An Episode in Eternity
By Rev Jenny Ching
February 5, 2023
I recently watched a documentary titled To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self, which took ten years to produce. After watching it, I was inspired with hope because of a remark made by a retired principal of Ying Wa Girls’ School, Ms. Ruth Lee: “This is just an episode in eternity.”
At an interview by Christian Times, Principal Ruth said, “Teenagers may at times make people feel that they are off the wall but once we understand that what we see in them now is ‘just an episode in eternity,’ that they will have a future self, we will be able to calmly face them as they are here and now.” Principal Ruth’s words are truly inspiring. Indeed, the present condition of teenagers is just an episode in eternity. They are like a plant and they gradually grow according to various stages of their life. We should not just look at their current situation because in time, they will naturally grow up. After all, there are those who plant the seed, others water it, but God alone has been making it grow (1 Corinthians 3:6).
And Principal Ruth’s words of wisdom is correct – the students in the documentary attested to this. Take Ah She, one of the students, as an example. Her results in the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) were not satisfactory. We might be worried what her future would hold. But DSE is only one episode in her eternity. She repeated class for one year and was finally admitted to university on a subject she loved. Ah She’s growth path was winding but she made others see her in new light. In time, she naturally morphed into a self that pleasantly surprises.
Madam, another student, was the Deputy Head Prefect but she was at odds with the Head Prefect. In an interview, she said it was probably because she did not concede to the Head Prefect at that time and so other students under their care followed suit. They ignored Madam’s instructions as they saw that Madam did not listen to the Head Prefect. Later, Madam gained valuable insight from a historical figure and knew she should have laid down her self and be at peace with others for the sake of the overall good. This frustration was also just an episode in Madam’s eternity. When the time comes, she is made new in the attitude of her mind (Ephesians 4:23).
This documentary presents the truth about the students nakedly before our eyes. It stirs our hearts and encourages us to think: As adults, how do our marriage, our daily lives, our acts and our speech influence the growth of our teenagers? How can we walk with these teenagers who are willful and are more than ready to strive for their aspirations? I very much hope that we can keep watch and walk with the youth the Lord so loves in this ever-changing era.