The advertisements of faraway places are so alluring. With a long weekend plus another day to make-up for Sunday holiday, there will be some time for travel to and fro and a short rest. The cost of such a holiday is a pittance, what with the no frills budget airlines and it would be a mistake not to take the opportunity for a breather, a refreshment away from the drudgery of Singapore of work, work, and some more work.
Who are the ones who finally succumb to that attraction during Chinese New Year?
First there are the Singles – who pay the highest comparative tax among their peers, are discriminated against in the purchase of public housing. They have agreed with Paul when he suggested 1 Corinthians 7:7-8: “I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.” For flexibility and being fleet-footed these singles are able to run away for a break far from the madding Chinese New Year crowd who bore them with the question every year they have been home – “So when are you getting married?”
Then there are the married couples whose children have not arrived. Why do they run away? Because they have outcome and no income. What am I referring to? It is the custom for all those who are married to give the red packets to their nieces and nephews and other people’s children who visit. And so they are caught by custom – and have to give the red packets (containing some monetary gift which if too low in value will give them the title of Stingy Poker and if too high would burn a hole in their pockets for all children know who will give them lucrative red packets). These would rather pay the expense for a holiday than give to grubby hands who remind the young couples that their turn will come but wait.. the cost of having children is too high for parents who have to pay hundreds of thousands for pigeon hole houses, about a hundred thousand dollars just to buy a piece of paper to the government (certificate of entitlement) to own a car in support of government policy to restrict the number of cars in Singapore, plus the cost of the imported car.
Lastly there are those seniors who are just too tired to entertain the hordes of family members, friends and well wishers who expect happy hospitality from these seniors just because they are the survivors of their generation.
The airports are brimming with people, the cruise centre too – all looking forward to a wonderful leisurely break somewhere in foreign country be it far or near.. even though it is just for four days or extended by taking some annual leave days.
And for us who remain at home – it’s testimony time for God. So do pray for us for we need to look through His eyes for the people in need, who need His love and peace and joy. We will stay and be His hand extended to those who are reaching out to know the Lord. Somebody has to do it for it may be somebody’s last chance to hear the good news, I am sure.