Yesterday was Easter, and I decided that I wanted to attend a sunrise service in Singapore to mark the day. I searched for something online and found a service advertised, in English, from 6:30 to 7:30 am at the MacRitchie Reservoir Park, a public nature park not too far from my house. This sounded like nice idea, in spite of having to get up so early, so I decided to go and I brought my family along. Good idea, but turned out that the service was actually to be conducted in Tamil (one of Singapore’s official four languages), and was presumably being hosted by a Tamil-language church.
So it was a bit of a fail, except for the fact that they did, for whatever reason, sing some songs in English. We stayed through the 3 songs, and then quietly made our way back to the taxi stand and a car took us back home to catch up on sleep.
I did, however, through one of the songs, take at least something away from this attempted ritual participation. And I believe, although I’m not making a religious point here, it’s something worth sharing, and considering by all, irrespective of your spiritual or religious leanings.
A line from one of the songs, an old hymn, included the words “… all fear is gone, because I know He holds the future…” (brownie points to anyone who can name the hymn! :))
For me, those words do not mean that I need not think about the future or take any action, but are rather a reminder that, no matter what planning and actions I implement, I’m not in control. Whether you believe in God, “the Universe” or Mother Nature, we are fooling ourselves if we believe we are in full control of our destinies, and I believe we set ourselves up for disappointment if that’s our frame of reference. Things will happen, things which we perceive as both good and bad, which we simply can’t control. Accepting this premise, in my view, makes life less stressful and takes away the need to worry about the future.
I am currently very close to a major life transition, as our youngest son graduates from high school next month. We have plans, very exciting plans in fact, to travel to the “Blue Zones” (something I’ve written about before and will write more about in the months to come), before re-settling in the UK. And as excited as I am for these changes, if I’m completely honest, there is also a bit of fear of the unknown ahead.
The reality is, however, I don’t have to have it all figured out today. Nor can I, because the future is not in my hands alone, not by a long shot. I must still take personal responsibility for the path I will take, but all the while knowing that my plans are subject to something bigger and “more” than me alone.
So if you celebrated Easter yesterday, “Happy Easter Monday” to you. Either way, consider if you might be need to relax a bit in terms of worrying about the future, and start by acknowledging that it’s not all up to you.