“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
My father has a lot of stories to tell. I have not heard all of them, but I briefly know how his life was before he married my mother.
It was a difficult time. The Cultural Revolution in China. He didn’t get to finish high school. Political persecution. Religious persecution. The tragic death of his mother. The tragic death of his sister. Relatives’ betrayal. Running to Hong Kong to start another life.
My dad rarely sheds a tear. Nevertheless, I saw him cry a few times when he recalled these scenes.
There are of course a lot more memories. Many I will never know. Many I will never be able to understand them. But I hope I can always put myself into his shoes to grow more compassion for others.
Anyways, few days ago, he shared with me something I didn’t know over the phone as he encouraged me to continue studying music. My dad always worried about me stressing over the fact that music may not be the best career option in terms of making a living, even though it has never been my concern 🙂 .
He was telling me how when he was young, he studied Chinese fengshui and physiognomy by himself. This I have known for a long time. With little education while being put to work in farms all day, my dad taught himself these skills as well as the violin, calligraphy, and painting – all his biggest interests – from books. He did, however, spend much more time on the arts than that on fengshui.
So when he first moved to Hong Kong, he started making a living by teaching the violin, teaching drawing and painting, and selling tealeaves. He started saving bit by bit.
Now this is the part I didn’t know: he saw how some were making a lot of money by reading fengshui, reading faces, and reading palms for others (these were popular in Hong Kong and still are). The professionals in this field were earning much more than he was, while the time and money investment was less. He then regretted very much for not studying these skills more in depth so that he could also be one of them, earning a lot of income.
“But looking back, I thank God for having prevented me to go that way. Had I devoted myself into studying fengshui and physiognomy, I would have ended up further and further away from seeking Him. Instead, today, I have the spirit of God in me and I am enjoying playing the violin everyday to keep myself healthy.” said my father.
This may be one of the most overly used verse and people are often criticised for taking it out of the context, but I believe, my father’s story of the Father’s sovereignty is a classical example of “All things work together for good…to those called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).