‘No, Jimmy is canceled. It would be such a waste if I booked the room for just two of us.’ I don’t know about Raymond, but for sure, I was very disappointed. For a week, 7 days, 168 hours, I imagine the cold of the day and quiet place such as Highland Christian Centre, Cameron Highland. This is a perfect place for retreat! (At least for me) Now the trip is cancel!
‘So how?’ Raymond replied me back within 57 seconds, ‘What’s your plan?’ he asked me which I assumed that we must have a plan- planned! After 4 – 5 smses bombarded to each other, we come to the conclusion: We will go to Genting Highland instead!
‘This is the plan…’ I said to Raymond. ‘I checked the room and there’s no available. We go there on the evening and stay up until the next morning, deal?’
‘Ok’, he replied.
With uncertainty and zero programs, we are heading to the highland the next evening. Thought we have no program, there’s no worries ever appear on our face. First, this is not the first time we go somewhere without plan and second, we just want to get out from the city. Once we reached there, we’re innocently excited and enjoy the night we have.
To cut the not so long story short, the moment of ‘peak’ program finally happened. Red-eyes, restless night and cold windy weather; good ingredients for sleeping potion. Before my mind could ever freeze, I decided to check one more time if there was any room for us to stay overnight. A sweet and friendly receptionist replied with a solid, ‘No’. Then she continued, ‘… I’m sorry.’ In the end, we spent the night with just a few minutes of sleeping. Right before we took the bus to go back home, I remember asking Raymond this question: “What have we learned?” We both smile, a blur one and leave the place at once.
At this writing, I ponder on the question seriously; “What have I learned? It is something to do with the Christmas?” I asked skeptically… No… oh ya, yes! Yes! Yes!
I refer back to the Christmas story when Mary, Joseph and baby boy Jesus looking around for a place to rest and end up in the non-luxury, quite dirty place and of course, smelly place to live- the manger. Sometime, I wonder if the writer really wants to tell the world that Jesus is the King of Kings, why he doesn’t say that Jesus was born in the palace or 5 stars hotel. This is the real humility!
I’m sure just like me and Raymond froze in the cold night and with no room, Joseph and his family must be felt the same way. For us, at least we can go to the building to get some heat, but for Joseph’s family, they have no room but a humble manger and extremely cold in the desert weather night of Arab city in Israel.
What have I learned? I learned a Christmas story. Somehow, we had ‘taste’ a bit of experience of Luke 2 in the Bible. Then I remember what Max Lucado writes,
If our greatest need had been information,..........
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.
For Part 2: Simple Prayer for this Christmas click the title.