There is a limitation to what we see and what we know yet we presume we know everything. As if we had a 360 degree view in and around us.
The grass seems greener when our mind’s at peace and if our mind is haywire the greens just look like old shabby stuff hanging around.
The flowers in a bouquet are beautiful and we can see life in them as we present it as a gift but as we place it as a wreath in a funeral we’re reminded of our death to come.
The darkened clouds spring joy in us as we wait to see them pour down on a cool evening but if those same clouds ruin our plans we frown at them as if they were criminals to be put behind bars.
In fact what is the difference? The grass, the flowers, the darkened clouds, they all are the same. Their properties did not change but our mindset did. It’s our mind that perceives the same thing differently in different situations. We perceive things suiting our mind’s state but oh we’re not ready to take the blame. Let’s just blame the other.
This is exactly what we do when it comes with people. We wish they change. We are unwilling to change ourselves or atleast our perspective. But we are set to change the world. Hurray. We think we know everything. Well knowing everything is quite impossible. There is only one who knows everything and He is God.
Stop blaming. Start changing. Be the change you wish to see in others. This is an age old saying right. But do we change or do we just wish others to change. Let change begin with me.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you”
You want to change the world?
Mother Teresa has the best advise. “If you want to change the world, then go home and love your family”.
“No… Jesus,….”. I screamed in my heart gasping for a breath.
It isn’t very uncommon for me to wake up and wake others up in the middle of the night owing to some nightmare.
This incident happened some years ago during my college days. I very vividly remember that dream. It was simple(or maybe not) I saw myself standing near a rubble and looking towards a concrete block. It was as if my version in the dream was trying to show me something. I could see a person lying dead under the block. And yes the dead one is also me. It seemed to me like my soul was grieving the death of my body. But seeing myself dead under a rubble was not the only reason that shook me. It was the location. I woke up from my dream all scared and I kept repeating in the depth of my heart “No Jesus , not in a movie theatre. I don’t want to die inside a movie theatre”.
Now when I look back I have a clearer picture. I was a person who can enjoy a movie on a very little screen too but that was not the same with most of my friends back then. They loved the theatres and so I tagged along. Back then I thought it was because I wanted to enjoy too but now I know that it was more of me just trying to ‘fit in’. Trying to look normal atleast in their standards because it wasn’t in mine. I’m not saying that watching movies in a theatre is wrong. It’s just that I wasn’t a theatre person at all. I enjoy a movie in the comfort of my home. But during college I just had to fit in.
So when this dream flew by and it involved death and since theatre is not a place where I wish to die, I decided to take a break from theatres. It lasted for a year.
Recently I was reminded of this dream. Dreams are just dreams. I totally agree. But I was illuminated of some important aspects from this little incident.
Firstly , Don’t try to fit in: Don’t ever try to fit in where you aren’t supposed to. I’m not just talking about movie theatres. It was theatres for me but you know exactly what you are doing to fit in with people. If whatever you are doing doesn’t go well with your morale or upbringing then just don’t do it. Don’t change your standards. Just don’t. It’s not worth it. Stay away from what you know is not good for your soul.
Secondly, Soul grieves for your body: Your soul grieves when the temple of the living God, i.e, your body, is left for destruction. And destruction is different for different people. It can be anything ranging from consuming extra calories to starving oneself to binge watching to alcoholism to you name it and going all the way to the most dehumanising, gut wrenching act ever in the history of humankind that is allowing a weaponry to enter in to one’s body to destroy another sacred life. The list goes on. I don’t know everything these are just a few examples but you know exactly what is ruining your body, aka, temple of God. Soul grieves for your body’s destruction. It hopes that you make it a clean dwelling place for the Almighty to dwell in. The heart of Christ was set on flames when he saw the temple being converted into a den of thieves. And He did what He ought to , He cleaned it up. He wishes to clean us too.
