helplessly as the coin fell nonchalantly into the sewer and immediately checked his pockets. Phew, luckily there still remained a single coin. After making sure that he still had a coin left, the boy helped himself up from the ground. After a long pause, he looked up and whispered, “Well, there goes my tithe/offering; I guess I can still buy a cup of lemonade!”
The boy’s mother gave him 2 identical coins, one to offer to God and another to spend for himself. There were no distinctions between the two coins to check which coin was which when it fell down the sewer. The humor in this story is that the boy, too, was well aware of this fact but acted as if he knew which coin was which! He made the decision to use the remaining coin for his own sake, instead of offering it up to God. Just like the boy in the story, we often find ourselves in a tricky dilemma. However, this dilemma isn’t difficult because the two options are of equal value, instead, the difficulty of this dilemma comes from the fact that we know which one of the two options is the right choice. There are problems with difficult answers because it’s unclear, but there are also problems that are difficult because sometimes the correct answer is obvious but it’s not the answer we want to believe. Just like how we know what’s written in the scripture and we know what is more pleasing to God, but we still find ways to do what we want instead.
It’s all about prioritization. The boy in the short story represents all of us Christians who say we put God above everything else and say God alone is our salvation, but proceed to live a life that is led by our selfish desires. In some cases, we see Christians using out of context scriptures and misinterpreted messages to justify their decisions motivated by their own personal cravings.
I hope this short story can be a friendly reminder for our Westview community to pause for a moment and check whether God is the utmost priority in our lives right now.