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10 & 11 July 2021 (Pastoral Page) STARTING WITH WHY

By Dn Timothy Yeo

Despite a manageable last few weeks on the work-front, I found myself highly unmotivated to do church-related work on one of my scheduled evenings recently. Even though I prayed over it, the negative sentiment towards what I would normally find joy in persisted over the next few days and even the thought of opening up documents was met with dread. I was frustrated, disappointed and had no clue what was holding me back.

God works in mysterious ways - at least definitely so in this instance. A chance rewatching of Simon Sinek’s TED talk on “Start with Why” shed some insight into the state of my heart. The core message of this video was how truly successful businesses like Apple get to where they are by addressing the “Why” first before the “How” and then the “What” of their companies. Put simply, Apple’s ethos of constant innovation is what consumers buy into and believe in -- their well-designed products are just an outcome.

While intended for business leaders, God used that video to challenge my own personal walk and motivations. In my reflections, when I asked myself, “Why do I go to church and serve?” My immediate response was that I was a Christian and believed that Christ died for me. I realised then that my response was focused on a statement of belief which answered the 'What', but not the 'Why'. As I mulled over the question further and prayed, my ‘Why’ dawned on me as plain as day.

Christ’s death on the cross had saved me and I was eternally grateful for His gracious act! It was His love on the cross for someone as undeserving as me that convicted me to dedicate my own life to become more like Him everyday. 1 Cor 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. Remembering His love for me, my hope and my belief in His act on the cross put me back on track with Him.

I took some time out to worship and meditate on His work on the cross and what it meant to me, reflecting on my past sins and how much He has forgiven me. As I prayed and thanked God, I felt the burden and frustrations melt away. That mental transformation was pivotal for me. It showed me the importance of worshiping and praising Him regularly as a means to remind myself of the ‘Why’ instead of focusing only on the ‘What’ I believe in and needs to be done as a Christian. It helped me focus on my love for Him instead of my work for Him.

If you are at a crossroads in your spiritual journey or have been indifferent in your walk with Him, may I challenge you to stop and start with your ‘Why’. Why do you do what you do? Why did you start on this journey in the first place? Remember that He first loved you and because of that you are truly free.

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