The first thing I’m most grateful for is my life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. As a child, I have always been aware of a living, peaceful presence in the words of the Gospel, but “something” dissuaded me from reading further. Then life intervened; I was swept on to college and career and then at 31, in the course of a journalistic assignment, I met someone immersed in the occult. I knew because he told me. After that interview (which had nothing to do with the occult), I felt heavily oppressed. Something was trying to gain control. In desperation, I cried out with all my heart, mind and soul: “Jesus, cleanse me!” Light flashed into my brain, something fled and from that time on, the presence of God never left me.
Gradually, He changed me. He developed me from someone who was very confused about life, very oppressed from the destructive values in the culture that was being imposed on me, to someone who’s very sure that knowing and practicing His Word will lead to fulfillment and satisfaction.
Second, I am very grateful for a loving grandmother. It was from her that I learned to have a generous spirit, always willing to reconcile, and to receive unconditional love and attachment. When I left her care at six years old, I found to my dismay that very few people knew how to connect heart-to-heart. When I was 31, God made up for that deficit.
Third, I am grateful for my friends. With friends, life’s journey is made easier and happier. Their love, laughter, advice and sometimes helping hand has made a positive difference in my life.
Fourth, I am grateful for my health. I have a few things to watch out for, but on the whole, I thankful for a fairly fit body and a strong pair of legs.
Fifth, I am grateful to be in the uber-efficient city of Singapore. It’s small, sweaty, crowded, but things work here. As I was telling a Gen Z relative, the nice thing about retiring is that with my train card, I can go almost anywhere and explore the city at leisure. And this is one of my goals when leaving the country is out of the question.