Enjoy and Relax

by Aldo Siahaan, Leadership Minister

At the beginning of October, I returned to Jakarta, Indonesia with my wife Viviani and my son Eden. It had been almost three years since my last visit.  It was a short visit, but I knew I would love to see the location of my parents’ new grave. Originally, both my parents were buried in the Pondok Rangon Cemetery, but two years ago, their graves were moved to a new place called the San Diego Hill Cemetery. The distance to the San Diego Hill Cemetery was only 40 miles.

Aldo and family, visiting his parents’ gravesite

On the appointed day, Vivi, Eden, and I were joined by two of my nieces and three of my siblings; my sister Lita drove us. Before leaving, Lita had warned us: “Get ready—this will be a long journey. San Diego Hill Cemetery is in a suburb of Jakarta and we may get caught in traffic jams.”

On the way there, the journey to San Diego Hill Cemetery took only 90 minutes! Those who knew the traffic jams in Jakarta said, with joy, “Wow, our trip was very fast this morning!” After visiting my parents’ new grave, we returned to the car to go home.      

Coming out of the cemetery complex, we were immediately confronted with traffic.  When we checked the GPS, it said it would take 2.5 hours to get home. In the end, we had to travel 4 hours for the 40-mile distance.

What is interesting for me is how my sister Lita, the driver, stayed calm. No matter how many times other family members or I complained about the length of the trip or the traffic jams that didn’t move, Lita always said, “Just enjoy it” or “All passengers just relax!” How many times did Lita share stories or engage us in conversation so that we wouldn’t focus on the traffic? She made jokes or asked us to sing, reminding us to “just enjoy.”  There was nothing we could do to get out of the 4-hour traffic jam—it was a tough test for someone as impatient as me.

In today’s world, people want everything to be instant. The word patience is easy to speak but hard to live. Many people don’t want to be matured by God. What would have happened if Noah had been impatient or disobedient to what God had told him to do? What would have happened if Joseph had been impatient waiting for God’s promises through his dreams? Or Abraham, David, and others?

Maybe these heroes in the Bible said to themselves, “Just enjoy, just relax, engage in the process.” Yes, God wants me to learn to be patient, enjoy this life journey, and not run away from the process. I will say to myself, “Aldo, just enjoy the problem you have, relax, and engage in the process.”

“[It is] better to be patient than a warrior, and better to have self-control than to capture a city.” (Proverbs 16:32, CEB)