We decided to try “Dim Sum”, a traditional Chinese cuisine prepared in small wooden steamer baskets. It traditionally is mixed with Yum Cha, which just means to drink tea, so we did that too. And man was it good, I mean just look at that:
The dumplings were amazing; they even threw in some chicken feet for us. (Which were as disgusting as they sounded)
Hong Kong is very crowed, so to get a table to yourself is very rare. We googled what would be the best Dim Sum restaurant in the neighborhood we were at and found this quaint place on the corner of two crowded streets. It was located on the first floor of a 30+ story building, which was short in comparison to the other buildings around it.
We went in and pieced together that the hostess said, “Two people, right this way,” in very broken English. She sat us down next to a girl that had just ordered.
After a few minutes of staring at the menu that was printed in full Cantonese, she could tell we had no idea what to order. She introduced herself. “My name is LaLa (not making that up, her name was LaLa). Are you just visiting Hong Kong?” Her perfect English took us aback because she looked 100% local. Turns out she was born in Hong Kong, but then moved to Toronto for most of her life. Who would have ever guessed we would meet a Canadian to help us order!
After ordering our food, we asked about her life, how she got back here, and what’s she doing now. It was a great conversation. After we slowly did the conversion of 7.7 Hong Kong dollars to 1 USD we walked out the door full and satisfied. LaLa asked, “What do y’all have planned for the rest of the afternoon?” We said we were going to go to “ladies market” and check out what they had. “I’ll go with y’all, it's on my way back to my apartment, and if you don’t have someone who speaks the language you get completely ripped off.” We said great and made our way over.
The street eventually turned into a small path about 2 or 3 people wide with tents on both sides taking up the rest of where the street was. It was only a few blocks long, but it felt like it went on for miles. Under the tents, all a different shade of green or blue, held more inventory than a small mall back in the states. Most overlapped on what they sold, from weird paintings, to the last minute gifts you would find at the airport. If you wanted a fake Rolex or Polo shirt there were shops for that, or a backpack with Chinese lettering that said “strength” only to be told by LaLa that that actually said “pork fat”. I got lured into one store looking at a nice set of chopsticks which started at a price of 100 HKD, but I walked away with them at 15 HKD. I wasn’t planning on buying them but the lady was persistent enough to win me over. I did like them anyways, they are truly beautiful, white with a cherry blossom blooming all around them.
We spent almost two hours in the claustrophobia inducing street, just talking about life. She eventually asked about the cross I wear around my neck.
“Are you a Christian?”
I responded, “I am!”
“I was just baptized a few months ago!” LaLa replied.
I pressed on a little bit more about how she came to know Jesus. She said she was in a dark place, alone in a new city and eventually came to the realization that she needed something else. She found a church there and found a family.
I asked her what the Christian culture was like in Hong Kong.
“I think y’all are more committed in the states. Here people come and go, even I haven’t been going to church very regularly. Everyone here just seems to not be committed.”
I thought that was interesting. Commitment was the first thing she talked about.
I started thinking more though, and I think I disagree with LaLa. I think though we may seem more committed, I think we are just as noncommittal as the rest.
My generation especially. The days of pensions and working a job for 40 years then retiring are gone.
We switch jobs. We bounce around in relationships. We may not leave the faith completely, but if our pastor starts getting boring or we aren’t “getting something out of it” we switch churches.
Fashion trends, music, everything is about jumping around to “what’s in” at the time.
The old mindset used to be, if it isn’t working, fix it. Now it’s if it isn’t working, ditch it.
Find something new, something that works for you. Make sure you are happy and comfortable and if anything changes, run.
Problem is, life doesn’t work that way.
Commitment bring us into and through difficult situations to make us strong.
James agrees with that, “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:3-4)
Commitment is what makes us into something more.
Coal is made into diamonds under pressure.
Gold is made pure in the fire.
Metal is strengthened with every swing of a hammer on it.
We are made strong when we commit.
Easy and hard.
Freshman year of college I picked one organization that I wanted to commit to for four years. I'm in my last semester with it and I’m sure glad I committed.
I got to rejoice with the guys in it, mourn with them, and be frustrated at it.
My commitment led me to care about the organization and those in it.
But many of us never get to that point. We ditch after the honeymoon phase is over and it gets hard.
On to something new, with new people that barely know you.
It takes a lot of commitment to get to the point where you are trusted and known.
If we want to make a difference in this world we are going to have to commit.
Commitment is key.
To not commit will be costly.
Commit to committing.