iCA and the Vending Machine Testimony
Vending machine? Yep. I’m going to share about that soon, but promise me, to keep the suspense, you should not see first who is this writer or skip to the end of this story.
Maybe because it’s been quite long since we had our ‘all-girls’ iCA (previously known as CG, to all the seniors who are still wondering what is iCA), I didn’t have the excitement to attend it at first. Some stress and crankiness about exams which have been bothering me these past few days also kind of robbed away my eagerness to come. Even when I was on the bus back from INTEC, there’s this thought which came across my mind, what if I choose not to come?
Anyway to cut the long story short, I did attend iCA because I felt that no matter how cranky I may be, I should not isolate myself and it should not rob away the joy that God has given me through this chance of fellowship.
Our topic was about church, and why do we attend church. After worship, we had an exciting game with a very interesting message, particularly about how God created everybody with their own strengths and imperfections so that we can complement each other.
From what we had discussed, there are mainly a few points on why do we need a church family:
• To identify ourselves as believers.
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. – John 13:35
• To move out from self-centeredness.
We know that real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. – 1 John 3:16
• To develop spiritual muscles.
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. – Ephesians 4:16
• The church needs you.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. – 1 Corinthians 12:7
It was also a great moment of sharing with each other and honestly it really made me feel recharged as all of us had the opportunity to share on what we had in mind. Without these chances created through iCA, I don’t think we have any other time to share in this manner. (Well, maybe we do, but we don’t normally come to a proper time of discussion and sharing).
Here comes the vending machine testimony. (Sorry, you’ll have to bear with this very long story)…
We decided to break the tradition as everyone was too full to have ice-cream. Coolblog (the new thing in this small town) sounded like a great suggestion after cramming in Cindy’s warm room (literally and figuratively warm indeed). However, we had to change our plan and walk back to Akasia as the line was too long.
We walked to one of the vending machines in Akasia and decided to get our cool drinks from there. Then, there came this sudden idea of testing out what we had learnt during one of our early morning prayer meetings in INTEC.
PLEASE DON’T TRY THIS OUT. I’m sharing this so that we can learn together from it.
Someone from the CA family taught us a trick to get two bottles of drinks from the vending machine by inserting cash for only one bottle. In other words, you’ll get the other bottle for free.
As Kar Suan inserted her RM2, I mischievously tried out the trick when the rest were still contemplating whether to do it or not. We were hoping to see two bottles to come out, or maybe at least one, if we happen to fail.
Well, nothing came out. Not even a bottle of 100plus that Kar Suan paid for.
I felt ashamed of myself for what I did, and there’s this unexplainable guilt because it wasn’t even my own money, and what we were trying to attempt was obviously wrong. Although it was something that we agreed to try out together, I felt so wrong for being the one who attempted it. After some failed attempts of kicking the vending machine, I said out a simple prayer to God, basically saying that we’re sorry because we chose to cheat, and in my heart, I knew that was going to be the last time I’ll do such thing.
We gave up on that vending machine and decided to move on to another one located one block away. Filled with remorse, we knew that we had to learn from that lesson.
I replaced Kar Suan’s money, pushed the button, then there was this loud thud, which meant something good.
But nothing came out.
So I decided to reach for the bottle with my own hand (at the same time praying that my hand won’t get stuck). That’s when we saw something funny, pretty amusing I have to say.
There were two bottles. We only paid for one. The other one kind of replaced the previous one that we were supposed to get.
I’m not trying to promote cheating here, but what I want to share is that God truly sees our hearts. The moment we prayed for forgiveness and admitted that we were wrong, He showed to us that He knew that we’ve learnt our lessons.
This was also part from my devotion yesterday, where I read about the Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8). While the whole passage wasn’t related to this incident, in verse 6, Jesus mentioned that sometimes we learn a good lesson from a bad example. What we chose to do was obviously wrong, and shouldn’t be imitated. But I guess the lesson is worth to be shared. Even in the Bible there were characters who chose to follow the wrong path, but as they set their hearts right before God once again and be honest to Him, He still called them His friends.
Please don’t choose to cheat.
-Shrek’s wife, on behalf of the whole bunch of other girls.