You Can Not Stay There

You Can’t Stay There

I took this picture in 2014 during a camp meeting in Rayong, Thailand. All the students in the image have left Asia-Pacific International University, but the memory remains. I taught in this university from 2008 to 2019 before moving to the United States.

Looking at this picture brings me good memories and also lessons to keep in my heart. Let me share some of them with you.

Lessons Learned

  • I had to lie on the ground to get this shot. Getting what I want may sometimes require lowering myself to the bottom. It may be uncomfortable, but if my success demands it, I will do it.

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

  • Even though I counted, “One, two, three,” not all of them jumped at the same time. Don’t expect everyone to perceive what you have in mind the same way. What you say is not always the same as what others understand.

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4: 1-3 ESV)

  • Roland, the one who jumped the highest, was the tallest too. Compared to some, he only needed to leap half the height he could. He gave it all anyway. The best challenge is challenging oneself; doing better than last time. Don’t set your standard based on where others are, nor limit yourself to where they stayed. Your potential is unique.

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23-24 ESV)

  • Everyone jumped to a different level, stayed in the air just for a second, and got back to the same level. We all come out from the womb empty-handed. We reach different levels in life, and the graveyard eventually levels us all to the same ground. There is nothing permanent in this world. Seek pure joy while keeping in mind that death is the common denominator.

"Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!" (Psalm 39:6 ESV)

  • The picture shows their jump height only at the moment I took the shot. It does not reveal to what level each person jumped. There were some who started earlier and got down sooner. Others began later but reached higher. Just because you are at a higher place today doesn’t mean others can’t reach it. You may already be back to the ground when they conquer the pinnacle of their success. Don’t look down on others because of what you achieve today; you don’t know what tomorrow has got for you.

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3)

In case you are curious, there are nine nationalities represented in the picture. There is beauty in diversity.


To which one of the above lessons do you relate the most? What was your experience?

Prayer Journal

What are the things you want to be mindful of in your spiritual life? What would you like God to grant you?