A church service session in New Creation Church. On a typical Sunday.

New Creation Church, light projection

First we decide which service to go on Saturday night.

“Eh which service you going tomorrow? 2nd?”
“Siao, so early, cannot wake up la…”
“3rd lo… so meet you there 1pm. Church starts at 230pm, Q starts moving at 2pm, to get in the front part of the Q and good seats we must Q by 130pm, add half an hour before that for lunch, so meet at 1pm at food court downstairs.”
“… ok. Don’t be late ah.”

This unique speak is called Singlish*(1).

Sometimes we are late and in order to have time for lunch, we place a little notebook or any ornament we can find that is not valuable enough to be stolen to represent “us” in the Q.

In a large group, we usually have people who surely will stand the whole one and a half hours for us, who also ate half an hour ago, who probably window-shopped the whole morning (our church service location is in the 3rd level of a city mall), so he/she probably came 3-4 hours before church services starts?

At lunch, sometimes its hotdog sandwiches at the Q, or if we’re manage to squeeze in a group lunch, we time ourselves. At half an hour… “ok lets go lets go.” Pressing. Rush.

Then there is the Queue.

Not everybody queues. Some people go straight to the overflow rooms. Some friends have friends to Q for them. My friends and I will always find some way…

3 floors up, Nic leads us to the spot she ‘chop*(2)’ her place with her notebook of Biblical notes. In the middle of a privileged spot of the Q, there were already people crowding around the notebook, in the vertical directions of a line. The line obediently stops at the notebook, and starts again after the notebook. How miraculous.

The size of the notebook is able only to squeeze one person into the line. So the rest of us extends horizontally and fattens the line. More friends join the queue-ers, resulting in a fat line. I try not to breath directly into the hair of the person in front, behind, or next to me. Everywhere I turn, my body touches the other bodies. My arms feel like gawky pieces of body parts that wouldn’t align whenever I wish to take grab something from my bag or scratch my back. I wish I were smaller. I wish I didn’t have body parts that extend so awkwardly.

The Rock Auditorium Main Entrance
The Rock Auditorium.

Buddie, Amsie and I in 4th level overflow room.
Eunice and I outside The Rock bookstore.

The ticket part is confusing and redundant. The policy is to come 2 hours before church starts to collect tickets for seats in the Rock Auditorium where Pastor Prince preaches. The tickets tell us where to stand in the line. The line is tagged with plates of numbers from smallest to the largest. You match the number on your ticket to the number plates hanging on the boundaries of the line. The smaller the number on your ticket, the nearer you stand to the front of the line, and the earlier you came to collect the tickets.

Yes we line up for seats like these in the auditorium 🙂
The Rock Auditorium seats

So, at half an hour before the service starts, life gets exciting. Slowly, we crawl to the entrance of the Rock and beyond gatekeepers who smiles and say, “God Bless You.” A few steps into the Rock, another attendant in black and white suit holds up a cloth bin meant for discarding tickets. Most of the time we don’t have tickets, so we just smile. “God Bless You.”

Once we are inside the auditorium, we began searching for our regular seats. People are busy arranging their belongings, calculating the number of seats to ‘chop’ for their friends, deciding what non-valuables to act as ‘chopping’ items. The choir and band rehearsed one last time. How many of the red seats are littered with belongings depends on how far you are in the line. The latecomers get ushered to random empty seats in between rows.

*(1) Singapore + English. English modified and influenced in slang, accent and vocabulary by the cultural languages of Singaporeans. We call it Singlish.
*(2) chop.

Memo:
Nobody realize how hard it is for me to be away from you. From you all. Sometimes I throw tantrums. And nobody understands it more.

I will come back though. It is the only thought that keeps me going.

When I come back, I will have desires for the really important things in my life. The Lord will show me. And the really important things in my life will be found around me—where I come from.

My mind will stop wondering. Wandering. I will have tastes for only the most important things in my life. I will be with the most important people in my life. Joined by Love. I will do the most important things of life.

Many seek shelter in the Lord. The Lord gives me strength. To go on. He knows I know He is always behind me. He watches over me. He knows. That I know my way. Because he guides me from the inside. I will never get lost because all I have to do is stay put and reach out for Him.

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