Thirdly, death: Walking dead. There is no worse thing than being dead while still alive meaning a spiritual death. A death that has to be grieved but is often left unnoticed. I was reminded that me under the rubble was not the physical death soon awaiting but the spiritual death. But of course I didn’t know that back then. To die while still alive is painful whether we recognise it or not. But that is where the Merciful Father steps in. He waits with never slumbering eyes for the return of His beloved son. He awaits for you and me to walk back to Him so that He may bless us with an eternal life. But then the thief eventually comes. The thief meaning physical death. It does come like a thief in the night, uninvited, unwelcomed, uninformed. We all eventually die one day physically. So where is our trajectory set? That’s something we have to discover before the thief visits us. And yet there’s one more death. The second death it’s called. No I’m not talking about the physical death anymore. Physical death is inevitable. But eternal death, condemnation to hell , that’s something that we would never want. To miss the crown that we were all made for is the worst thing that can ever happen. Nothing more tragic and nothing more heartbreaking.
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life
Fourthly, the location: Obviously we cannot say as to where our geographical location would be when the thief visits but we can prepare our soul to be in a state of grace. Right. Setting our location in peace , love , hope.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation;whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1
It’s always good to examine ourselves and remind ourselves that physical death is inevitable.
Remember your death.
Remember that you will die one day.
If you find yourself under a rubble, then it’s time to begin anew.
Now before it is too late.
Sacred heart of Jesus, make our hearts like yours.
Sow Water Prune Harvest. I don’t know why but it sounds like All set Camera Action.
I’m not into farming nor acting. I do not know all the needed steps in either. But farming has been in my heart for quite sometime
I am not talking about farming on the land because like I said I have no much idea. But I’m learning a new kind of farming.
The land here is the heart. The sower is God. The seeds are the Word of God and the virtues outpouring from Him. This is quite easy to figure out because we do know the parable of the sower. But my mind was fascinated as to what exactly is the water. How am I going to water the seeds sown in my heart?🧐
Have you ever thought of it?🤔 What could actually nurture these seeds? What could help it to grow further? I’ve been having these questions deep down in my heart. I was actually hoping for some extraordinary stunt work. But the answer I got amazed me. And where did I find it? In a devotional that I’ve been using for almost 2 years now🤦 I guess that’s why they say that we only find when we truly seek.
I’ll just get straight into it.
“Prayer is the water”. You read that right. Simple. Prayer, prayer, prayer. While it is still an extraordinary stunt work for some of us, many would be like, ‘seriously, that’s it’. Atleast for now, that’s what I’ve learnt.
When I read about this I was more intrigued to know what prayer means. I know what prayer is. I do pray. I just wanted to know the meaning of the word. And that lead me initially to Wikipedia but well I eventually reached the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’m not going to give you a lecture on prayer. I believe that you are better than me. I found out that there was this whole part on prayer and no I did not read the whole thing. I just read from 2558-2561😁. That’s just 4 points by the way.
“our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God” 2561 CCC
And all this while I was thinking that I’m the one initiating the conversation with Him. Here it’s said that my prayer is simply a response to the plea of the living God. He takes the first step. He seeks my attention. He tries to draw me to Him. And I’ve been thinking that I’m the one trying to draw His attention 🤪.
After reading the first four points on prayer, I closed my phone, walked to the balcony, stared at the wide blue sky and with a deep sigh I asked in the depths of my heart “ Where were these books when I had all the time?”. I stared at the blank sky.
Will the sky just tear open and answer me? Will the green trees sing a song of response to my dear question? Will the wind whisper the answer in my ear? No. None of those happened.
As I stared at the wide blue sky someone from the depths of my heart questioned me back “ Where were you when you had the time?” I cleared my throat. The words reverberated in my heart. “Where were you?”
I would like to place the same question to you. “Where are you when you have the time?” As your sibling in Christ I would just ask you to open the ears of your heart that you may hear the constant knocking at the door of your heart. Knock knock. Will you respond to the plea of the Living God, the Bridegroom of our soul?
These words stare right back at me and question me too as it’s questioning you : “So are you going to change now or what?”
“My God will hear me” Micah 7:7
So let’s go with confidence to God in prayer because He’s the one initiating it anyway. So why worry? Water the seeds. And respond to the plea.
Sacred heart of Jesus, make our hearts like Yours .
My eyes fell on the flames of the candle. The bright, beautiful light shining forth the glory. It was family prayer time. For a moment my eyes just fixated on the beautiful flames. I could see a small globe of fire on the top of the charred wick. It was small but what a beauty.
I got lost in thoughts. The candle stared at my heart. The more I looked at it the more I could see.
