I've come to realise that God loves to indulge in ironies sometimes. He likes to take something that humans dislike or despise and work it out for an outcome that shocks and surprises everyone.
As I reflect, I can think of two major instances in my life where God has challenged and confronted my beliefs about the world, where He has taken something that I utterly despised or had no regard for and turned it into something I would have never expected.
The first is this. When I was younger, I was quite the high achiever, the top scorer. So I thought to myself, "Yeah, I'm my own god. I can do anything and go anywhere in life. Who needs religion anyway when I can do everything on my own?" Little do I realise that years later, God would crush and break me to the point where I was so desperate for security that the only one that I could turn to was Him. And so, despite my puffy and arrogant proclamation, God still found a way to turn this stubborn kid into His faithful servant. Back then, I would never have imagined that I would be a Christian. Little did I thought that I would be serving this day the One whom I boldly rejected.
The second one is a tad stranger, yet more interesting at the same time. When I was still in Malaysia, we had to undergo these Patriotism camps, where they immersed and brainwashed you into being more patriotic and loyal towards your country. Now, I have no real major issue with camps like these, though I do think that they are rather a waste of time at times. In these camps, they'd always use the example of Indonesia as the "poor neighbour" and they'd emphasise how Malaysia is far more superior economically and politically to Indonesia. And of course, having heard so many bad reports and sayings about Indonesia, I'd grown up being cynical and disdainful of the "poor neighbour".
So, here's the twist. Little did I know that years later, I'd end up liking an Indonesian girl. If anything, this has got to be the biggest slap in my face ever. It's like God saying to me, "So, you see nothing but bad things in Indonesia? Well, how about that Indonesian girl that you like so much now, huh? *chuckles*" I guess that's true. In reality, I never thought God would turn the tables on me like that. This has got to be one of life's greatest ironies ever! Yet, I am thankful for it, because this Indonesian girl has helped me see so many of the good things in life, and she's definitely one of the most gracious and loving people I've ever met, contrary to what I've been taught as a kid!