Letting Go…

Two nights ago, I had the opportunity to watch The Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. I wanted to give a review on the film but I wouldn’t dare touch on that. I might give injustice to the film in doing so. That’s the least that I want to do. Right now I want to share with you the part of the film that struck me the most. This is the part where Red (Freeman) and the rest of the convicts are shown hoeing the field. We can hear Red talking about his friend Andy (Robbins).

Sometimes, it makes me sad, though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone… I guess I just miss my friend.

These words spoke to me. It made me realize, and accept, a lot of things. In this generation when we have MP3 players, cellphones and computers, to keep us busy and occupied, it is so hard to have that real connection with the people we meet or talk with. The thing we call friendship.

And sometimes, when you finally find that person and made that genuine connection, that’s the time that they will have to leave due to reasons that are inevitable or unexplainable. Misunderstandings, hurts, responsibilities, principles, etc. Why?

Some of them left as quickly as they came. But still they were able to leave something that will be a part of you for the rest of your life. Things that will make you smile when remembered and, at the same time, make you sad to realize that something beautiful like it has to end. We even ask, “Why couldn’t I keep them for myself?”

But Red said it very well. Those people are not meant to be kept. These kinds of people should be shared to the whole world, like a good book should be given away for others to read. They can do far more greater things to the world, touching other people’s lives, inspiring them in ways that no other person can, knocking sense into them, changing their lives in the process.

Me, I’m just thankful for the people that came into my life and with whom I was able to make that deep connection. They will occupy a part of my life that will be their rightful place and where they will stay forever. I’m thankful for the things that they have done that turned my life into something better.

Sadly, some people had to leave, go away. My days were full of empty spaces, the parts that they have deserted. I know it’s not for me to keep them but I don’t want to lose them either. It’s so sad that some things that are so beautiful have to end. Sometimes I just want to see them again and hang out, talk over coffee or dinner, catch up on the things that we missed, joke around, laugh, learn… just like before.

Will this be the end? I hope not. I’m still praying that I will see them again… catch up with new happenings, patch things up.. May be in His own timing..

I guess I just miss my friends… *sigh*

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Knock Some Sense Into Me

Last night, I received a text message that goes like this:

“When God calls us, we cannot refuse from a sense of inadequacy. Nobody is worthy of such trust. When Moses tried that excuse, God became angry (Exodus 4:14). Let us not pass the buck of leadership because we think ourselves incapable.”

I thank God for friends who really tries to knock some sense into me, during the most confusing times, but seems to delete the word “gentle” in their vocabulary while doing so. Lol!

This was taken from the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders and I guess this is the wake up call I need right now.

For the past few weeks, I am compelled to start discipleship with some of the youth in our church. God gave me the burden to reach out to these young people so they won’t end up at the same place I’ve been to… nowhere. Lost, clueless of what a relationship with God really is, a man who claims that he’s a Christian but does not know who Christ is.

But I was, am, afraid to do so because I’m afraid of messing things up. I’m afraid that I’m not capable to lead these young boys because I don’t know how to. I’m afraid that, in the process, everything will end in a disaster because I’m not capable, or sensitive enough, to hear and follow His leading.

The answer came like a volleyball that was hit by the world’s strongest spiker, aimed right into my face, and promises to leave a clear and unmistakable “Mikasa” mark in my forehead. Lol!

It was a slap on the face, a conk right on the forehead. It was a big ‘Ouch!’ on my part. It hurts because it’s true. I’m tired of running but still I did nothing but run, run away from the responsibilities that were been given to me.

The funny thing about it is I didn’t feel offended or angry. I really think that I should be offended but I’m not. I wanted to feel that way but I can’t. Lol! Maybe because I’m guilty and I have nothing else to do but to admit that I am guilty. Maybe because there is consolation in knowing that the message contains loads of truths in it.

From this day on I am so encouraged to take my leadership tasks seriously. I’m not saying that everything will be easy and that I wil be so good in it. BUt at least I’m taking the steps to achieve and accomplish the tasks He has set before me. After all, I wouldn’t want to piss Him off.. It’s quite scary just thinking about it..

How about you, what are the things that you think God has been telling you to do but you haven’t done yet for some reasons?

P.S.

Forgive me for the picture. I didn’t find any good pic of a volleyball player hit right on the face or somebody smashing something on another person’s head. Lol! It was taken from http://www.tckl.org/

Extraordinary Service

During rainy season, traveling to and from the office is always a tedious thing to do. You have to bring jackets and umbrellas, you have to strategize your routes to escape the flood on the way, you have to get out of the house as early as possible or while the rain has not poured yet. This is a daily challenge in which, most of the time, I lose. Lol!