I wish to think from the perspective of the wax. Let me just put on it’s shoes and walk its path.
Once a large block with rough edges or shredded pieces of wax, is now standing still allowing the dancing flames. Did it just transform in a moment. No. It did not. A large block of wax cannot beam light. It doesn’t shine forth any light on its own. It had to go through a meltdown. It had to be heated to a temperature of its melting point to be melted. Poured into chambers of different shapes and sizes and threaded right in the middle. The wick, in fact is foreign to the wax. The wick(string) is no similar to the wax. But they soon became close friends. In that chamber , the wax had to wait not knowing what exactly was going on. It was a little heartbroken when it went through the fire and the meltdown and now sitting in the chambers locked down was not what it intended would happen. Slowly it could feel the core strengthening. Its shape transforming. It was becoming solid again. But this time it was not just some piece of large block. It had a shape, it’s ends were smooth. It could smell the fragrance of the lilies emanating from the core.
The best friends journeyed together to a home. They sat there in a corner looking for ways to help the family where they were guests. When the sun set and the night was creeping in, the family gathered. And then the moment came when a pair of hands held them close, struck a match and put the wick on fire. Both the friends knew their ends. One would melt, the other would char. But they joyfully allowed the light to do the mystery. To let them be the vessel for The Light to shine through them so that those in darkness may see the power of the The Light over darkness. And as they melted and charred away they thanked their maker for letting them to be an instrument for the spreading of The Light. The wax had to go through a journey to become a candle.
I reflected on it. Neither the wax nor the wick could have actually spread the light on their own. Wax alone or the wick alone cannot be a candle. Only together were they able to do what was intended for them. Only together can they be called a candle. They needed each other to spread The Light.
In a world where “I” has more importance than “we”, the candle teaches that you need each other to spread THE LIGHT. Atleast that was how it was intended.
Am I really so? Or am I just a one man army? Am I just the wax or am I willing to be the candle?
“I am the light of the world”
JESUS is the light of the world.
Let the flames of His heart fill your soul with warmth and love .
“For He will save His people from their sins” Matthew 1:21
THE LIGHT sheds away the darkness within and around us.
Dear Lord, unite us and make us your instruments that we may spread Your Light. Amen.
Sowing seeds Watering Pruning Harvesting Quite a bunch of activities.
Was listening to the latest episode of the abiding together podcast. It lead me to read the sermon on the Easter Vigil 2020 by Pope Francis. Since my heart has been in a sowing seeds mode, my eyes feasted on the words of our dear Pope and my heart realised the seed God wishes to sow in my own heart and in heart of many others. The context of the sermon is the reading about the women who went to the tomb on the Easter Sunday morning.(everything in italics is Pope Francis)
“there was fear about the future and all that would need to be rebuilt. A painful memory, a hope cut short. For them, as for us, it was the darkest hour…………Jesus, like a seed buried in the ground, was about to make new life blossom in the world; and these women, by prayer and love, were helping to make that hope flower. How many people, in these sad days, have done and are still doing what those women did, sowing seeds of hope! With small gestures of care, affection and prayer.”
Looking around we get to hear about the pandemic,the deaths, the sufferings, the conflicts between nations, hate crimes on the rise, a country which is forgetting the constitution it was built on, twisting the rules as and when they wish, we hear of communal riots, destruction of places of worship, stirring up of innocent minds for personal gain and all the evil that is soaring up and above. A world depleting of its moral values. A sense of despair. A sense of fear creeping in from all sides.
“Do not be afraid, do not yield to fear: This is the message of hope.”
In the midst of all the confusions and pain our Risen Lord gives us the message of hope. “Do not be afraid”. A message very much required for these days. Message of hope. Seeds of hope has to be sown in our hearts. But is it something that I can earn. Let’s listen to what our dear Pope has to say.
“Tonight we acquire a fundamental right that can never be taken away from us: the right to hope. It is a new and living hope that comes from God. It is not mere optimism; it is not a pat on the back or an empty word of encouragement, uttered with an empty smile. No! It is a gift from heaven, which we could not have earned on our own……Jesus’ hope is different. He plants in our hearts the conviction that God is able to make everything work unto good, because even from the grave he brings life.”
God is able to make everything work unto good.
