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 (Manna 65: Missionary Work)
I in the Sky
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I in the Sky

ANON—West Malaysia


Veni, Vidi, Vici. This often quoted Latin phrase, purportedly coined by the great Emperor Julius Caesar, succinctly describes an overwhelming victory over yet another hapless city state standing in the path of his quest for eternal glory and recognition. In English, “I came, I saw and I conquered”, the phrase resonates in the life of many of us today. This was the brief but telling report sent back by the emperor’s messengers to an adoring Roman senate craving for news of the battle.

Yet this, unfortunately, is also the battle cry adopted by many Christians in the TJC, especially the younger generation, who are caught up in the whirlwind pace of the 21st century. We seek to live up the life of dreams, a life of “having it all”, of grappling with the world and all of its glories and pleasures, through the toil and labor of our own hands. We plunder what we desire of this hedonistic life which we exhibit as trophies, treasured pieces to serve as memories of our conquests and a motivation to grab even more.

Perhaps this is an overdramatized painting, a bleaker picture than the true state of play. But if one were to take a stroll into the digital realm of cyberspace—Facebook comes to mind—we can see from the postings that, to a large extent, this state of affairs is unfortunately part of the lives of many Christians: they are living to be gratified, ever seeking, grasping, fighting and striving after; dreaming.


Poor souls, indeed. Just like Solomon who wrote Ecclesiastes, the king who had it all and lived it all, and yet discovered it was simply not enough. Palaces, gardens, power, influence, wives, wealth and wisdom, all promised happiness and contentment, all represented the life of dreams, a quest to achieve the illustrious state of “Veni, Vidi, Vici”.

Yet none of these delivered. The more wealth, the more worry; the more knowledge and wisdom, the more the spirit grows tired and weary … and the list goes on. At the end of it all, if left unchecked, if we cannot break free from the numbing influence of Satan, ours is a life which is meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless.

King Solomon of old is embodied in the life of many of us today, always seeking, always searching and yet always empty and unfulfilled. The route to happiness, purpose and contentment for a Christian seems an impossibility. If Solomon, having it all, still failed to find the answer to this question, as seen in the earlier chapters of Ecclesiastes, what hope do we have? What, then, was the cause of old King Solomon’s problem, which is also the root of all the troubles for those of us who have inherited the problems of the old Solomon?

The problem lies in the “I”: “I set my heart”, “I built for myself”, “I acquired”, “I made”, “I planted”, “I this”, “I that”, “I, I, I”!!

The insistence of the first person singular is striking. It is reiterated, time and time again, and it is out of sync, discordant and in conflict with the will of the Lord. There is no other book in the Bible that uses the word “I” so many times than Ecclesiastes in its earlier chapters.

The problem with the Solomon of old, and us, who would be the new Solomon, is that we keep thinking only of ourselves, the reiterative and recalcitrant, “I”. We are unable to say “NO” to “I”. As for happiness, purpose and contentment, we ought to know better as Christians. We were taught that these dwell in a very different world … the world devoid of “I”.

But we choose to refuse and reject our lessons from the Bible. We scribe more and more in cyberspace our thoughts, our desires, our pleasurable moments, our acquisitions, our purchases, our grandiose plans, our extravagant meals. We scribe more and more of this great “I” in the sky in the world of the clouded dreams. Does this not ring a bell and sound familiar? Is this not just as old King Solomon was in Ecclesiastes chapter two? What of this “I” … can it be tamed? Will it be saved?


It can, and it will, if only we muster enough courage and strength to say the hardest word of all to “I”; that of “NO”.

If we lack the ability and the desire to say “NO” to the self serving, self selfish “I”, we lose the ability to say “YES” to a better life, a life of purpose, happiness and contentment that which was intended by our Lord Jesus. When we say “NO” to “I”, we are committing ourselves to a higher and greater purpose. We must reject and stay far away from this unrepentant and domineering “I”, bound and bolted on tightly to this dying world of man and remember, instead, to seek the will of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who wants us free from these shackles. Unless we can say “NO” to this “I”, we will never be able to break free from this plague which afflicted old King Solomon and which continues to afflict so many of us wannabes.

To many still in their youth and at the peak of life, the rallying call of this age continues to be “Have it all”. With this battle cry stems the cause of the problem that “I” can do it all, and “I” can be and have everything, even if not all at once, but if “I” can work for it, “I” will eventually attain it. “I” must have it. We continue to serve the “I” as we shy away from making the hard and right choice of saying “NO” to “I”. We fail to see or choose to ignore the irreconcilable conflict and dilemma, that to say “YES” to “I”, is an affirmation of the self but a rejection and refusal to accept the pathway of the Lord.

We must instead say “NO” to “I” which translates to “No way” to a hundred desires, “No Thank You” to a thousand temptations, and “BE GONE Satan”, as your riches in millions and the height of the glory and fame promised are but nothing to me … NOTHING.

As the horn and trumpet of “Veni, Vidi, Vici” sounds out loudly, please leave the battlefield of the world to those who continue to strive for this meaningless and fruitless life. Flee from the life of service to “I”; the “I” in pursuit of the wind, an empty and unfulfilled life.


For those filled with youthful vitality and vigour, seeking to carve a path for ourselves, remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come and when you take no pleasure in them (Ecc 12:1). Fear the Lord, keep His word and stay on His pathway to salvation, so that, when the day of the Lord comes as He surely will, each and every one of us will be counted as worthy to wear the crown of righteousness. Perhaps, through the divine mercies of our Lord Jesus, this “I” will be saved, and will not be one of those hapless billions of souls vanquished by Satan, in the nefarious scheme to bring all of humanity with him, the fallen angel, into damnation.

What will become of our “I” … the chapter is left open, the journey is not finished. Many are in grave danger of falling. That is the honest truth. Can we pull ourselves back from the brink of this everlasting pit? Do we have the courage, strength and the moral fortitude to overcome these trials of life?

Let us stern ourselves and resolve to overcome this “I” and succeed where our ancestors, Adam and Eve, failed. Bring on this new battle cry of “Jesus Christ”, our Lord and Savior, and He will lead us ever onward.

Less of self, but More of Thee, Lord.

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