Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Strangers & Prophets

Sometimes one has to keep an ear open even to strangers and mavericks in our midst. Knowing that today is the last day of holidays I drove to the city centre early and had breakfast. Then I went to my barber of 34 years (since 1988) and he is in his 70s. But a stranger came in and started talking in Shan Tong mandarin/Chinese which my barber understood little and I less. But he kept looking at me and said a few things like having a prominent forehead which led him to say that I must be a “ling dao”. I asked the barber what he meant but the guy told me something which I understood a bit, a ling dao is a band leader or tour guide, leading a group. When I heard about a tour guide (I could be wrong in understanding him), I laughed it off. My barber said “ling dao” means “pembesar” or a high official like a judge, so I said that’s not me but my brother who happens to be a judge. But then what this person said stayed with me for a while including that he predicted that I must be born in the year of the dragon and he got that right.

As he kept repeating the word, “ling dao” I was curious to find out and with Google I came up with the answer “a leader”. A stranger “prophesied” over me, but I know that all life until today I have borne much fruits when leadership responsibilities were entrusted to me, either as Treasurer General, Senior Pastor and chairman of my two former churches, District Superintendent and Acting Principal. To a few of my close friends I confided in them that I left TTC and Singapore because I realised as a Malaysian despite being a SPR, my chance of leadership was almost zero. The highest appointment I got was a Semester as Acting Dean of Students and even the Principal said I left a legacy within that short time. And a close friend knew that even before this vaccination crisis came late last year I was going to cease from my pastorate soon as not having any leadership authority except preaching from the pulpit effected little except spiritually fed many church members. When a church member last Sunday expressed the hope of me returning as pastor I just smiled because my main gifting is leadership and the team around me wherever I serve must accept that calling of God in my life as ling dao.

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