It's sunny today, the sunniest that I've seen in a while. I woke up and continued reading The Chocolate Run from where I left it last night. Ran down awhile and have Dog lick my feet. He is so comot now, and he is still homeless, but I think he's growing rather attached to this house. I have not make up my mind whether I want to adopt him, but it is adorable the way he recognizes my car from afar and starts wagging its tail. I didn't want to name him, because that would mean commitment, but I cant forever call him Dog and anyway my sister beat me to it by naming him Shaggy last week. . . I feel bad for Van who has to do weekend duty alone today, karma would totally bite me where it hurts next weekend. But. Let next week worry about itself. I will survive call nights. . . Anyway after lunch (dont go to Kimmy's, it's mediocre and this is me being nice), Belle's Bookshop to add to the pile of fiction waiting to be read, cendol and Bintang, I went home and went straight to sorting things out. What I found amidst a pile of cards and train tickets and random photographs, was a very official-looking envelope from SFX. I don't remember what it was for so I pulled out the letter and, it turned out to be a letter from Jo dated 4 years ago, after a competition that we (we were a choir group from all walks of life) felt was unfairly judged. It is very lengthy, this letter, but as I read it again today, I am still amazed by her wisdom. . . It started with a personalized Dear Daphne, and somewhere in the middle were the words that struck deep. . . "In the bitter aftertaste of defeat, when love is the last thing you might be feeling, I urge you (as I do myself) to decide to love, to relinquish any lingering bitterness and move on. . . God is not just good, He's great. I believe that He would never be content to let us have second best when He has the absolute best in store for us. My theory is that a victory at ***** ***** would have been that second best (sweet, but still second best)! The possibility of extracting the absolute best lies in how we view the defeat and whether we learn any lessons from it. Don't waste this seemingly negative experience by wallowing in self-pity, self-righteousness and self-justifications of why we we're entitled to feel self-pity and self-righteousness. Still the tempests of fury and clouds of objections that are welling up inside you right now as you read this, and see if any of what I've written above rings true or hits home. . . Had I put in all the hours of practice and effort that you all did, I would probably have been sore as hell and more sour than all the 'asam boi' in the world put together. And in that state of mind, to receive a letter such as this from someone who wasn't even part of the choir would be like pouring salt onto the wound. . . But I'm guided by the way our parish priest (a.k.a. my boss - Fr SY)treats me. When I come to him with my petty concerns in the hopes that he'll validate them, he invariably challenges me to take the higher road and I leave the encounter smarting and sore... yet with a renewed desire to be more gracious and Christ-like. . . And that is what I hope this letter will achieve. . . Please know that all of us at Lifeline are proud of you. Wherever each of you is on the journey towards stepping into the light of Christ, I urge you to plod along (with each other and with me). Let's not give up and keep encouraging each other to take the long, narrow and infinitely more difficult road.. for that is the only one that leads anywhere worthwhile. . . Love in Christ, Jo"