WHAT WOULD YOU TRADE TO GAIN?

Young, happy and dead.

This is my friend, who would’ve been 27 this year if she were around. And just a couple days back, her mom dropped dead from a burst blood vessel in her head.

And there’s the usual wake, and the funeral that follow, and the eulogies, the appreciation speeches, the weeping and the coping with life after a death.

We take our lives for granted, and above all, the people in them. We live our lives as if we will always have a tomorrow to count on, an another day to live by. We are quick to forget that we live on borrowed time, and slow to remember that it is the people that matter, not the things and achievements.

I have always struggled with prayer, frankly. At times, I believe myself to be a church-going, principle-keeping, prayer-believing Christian. And more often than not, there are those other times that I am but a burnt-out, bored as hell, God-doubting Christian. But don’t get me wrong; I still do believe anyway, that all the goodness and greatness in my life cometh from above. It’s just that in a hideously frank manner, I have to admit to being just like every other scaredy cat out there that turns to God – whether or not they believe in Him – when I’m at my lowest, rock bottom moments. When things are spinning out of my control, when I want something bigger and better to happen, I know to pray. I am such a horrible Christian, really.

At one point in my life, my job was my priority and I was the sort that was so married to it that I had this nudging feeling at the back of my mind that if God decides to humble me, He could take away my job and I’d be more or less, dead. It was at this point that I was so blindly passionate about my job that I was ready to trade anything to keep it at its peak. I would actually pray, “God, please don’t take my job. Don’t humble me that way.”

And then I began to see things differently when Mr. Bentley came around. He’d whine about my work hours, and my constant checking of emails despite being away on a holiday with him. I learnt slowly to check my priorities and set them straight – doing my best to make time for us, for hanging out, for dessert dates and the occasional coffee round upstairs. But I regret not learning these things earlier, and learning to appreciate the time we had together a lot more than living my job as if it defined my life. It was too slow of a lesson learnt for me that I did still consider trading my relationship to keep my head in my job (we even argued about this once). Shame on me, honestly.

Now, I find myself praying that He doesn’t take away my relationship. I have asked for a million things in prayer when we’d argue back then, but now, I just want things to go back to how they were before – rough, tough but undeniably in love, and strong above all. Those were the best days of my life, I’d say. And they are on the verge of disappearing. It’s been years since I did this but out of desperation, I went on my knees last night praying, “God, please don’t take my relationship. Don’t humble me that way.” For all the confusion I’m putting Him through, God must hate me, if He did actually hate anyone at all.

It’s funny how the person who once made me realize how much time and effort I’m pouring into a job that’s temporary, is now drifting away from a permanent something I have come to build my world around. The change is too…sudden.

I now know what it’s like to be traded in gain of a career’s success, and I promise I will never make that mistake ever again. So really, the question is…in a life that’s fleeting, what would you trade to gain?

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