Hi! My name is Delwyn and I work in the civil service. My day job involves a lot of reading and some writing. It is with great joy that my weekends are also spent reading – to my daughter, Maia. There is also often some joint work with a pen or pencil.
I grew up curiously reading a bit of everything, which communicated to me that everything in this world is mere vanity and doomed to decay into dust over the millennia. I remember reading the poem ‘Ozymandias’ by Percy Shelley as a teenager.
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
I was a science student, but I thought the poem’s meaning ran even deeper. Beyond the futility of building monuments, it spoke to a reality where all great works are doomed to decay and nothing stands the test of time. All people, even the mightiest of kings, will also die.
This echoes the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, which shows how short-lived everything in life is:
“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
Amidst that gloom, however, was the memory of my grandmother, who passed away a Christian, her hands folded in prayer. Her peace in death stayed with me, even more than her kindness in life. It made me wonder if there was something about Christianity and its promise of heaven, that could make life meaningful again.
However, the people around me then, were not really in a place to provide more answers. Hence, I did not resolve my premature midlife crisis. Life in Singapore then took over, as it often does, for many years. (It has a way of making us very busy, even amidst a global pandemic like COVID-19!)
But the questions lingered and it was only when my career stalled as a young man, that I suddenly found myself with a lot more time to think through life’s big questions. With that time, I eventually started investigating Christianity in earnest. In God’s providence there appeared, at that point, many avenues for me to do so. One such avenue was a book club called the Reading Room, where a group of us would read through and discuss chapters of this book called Reason for God. It was one of my first touchpoints with Christians who graciously welcomed deep questions about every aspect of their faith. The Christians who welcomed me also kept me going in my search.
I began interrogating everyone I knew with my laundry list of questions. My doubts ranged from the apparent incompatibility of Christianity with science, to whether Christianity is a psychological crutch. I asked about the hollowness of wealth and of suffering, as well as social issues like the church’s close-mindedness towards the practice of homosexuality. Then, I researched other religions and philosophies to find answers to these questions. Each time I reached a conclusion, I would challenge it some more, relentlessly.
The Christians who welcomed me also kept me going in my search. I also agreed to read the Gospel of John with my current pastor. It was the key turning point. As I read about Jesus, this God in the flesh, I was amazed. Not by his miracles. Rather, he was more compassionate to the suffering, and more loving of the lost, and more just amidst wrong-doing, and more wise in fully realising all these qualities, than anyone else I had read or heard about. He was not like any man-made legend, who always always falls short in one way or another. Instead, Jesus struck me as indeed a revelation from God, about true goodness and godliness. Then he died, on the cross, to save us. Jesus offers the whole package: a life lived not in vain, for us to follow; salvation from death; and life forever knowing Him as Lord and Master, but also brother and friend. At the same time, there was considerable historical evidence for Christianity. The voluminous documentation and quality of evidence in support of Christianity outweighed what was available for my other beliefs. Even now, I believe things about the world based on much less, and more anecdotal, evidence.
For those who are like me – with many, many deep questions about Christianity – why not come and discuss them at the Reading Room? It is really quite unique in how it will welcome you and your questions. If you are already keen to start reading the Bible in more detail with a friend, just ask him or her about it! Your friend will probably be very happy that you asked, and follow up with you. Together, you can look closely at Jesus’ goodness. It is Jesus who we are to fall in love with, and it is His love that will slowly change us.
At the same time, there was considerable historical evidence for Christianity. The voluminous documentation and quality of evidence in support of Christianity outweighed what was available for my other beliefs. Even now, I believe things about the world based on much less, and more anecdotal, evidence.
Jesus can deal with any mid-life crisis, and more. Those who know me, have often said how unlikely it seemed, that I would ever accept Christianity. Outside of my closest friends, most felt I was cold, intellectual and unfeeling. I recall thinking I would never have children – the cost-benefit analysis did not seem to add up. But they have seen Jesus thaw my outlook and my personality test results have shown that I have become more relationship-centred. Indeed, playing with my daughter is now one of my greatest joys, and her knowing Jesus is my greatest hope.
Jesus can deal with any mid-life crisis, and more… Indeed, playing with my daughter is now one of my greatest joys, and her knowing Jesus is my greatest hope.