We, as human being, suffer at this level a great deal. They are annoyances. These are not dramatic life changing sufferings such as a bereavement or job loss, rather those every day events that makes one a little annoyed. Well, perhaps very cross.
Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ experienced such situations, such as the wedding at Cana where the wine ran out or when he cleaned out the money changers from the Temple, or when Thomas wouldn't believe unless he could personally inspect his wounds from the Cross.
This is a story about myself and such annoyances in life.
When I finished my high school in China in year 2005, I went to Malaysia for university.
It was my first time to be so far away from home. When I arrived in Kuala Lumpur and alighted out of the airplane, the humidity and hot weather was a shock to me and I suffered a great deal from this – it was winter when I boarded the aircraft from China.
It still was school holidays when I turned up at the university complex, there was only one food stall open and the cafeteria proved very limiting. I enjoy spicy food as it is the food of my hometown. However, this only stall in this cafeteria was selling roast ducks with sweet sauce. This kind of sauce I had never tried before, which made the duck taste like very strange for me. I didn't finish my first meal in Malaysia and it proved to be a hungry night for me.
Next morning I was so hungry and I realised that I couldn't be so picky with the food, so I ate what I had to. After I compromised the preference of food in Malaysia, the weather issue came up front and centre. Tropical weather exists year round in Malaysia, and by the late afternoon, my skin would become very sticky.
Anyhow, the best way to get rid of the sticky feeling from my skin was to take showers. Thus, I had to take many showers everyday to keep me feeling comfortable in those first few months.
Why did I go to Malaysia? I went there to study. As the university provided the UK university programme, I was studying the accounting course from the University of Hertfordshire. Back home in China, from the day I went to school, every class was conducted in Chinese.
Now, I had to listen and to speak in English. It was a huge challenge for me to overcome, this language barrier. For the first year, I spent most of my time in the library. And I tried my best to be with my English-speaking friends, to get involved in their activities. Because of my poor English that time, I couldn't understand the jokes my friends made. But after this first year, I had picked up a lot of this type of English.
Now I looked back to the time I spent in Malaysia, I treat that experience as a treasure of life. The unfamiliar food, settling in a new place that quickly, the different weather conditions, the English language – all very annoying yet this became part of my life.
Without that first year's heavy duty English language training from my friends, it would have been difficult to image how I could live and work in any English-speaking country.
Often we are experiencing annoyances from the unexpected, and as Christians, I seem to think we may better understand the nature of these day to day annoyances and how we deal with those circumstances. Certainly, in my experience, being calm and trying to find ways to solve such daily issues proved helpful to me along with a deliberate refraining from making incessant complaints.
I think about Jesus Christ our Lord, not only those annoyances in his experience, but that he suffered on that Cross for me, hence, my sins have been washed away, and my daily annoyances and my own 'limited sufferings' (such as all the lights at red when I'm in a rush) are put into perspective.
Oscar Duan is from China, he has an accountancy degree from University of Hertfordshire (UH) International campus in Malaysia, and has undertaken further accountancy studies in Australia for accreditation here. He is married to Heyley.
Oscar Duan's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/oscar-duan.html