“We can and must hope, because God is faithful. He did not abandon us; he visited us and entered into our situations of pain, anguish and death. His light dispelled the darkness of the tomb: today he wants that light to penetrate even to the darkest corners of our lives. Dear sister, dear brother, even if in your heart you have buried hope, do not give up: God is greater. Darkness and death do not have the last word. Be strong, for with God nothing is lost!”
To trust in THE LIGHT of the world.
I am amazed at the ways the Lord reveals His love . Teaching , leading , guiding , sowing seeds of hope, reminding of His Mercy and His promises. He never tires to stir our hearts. Never tires to feed us with joy.
Three points are explained by the Holy Father regarding hope
>>The Lord goes before us; he goes before us always. It is encouraging to know that he walks ahead of us in life and in death; …..Jesus wants us to bring hope there, to our everyday life.
>>remembering that we have been loved and called by God.
>>the message of hope should not be confined to our sacred places, but should be brought to everyone. For everyone is in need of reassurance, and if we, who have touched “the Word of life” (1 Jn 1:1) do not give it, who will?
Am I a messenger of hope or am I someone who stirs up conflicts and sits on the judgement seat?
Am I a messenger of hope or do I spread fear and despair in the hearts of the weak?
Am I messenger of hope or am I someone who sparks hatred in the hearts of the people?
Do I water the hope planted in the hearts of people or do I crush them at their roots?
Who am I?
Am I really a messenger of hope?
Let our heart set on the seed of hope that is planted by our Lord.
Dear Lord, thank you for the seeds of hope in our hearts, do nurture us, water us, prune us and make us messengers of hope. Oh Lord, let hope in You reign in our hearts. Amen.
“Go in peace. The mission you are on is under the eye of the Lord.” Judges 18:6
I am thankful for her being a part of my life. My kindergarten arts teacher. She sowed the seeds of the beauty of arts in my heart. But she was a part of my journey only for a year . Having had to move to a different state I missed her deeply.
Coming to a new place with a new language I shrunk back. I didn’t understand a bit going on around. But this little seed that she sowed kept growing. I’m not bragging that I’m a great artist. That I am not. But I kept learning slowly and slowly the beauty of art.
As I was thinking about art it dawned to me that this teacher whom I’ve never met thereafter was the one who instilled in me the desire for arts. And it did not come to fruition immediately. It took it’s time. It unfolded slowly. The colours mixed slowly. The combinations, the texture came with time. It all took time. In fact I’m still learning a lot more. A slow but yet a positive progress.
It’s true to various aspects of our lives. The seeds of various things that are sown by various people in different stages of our life are watered by others, pruned by yet others and harvested by someone else.Rarely it’s all done by one.
What is the important fact here? The fact that anything that is sown takes time to grow. It doesn’t become a tree with many fruits the following morning. It takes it’s time. It undergoes an organic growth. In time it becomes a beauty with great branches and numerous fruits. But that doesn’t occur in a day.
How often we are frustrated that some good that God has sown in our hearts haven’t yet beared fruit. We forget that it takes it’s time.
God is the perfect gardener of our soul. He tills the soil of our heart. Sows the seed of the Word of God. Waters it with love. Prunes it with discipline. He allows it to grow organically. He doesn’t rush things. He takes His time. He’s not worried about the time taken. Rather He’s more concerned about the quality of the fruit that it bears. He doesn’t mind waiting to nourish it so that it may bear fruit that lasts, fruits that satisfies the hunger of needy souls. He allows the process.
But our impatient selves want everything in an instant. We wish the seeds sown in our soul to bear fruit the very next day. The same with the little seeds that we sow in others lives. We just wish to see the fruit immediately. But that’s not the nature of growth. It takes time.
Give it time. Allow it to be watered. Allow it to be pruned. So that one fine day when the fruits are ready to be harvested the Divine Gardener will rejoice at the quality of the fruit that He allowed to grow in our souls irrespective of the time it took.
Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. —St. Francis de sales
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Return to me” Zechariah 1:3
To hand over our heart that it maybe tilled and sown with seeds of His choice. Let the Divine Gardener work on you.
Having doubts is not something new. I’m a ‘why’ person. I wish to know the reason for anything and everything. Anything I’m asked to do or comes to me and I’m like ‘why’. Well I just need to know.
