This photo was taken with my wife at Morton’s Steakhouse during our trip to Hong Kong in this January.
I had made it one of the highlights of our trip to dine at this swanky american restaurant to celebrate my wife’s birthday as it was also at Morton’s Singapore that I had proposed to her on her then birthday.
Between God and I, Morton’s bears a significant role in my walk with God. It is a place where I hold precious memories and lessons that He taught me and made me the person I am today.
I’ve not told this story of mine…..
When I’d decided to wholeheartedly follow Christ in 2000, a lot of changes took place swiftly towards burning the bridges to my past life. One of them was my job.
Back then, I was a club DJ and had my own small business supplying manpower for pubs and clubs. I wasn’t making a lot of money, but it provided me a decent living. And as a school dropped out and an ex-convict, it definitely boosted my self-worth and ego that I was “somewhere” and “made it”.
The other perks of this job was it fitted well with my then lifestyle of music, booze, drugs and sex, So you can imagine how tightly I would be holding on to this identity. It was everything I knew and it gave me everything I enjoyed then.
But Christ saved me and spoilt the devil’s party…..
Not too long after, I was confronted with the inevitable. I knew I had to quit DJ-ing. The lifestyle and the environment was no longer appealing as it was before. And I recalled how I was having this casual and candid conversation with God…
God: I would like you to quit your job.
Me: Really? But this is the only skills I have and its my ‘ricebowl’ leh… How?
God: Trust me.
Me: Ok la… since You say so, I will do it!
Back then, there wasn’t much choice for me when I browsed the recruitment classifieds. Being a dropped out with no qualifications but just a secondary school studies, I could only look at the odd jobs section which mainly featured jobs for F&B or hospitality.
One day while browsing, a particular ad caught my attention with an inner prompting by the Holy Spirit to call the number. The job offered was as a server (or waiter).
I called and an interview was arranged for the next day. I just went with an open mind and heart and at the end, I got the job! However, I did not accept it right away and requested to reply the next day.
I can recall how I was both in awe and in shock! In awe in how God was moving and in shock because I was trying to accept the implications of such a change.
I struggled in making a decision cos…..
In the eyes of the world I was making a move backward. It obviously looks like a downgrade from where I was at that time.
“How would my friends think of me?”
“What would they say about it?”
“How was I going to explain this radical move?”
But I decided to follow through in obeying God. Hence, I chose by faith, to accept the job.
I reckoned it was more important for me to be bothered more by what God thought of me; what He would say about me and be more concern over His approval rather than man’s approval. And I saw in the spirit that this was a promotion in His kingdom.
After accepting my new job, I gave away my entire music collection and DJ stuff that could have easily been worth in the thousands. I felt like Peter and Andrew who gave up their nets to follow Jesus.
I was now going to be a “fisher of men”…..
My time serving as a server at Morton’s for more than a year was one of the best moments with God as that’s where I discovered my passion- serving others and making a difference.
God used this job to shape my servitude as His disciple which has laid a foundation for me where I’m now able to build on and carry with me wherever He plants me and in all I do.
More importantly, choosing to obey and follow Him allowed me to discover WHO I AM in Christ towards building my security in my identity as His child rather than in what I do for a living.
Amazingly, I later also discovered that this job in Morton’s was God’s arrangement in advance to provide for me when God led me to bible seminary.
As the enrollment was a full time stint, my work allowed me to switch to a part time employment when I requested for it!
Today after 15 years…..
I can look back at how that first step of obedience has led me to: a life of His abundance and goodness.
Now, if I need to browse for a job, I’m no longer confined to one section of classifieds. And He has graciously given me upward mobility to be His ambassador and influencer in the marketplace.
Now, I know God doesn’t lie as I have no lack and He has been my Provider at every stage of my life. Even providing the finances for me to further my studies and to eventually graduate with a bachelor degree. And also provided the means to be His ‘tent-maker’ while in Vietnam.
Now, I’m paired with a wonderful person I call my wife whom God has entrusted me to lead and love. If you told me I would be married back then, I would have laugh it off as I saw myself unworthy or unfit for such an enormous commitment. But God thought otherwise and I believed Him.
Now, because of experiencing how great and good God is from these past 15 years, I am expecting more from Him in the years ahead!
So to those reading this, never undermine the possibilities of how your simple obedience to God can take you to. Trust Him because God loves you and is faithful!