Previously, we ran a story of a 13-year-old Jocelyn Yong who wrote about her father’s near-death experience and how God was real to him. During the recent Movement Control Order (MCO), an important lesson comes across through a refreshing piece put together by 12-year-old Leong Anna of Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, that godliness with contentment is great gain, a lesson she learns from her parents …
In every child’s heart, there is a superhero. The superhero in my life is my father, Leong Wai Meng, who has just turned 47 in July this year.
He is such a wonderful father to me. Together with my mother, Lan Yann Tyng, 43, they have raised me and my 8-year-old brother, Calvin.
Although we have all the basic needs in life, I have always wondered about my classmates and their families. What about the expensive cars that they get to ride in when they come to school? How I sometimes wish I could be chauffeured to school like some of my friends.
Some of my friends even have their own iPad. It is hard to say ‘’no’’ to luxury products like iPad and smartphones because most people go crazy over them. But if I sit back and really think about it, do I really need an iPad? Probably not.
In fact, I can choose to buy a tablet at an affordable price, that is more reliable and have compatible working features. But, since society tells me that this is a must-have item, I may feel pressured to have it also.
Oh, gosh! This is really super hard for a teenage girl like me to resist all these gadgets that seems so ‘delectable’ to my eyes. There is a constant reminder on all the social media around me that keeps telling me to buy stuff. I see continuous advertising on the Internet including blogs, trying to get me to purchase a product or service. My desires for more materialistic things are more intense when I watch television and movies.
When I flip on the radio or open up a newspaper or magazine, I am bombarded by more advertising. Go to a shopping mall, and the urge to buy comes even greater from every direction. Having been brought up in a Christian background, attending Sunday schools, with my grandparents and parents who live their lives modestly, somehow, my conscience is telling me that something is not right.
God has warned us several times about being materialistic and finding happiness in material possessions. I think it’s time to change my ways.
In Matthew 6:19-21, God says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
However, I’m still struggling to learn that my earthly wealth and possessions do not matter to the Lord, nor will it matter when Jesus comes back to bring me to heaven. The Bible message reminds me that I should not focus on earthly treasures, but instead, save treasures in heaven. I need to pray to let these scriptures guide me back to the Lord. By the end of it all, what’s in my heart is what truly matters.
An Important Lesson
One day, my best friend and classmate, Jersey (name changed) invited a few of us from the same class to her house to study together. The moment I stepped into her house, I was amazed that she was living in such a big three-story mansion.
Her house had a very big television screen, a long sofa, a beautifully-designed kitchen, and many rooms. I met her family members and their maid. I was very envious that her parents hired a ‘’kakak’’ to do all the house chores. Her father is a businessman, and her mother owns a cafe. Her house also has three televisions.
Her family has all the luxuries in life – the branded handbags, branded smartphones, branded tablets, and all kinds of other branded stuff! All these materialistic things created in me a desire to buy branded products if I have the money!
How I wish that I was born with a silver spoon. When I went home, I asked my father, ‘’Daddy, why aren’t you a rich person?’’ He replied, ‘’Do you want to be healthy or wealthy?’’
My father then explained further, ‘’Money is not everything, but having no money makes living in modern times impossible. However, between health and money, our health is more important.”
I thought deeply that night about what my father had said. It dawned on me how blessed I am to have a house to live in; we have enough food to eat and a comfortable place to sleep in each night. I also have a happy family and many good friends, too. What else do I need?
Although my father is very busy with his work, he always brings us out on trips. We have visited many places and eaten many kinds of delicious cuisines during our holiday trips.
My father is always busy; he is just like a buzzing bee. His colleagues often call him when they have some technical issues with their computers.
Sometimes, he does not even have time to take a proper meal. Despite his busy schedules every day, whenever I encounter difficulties in doing my homework, my father will always drop everything that he is doing and spend some time to teach me.
After interviewing him for this assignment, I discovered a lot of things – even little things – about my father. I think every child should try to find out about their parents in order to appreciate them more. And, this is more important than the luxuries in life that they can offer us.
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