When a child I can say that my parents have done the best to their knowledge to answer my never ending ‘why’s. But there were times when they didn’t know either and I can say of two ways that my parents shut my questions off when my questions went too far.
The first approach was to tell me a story. Now you can imagine how many times I’ve heard this one. I almost heard it few weeks back but I cut it short by going to the end. You might know this story. But for those who don’t here we go:
“Once a man was walking on the beach, contemplating the nature of the Holy Trinity.As he was walking along the beach, he saw a boy running back and forth from the ocean to a spot on the beach, carrying water in a seashell, and dropping the water in a little hole in the sand not too far off. “My boy,What are you doing?” he asked. “I am trying to bring all the sea into this hole!” the boy said with a big smile. “But that is impossible, my dear child. The hole cannot contain all that water. It is too small.” the man replied.“It is no more impossible than what you are trying to do — comprehend the immensity of the mystery of the Holy Trinity with your small mind!” the boy said. The man was perplexed at this and for a moment took his eyes away from the boy and when he turned back the boy was no longer there”
If you know the story , you know that the man is none other than St. Augustine and the boy is believed to be an angel of God.
Of course I wasn’t deeply thinking about the Trinity but my parents clearly conveyed to me that I didn’t need to know everything in the world. And they were never tired in repeating this story over and over and I was never tired to ask my why’s either.
The second way I believe is something most of us might have heard. ‘Why?’ I questioned. ‘Because I said so’ came the answer. And I wouldn’t stop there. I would ask why didn’t you ask grandma the reason behind what we are doing now and the answer would be straight forward. ‘We didn’t question our parents. We obeyed’. I was not someone who was ever satisfied with that. But my parents made it clear that sometimes you may not get to know the ‘why’ behind everything but you just obey if what you are asked to do is good.
As I now lie down in a world of ‘why’s’ and with very less answers I realise that what my parents have been teaching all the while and even now, is so true.
Sometimes you don’t get to know the answers.
Sometimes you don’t need to know everything in the world.
Sometimes you simply obey when you are told to do the right thing.
Times such as these when many questions rise.
Why so much suffering?
Why so much confusion?
Why so much pain?
The innumerable why’s.
And yet sometimes we don’t find the answer to the why.
And so we have to humbly learn that we need not know everything and also learn that we do the right thing. Obey THE TRUTH.
In the midst of confusions and perplexities, in the midst of doubts, I’ve found a go to quote by St John Henry Newman. I love reading it. Just sharing it here for any who needs it like me
“God has created me to do Him some definite service.He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away.If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him.If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about.He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about”
Still, He knows what He is about.
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose”.
When the innumerable why’s have no answer , know that the one above know the ‘why’ behind everything. And trust the One who knows everything. Trust God.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes” Revelations 21:4
Every person in our story is important. Each one has a role. There is no accidental placement of people in our lives. Everyone who is placed in our story is placed by the Author of our life whether we realise it or not. Some may help to build us, some may break us, some may teach us, some may lead us.
I was thinking of one such person. He is not much talked about. People don’t look too much at him but yet the Author placed him in one of His greatest parable.
When we think about the parable of the prodigal son most of us fixate our thought on the younger son and it’s obvious because he did things which were obviously evil.
But the attitude of the Elder brother has been drawing my attention since a few days. Is he hidden in us. Let’s explore.
A hard worker: “Now the elder son was in the field;” Luke 15:25 He seems like a hard worker. A responsible son who is working in the field of his Father. Many people can relate to this. Hard workers. Responsible. Working day and night in the Father’s field.
Anger: When he comes to know about the return of his brother and the welcome party that his father has arranged for his lost brother, anger was triggered in him. He did not feel that the younger brother actually was worthy of this welcome owing to the fact that he spoilt the riches of his Father for evil things. So whom exactly was he angry at? At the Father or the younger brother. Looks like he was angry at both. Many a times we hold onto anger in our heart at others, we judge them by their faults, by their mistakes. We feel that some people just don’t deserve to come back to the embrace of the Father. We feel that the Father can’t just shower His gifts on such people. But that of course is not the heart of the Father. It was the heart of the elder brother.
