Dawn or Dusk

by hozhijie


it’s about 50 minutes from the first light yet i’m still up. Saturday mornings these days have always been like this thanks to my crooked body clock. but i asked for it by cultivating such a habit persistently. i always regret not getting enough rest and every ensuing letter etched here aches my heart with bitterness. i would pull through the dreadful day of work wondering why didn’t i sleep more the night before but it was all too late. this is the routine i’ve been following every Saturday ever since i took up this job.

yet, there is something out there that is pleading for my sleeplessness recently – something that is more ominous and worth the consideration to embrace it. the slightest recall of it would send anxiousness down my spines and the vicious cycle continues. that is the fear of everything and anything in all aspects of my life currently; i realised i have been doing all things wrongly and i actually feed such a vice.

topping the chart of chills would be my academics, an aspect i have dutifully and diligently not being dutiful and diligent to which is utterly outrageous. i should have known signing up for this advanced courses would entitle more of my attention and commitment yet i time and again have let it slipped, snowballed and now suffocating. the mountain of workload i have accumulated is unfathomable and i really dread the sight of it. i know i need to do something but i am always distracted by a myriad of stuff. even if i fully dedicated my time to it, i would derogate myself for being so slow and stupid for not understanding and doing the concepts right after many times. i feel like a failure. i am deeply remorseful for spending my time and attention on the wrong place that is gaming. perhaps the recent permanent suspension for whatsoever reasons unbeknownst to me is fated, a heavenly kismet to wake me up for the right things. 10th May is nearing by the seconds and to be very frank, i have done nothing yet to kickoff the syllabus. i’m disgusted by what i have done to end up like this. my stress hits its culmination when i am reminded that i cannot afford to score anything below a B, or i’ll risk losing everything. there’s no room for complacency and certainly no place for incompetency. i need to buck up.

next up is my financial status which is apparently not very promising. signing up for that advanced modules nearly costs me two grands cash which i have no means to afford personally. if the psea fund fails to be permitted, i am almost on my wits’ end. feel free to be ashamed of this little brat with no foresight and common sense. perhaps some are right to say that i shouldn’t commit myself to things i can’t commit in the first place. i could have been more farsighted. with this, i find myself making all sorts of irrevocable mistakes that significantly changed my course of life these years, be it inadvertently or not. what’s truly my destiny?

back to the main topic, i am soon gonna pass my current admin job to someone else. it’s been a hassle having to source for a potential candidates online as i am perturbed by how every single one of them withdrew at the eleventh hour with and without informing. how can i possibly hand over to someone of such accountability and reliability, let alone professionalism? if the taking over is successful, that would mean a loss in my main income albeit not a high one. i wonder how am i gonna live for the following months. my first bangkok trip with my childhood peeps is around the corner, in fact it’s gonna end a day before my 25% quiz in the early may as aforementioned. am i gonna come back and live as a stressful poor bloke? i don’t wanna know although the answer is clear. i regret not saving up over the last two years.

health – an area in life i have taken for granted these years – has been taking a toll on me. apart from my regular sinful indulgences and diet, i neglected exercising too. it’s really a bad move. this aspect has been a great concern lately as i started to feel discomfort around my chest area. it used to be intermittent but now it seems to be a stubborn one. such an omen definitely calls for a revamp and a stop to whatever lifestyle i am pursuing now, including sleeping late.

it seems like my relationships with people have been heading towards the drain too latterly. yup that’s a word i just learnt. i feel so drained having to accommodate and making people to accommodate to my nonsense too. i want to please but always want to be pleased. i feel like living in a cave where people casually just drop by to take shelter for the sake of it. i can’t express how i feel explicitly but all i know is things are gonna be so different the next few months.

i am not greatly bothered by minor gestures by people whom tried to push me aside, like that guy with his idiosyncratic stances or that girl who never bothered to show up. i am more upset by how different things will become over the next few months, leading to the next couple of years with my closest friends. one is gonna leave to study abroad ending this year and the other just seems to be more interested to building ties with his plus one. sadly how our last meet up as a trio dated back to February and the latest one last Sunday was almost met with additional companies despite initial agreement to only have us around. i mentioned how we should spend more time together and not always with other people around but it seemed like i am the only one with this request as the rest are more than happy to have a greater crowd. well, maybe i just suck at accepting and adapting and i applaud those who readily do so for the cantankerous me. i am also a loser in showing my support as a friend. and maybe i also don’t like how one would sacrifice opportunities so ardently to catch up with old friends to enjoy bigger company. i mean, if i am attached, as much as i want my good friends to know her, i would also spare some time to have my bro time and not always insist to enjoy the best of both worlds. i am beat.

lastly, i am really devastated at my spiritual life currently. to cut it short, i thought i have backslid for not attending youth services on Saturdays anymore and I would rather give in to my sleep every Sunday morning. sometimes i don’t even feel like going for Friday connect groups. i hope to dissect the possible causes for my spiritual recalcitrance.

one, perhaps i just can’t adapt well to the fast-changing environment that the Church entails. i tell myself that i think the more conservative Sunday services would be better for my growth since every attempt to catch the hype under the disco lights and upbeat pounds on Saturday has been really tiresome. i also don’t agree with the latest event which encouraged church-goers to wear like they were gonna join the Runway as models. i have been in the youth ministry for more than five years already and i can observe the visible advancement in its worship styles. it used to be more toned down and progressively it turned from the installation of protruding stage lights to dazzling disco light. there had been a few occasions where my visitor friends commented that it’s like a club. that reminded me that special event where a guest DJ was invited to do his mixing during praise and worship under the unique uv light. still, i always believe that such a setting is to cater to the youthfulness of the teenagers and it’s a different way of worship, just that i don’t find myself growing in it.

two, perhaps i was so used to the people whom watched me through my toughest moments in life during that 2-3 years that our division hampered me as i stepped out of that comfort zone. net used to be a sanctuary for me and i always looked forward to Fridays. now, i am actually reluctant in attending at times for various reasons as the environment and people changed. how would u feel if your leader actually blocked u on social media for a trivial cause that can be understandably resolved?

three, perhaps i am too engrossed in the earthly things that present themselves more appealing and comforting, especially excessive gaming which has robbed me the time to focus on more important work. i guess i have explained much in this aspect.

four, perhaps i am too drained from all the endless spates of setbacks i have encountered during the 2nd year of my ns. from the scar resulted from the breaking of a public service bond, to being made a huge mockery by the elite unit that will probably last a lifetime, to the unfortunate demise of my grandma in a car accident a month after, to the constant hurtful experiences by words and actions thereafter, and to the rejection by MOE to be an intern. i feel like my faith is not reciprocating the slightest comfort. i mean, deep down i believe that His will is always good and prosperous but i just chose to give up although not totally, not at all. i always pray for the faith and joy to stand back up to fight like the warrior i used to be, armored with such spiritual grit and aroma that stood strong against all odds. i really thank Qianhui for believing in me even till now, even after my failure to respond to her wake up call for countless consecutive months. i don’t wanna disappoint God and the one(s) who trusts that i can continue the journey with greater character and faith.

it’s been a fruitful one hour typing my thoughts out. i can feel the sleepiness kicking in but i have no choice but to overcome it. my day will only end in another 12 hours’ time. perhaps i should get up and get going from my chair, and from my life.


it’s been so long since i end with a verse. i chanced upon this while scrolling through a history of my text conversation with someone. i used this to encourage someone’s faith. i thought it’s really apt indeed.

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands,that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

– Ephesians 4:17-32 (NIV)

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:21 (NIV)