Stolen joy: His anger only leads to his joy being stolen away. The whole family was rejoicing the return of the younger son but the elder one loses his joyfulness. There is a party going on inside but he prefers to just stay out. He refuses to rejoice. Heaven rejoices at the return of a single sinner. Does my heart rejoice when someone turns back to God or do I just stay away with judgemental eyes?
In the house yet far away: The younger son left home and therefore was physically, spiritually and emotionally distanced from the Father. The elder brother though in the house physically, was in many ways spiritually and emotionally detached from the Father because he did not know the heart of his Father. He did not understand the Mercy and Love of his Father. Are we physically present but spiritually and emotionally away from the Father? Where is my heart ?
Resentment: Resentment meaning bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly. The elder son feels that he has been treated unfairly by the Father because the Father slaughtered a fatted calf to celebrate the return of the prodigal but never even gave a young goat to him so that he could enjoy with his friends. Resentment blinds us to the riches that God is pouring out into our hearts. We see him comparing about material stuffs not given to him. He forgets the love showered on him by his Father and for what ? For a mere calf. Do I consider material riches above the love and peace and joy that emanates from the relationship with the Father? What is more important to me the Father or his property?
Comparison: He compares between him and his brother. He points out that he has been faithful to his Father unlike his brother who has squandered all his share. I don’t know why but for a moment I felt a strong similarity here with the prayer of the Pharisee where he points out to God that he is far better than the tax collector. Do I compare myself with others in my prayer? Do I go about telling that I haven’t done what he has done thereby I’m better.
Standing in light and darkness within us: He looks like an example for someone standing on two boats. He was a hardworking son who toiled in his Father’s field but he was not willing to forgive his own brother. Am I standing on two boats. Am I flickering?
Lack of trust in the Father: The actions of the younger one taking away his part of share made it very clear that whatever was left behind belonged to the elder one but he doesn’t trust his Father enough. The younger son who strayed away wished to atleast be treated as his Father’s slave, while the elder son who has never left his Father considered himself to be treated as a slave. We see the Father stating to him clearly that all that I have is yours. Trust. How strong is my trust in the Father?
A call to come higher up: Towards the end of the parable we hear the invitation the Father gives his elder son to rejoice at the homecoming of his brother. He calls him higher. To grow in the virtue of forgiveness and joy, love and mercy. The story ends here. An invitation to us too, to forgive those who have wronged us, to rejoice always , to experience and share the love and mercy of the Father.
The much needed embrace: From the parable it’s obvious that it was not just the younger son who needed the embrace of the Father, the elder son needs the embrace too. He needs to take that leap into the hands of his Father. To surrender to the merciful love of the Father like his brother.
What stirred my heart to actually think much about the elder son? Listening to some people stirred it in me. I felt deep down to reflect on the elder son. And also few weeks ago as I normally do sometimes , I asked the Lord to speak to me and I randomly opened up the podcast and my finger hit on a book study. The Return of the prodigal son by Henri J. M. Nouwen. And the character under discussion was the elder son. As soon I saw that it was about the elder son I just giggled. I told the Lord that the younger one suits me better. Haven’t we all wandered away from His heart in our own ways. But I knew I had to listen to it. As I heard through I realised the danger hidden, that is, to be exteriorly good but interiorly seperated from the Father. And I realised that in many ways I think I have been more similar to the elder than I have ever been to the younger. And no I haven’t read the book. I hope to read it some time soon. Whenever ‘soon’ is.
“There are many elder sons and elder daughters who are lost while still at home”.
The Return of the prodigal son , Henri J. M. Nouwen
So are you at home?
What is “the attitude” of your heart?
Will you allow yourself to be embraced by God, the Father?
“ I am with you always, to the end of the age” -Matthew 28:20
I don’t know why I am on a writing spree. I’ve never done this before but something stirs in to just write this down.
Some years ago on a new year eve I took the verse for the year and it was from the book of Isaiah. “If you do not stand firm in faith you do not stand at all” Isaiah 7:9
I looked into it. I realised that these were the words spoken to King Ahaz. So I researched a bit on King Ahaz. Who is this man? How did he live? How did he end?
Well King Ahaz, King of Judah, was not the example of faith. He was the one to whom through Isaiah, God prophesies about the virgin birth, meaning he received the message of the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. But sadly he was a person who wavered in his faith and later on loses his faith and finally ends up going against his faith.
So my research did end in a note of sorrow because I felt like God was showing me an example of what happens if I don’t stand firm. I will fall. And that fall will not be good.
That whole year my prayer was to have my faith increased and also that I don’t end up like King Ahaz. Phew.
Bible reveals to us the heart of God and also reveals our own hearts to us. The stories of the Bible are not just stories. They are set before us to show us not only about the greatness of people but also their weaknesses and how when they did not heed the warnings ended up badly.
The character now that God has put in my heart is of the first king of Israel. King Saul. What was his problem? Well he was overtly bothered about the opinion of others. How did he live? How did he end?
King Saul in many situations prefers to please people more than God(thanks to the Bible in a year podcast, I didn’t have to research in depth about King Saul). And what happens? The spirit of God leaves him and he is pestered by an evil spirit and we know that he loses to Philistines, he kills himself by falling on the sword, the kingdom passes away from his family to David’s.
Okay am I preaching to you. Nope. I am preaching this to myself. Yes. Sadly yes. I am so freakingly worried about the opinions of others and what other people would think. I fear what others may think. That’s sadly my weakness. I’m not proud of it. I don’t know why but I feel like this period of my life is a very apt time to just learn to ignore all the buzz and comments in life. To ignore the opinions of others and what others think and to just listen to what God has to tell me. It’s always easier said than done. Yesterday I received a beautiful chapter to read(okay it’s past midnight, so day before yesterday). I’ve felt so peaceful reading it because it’s not somebody’s opinion, it’s God’s love letter. “I have loved you with an everlasting love therefore I continue to be faithful to you. Again I will build you and you shall be built O virgin Israel” . Jeremiah 31: 3-4. His words are what should matter. His opinions are what should matter. Not people’s.
I’ve heard my mom telling it a gazillion times (well I mean many, I don’t know to count gazillion) that I shouldn’t bother about others comments. There is a famous line she always tells me.“ You can close the mouths of a thousand pots but you can’t close the mouth of a single person”.
But what others think and say, it’s been a real deal(it shouldn’t be).It’s my Achilles heel. And I’ve been hit here many a times that sometimes I’ve ended up limping and sometimes paralysed (well metaphorically speaking, not literally).
What does God want me to do? Don’t become another king Saul. Just let it go. Don’t fear people. Fear God. Place pleasing God above any human.
The solution for all trouble. Only one solution. HOLY SPIRIT. HIS GRACE. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” I need Him to take over. That’s my prayer.
Come Holy Spirit, give me a heart that yearns to please God and not people. Give me the strength and courage to be me and to not dilute myself out of the fear of what others may think. Let me not heed to the passing comments and opinions of people but let me put my heart on Your words that do not change even though heavens and earth may pass away. Amen.
Have a wonderful week ahead.
This is an update on 16 June.
A humble reminder to how the Lord teaches us. Above you’ve read me bragging about other people’s comments etc, and my Achilles heel. Reading through Ecclesiastes I came across a reminder. Obviously this is about the king and servants but it applies to me and people around me too.
Humbled. I should stop bragging about other people’s comments and simply just not heed to everything that people say. And also a stern reminder that I shouldn’t go around speaking hurtful things at others.
These are excerpts from Bishop Barron’s sermon on today’s readings.
Alot to ponder on.
I mean I thought I was trying to join the dots but looks like I’m not doing anything afterall.
Watch the entire episode down below let God speak to your heart.
“To know God – and in Bible to know means a kind of intimate connection. I can’t know God unless I enter into the dynamics of love because that’s what God is”.
“One of the clearest sign that the spiritual life has become dysfunctional is ….. we start playing the game of ‘well if I impress God enough , maybe he’ll love me. If I perform morally or intellectually or whatever sufficiently, then God will love me’…. that puts you spiritually in the driver seat…. You are in charge of that relationship”.
“I’ve chosen you and now I’m going to live my life in you and now follow the promptings that I give you. That’s the spiritual life”.
“The surest sign that someone is not living the spiritual life correctly is this sort of cramped and deeply unhappy attitude. That’s the sign you don’t have the Spirit in you. The flag of the Holy Spirit is joy”.