Today, I was on the last part of my journey, a Philippine Tricycletricycle ride, going to our company’s plant in Pasig when the rain started to fall. I was seating at the back of the driver and there was another passenger beside me. Again, I was fighting a losing battle. My shoes and pants started to get wet by the raindrops (because the back side of the tricycles are usually open). The driver stopped for a while to put a cover in front of the tricycle to server as shield as we make our way through the rain. It didn’t give so much help on me since I was seated farther behind the driver. He asked me if I’m going to be okay. I said it’s fine (I can’t make anything better out of this situation anywway so might as well accept that my pants will get soaked.)

We haven’t moved much farther when the rain poured heavier. The driver couldn’t stand it anymore so he stopped again and gave us another plastic to cover ourselves from the rain. He was so concerned because he knew that I’m going to the office and I shouldn’t get wet. I was so amazed by the extraordinary service this driver did. He knew he isn’t getting any insentive for doing that but he did it anyway. He could have left things as they are and continued driving along the hi-way but he still got out of his way and chose to be of help.

It wasn’t stylish holding a plastic cover while riding at the back of a tricycle but it’s far more better than being soaked in the rain.

Thinking about it, that man showed me a good example of being radically generous (thanks to James for a sermon on this. Lol!). I mean what he did wasn’t that crazy (like the stories James told me) but it was extraordinary. He wasn’t giving any material thing but he was giving an extra service from what he usually gives his passengers (which is to take them from one place to another ). It’s so good to know that there are still some who choose to serve other people even when most of the people in this time do not do that anymore.

I should have asked for his name or at least took a picture of him and his tricycle (but it was raining) so that I could at least commend him here. I just pray that he’ll continue to be extra generous to his passengers and that God will bountifuly bless him and his family.

Messed Up… But Not For Long…

Hey guys, check this out…

I feel like a mess…

I feel so empty, tired, pathetic, hopeless…

I don’t know if maybe I’m just physically tired or maybe there are really a lot of things going on in me right now…

I’m tired of balancing things…
I’m tired of analyzing everything…
I’m tired of planning eveything…
I’m tired of running away…
I’m tired of making things work…
I’m tired of finding reasons for everything…

I’m not blaming anybody… I just feel like I’m making a big mess out of my whole life…

Things are getting more complex and harder… I actually want to quit…
It’s like wanting to drop everything off and start from scratch…
The only problem is… I can’t

I get so preoccupied that it’s so hard to listen for Divine guidance…

Desperate for a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light…
Eager to know what the Real Plan is behind all these things…

Can do nothing but breakdown…

Ah…

Seems pathetic right?

That was actually me talking. Lol!

I saved this post because that was what I actually felt for God-only-knows-how-long. Right now, reading it again, it seems so absurd and laughable but I felt the extreme opposite of that when I was actually writing it. I was so down and hopeless I actually thought my life stinks.

But God has been so good. I whined about “I get so preoccupied that it’s so hard to listen for Divine guidance… “, but all along His words were standing right in front of me, slapping at my face… I was even looking at the answers everytime I read my blog! Crazy! Then, out of nowhere and for whatever reason, I received a forwarded e-mail from a colleague that goes like this…

Dear SOLDIER,

I see that you’re tired..
I tell you, drop your sword and put down your shield..
Why worry about the firght?
After all, it’s not your battle. It’s MINE!
All you have to do is to be in the battle field.
Then against the thousand who tried to destroy you, there I will stand and rescue you.
Winning this war requires neither only Me nor only you..
But rather, ME and YOU!

Just do your best and I’ll take care of the rest!

Your COMMANDER,
JESUS

Then, the following day at care group, people started talking about the same things, lifting our burdens to God, let go and let God take care of them, and the likes. Now if those words were not from God then I don’t know where they came from. They were pointing out to a single thing…

Exodus 14:13-14.

To BE STILL…

The very foundation of this blog’s existence..

Looking back, it amazes me how God worked His way when there seemed to be no way. How He completes us from our brokeness. How His words are heard in the silence after the tears. Exactly what David Baroni said in his poem.

O Beautiful Affliction
Merciful pain
This mortal wounding bringing me to life again
In suffering there’s healing
This darkness revealing
Silence speaking volumes to my soul
O Beautiful Affliction
Blessed brokenness that makes me whole.

God doesn’t want us to face the battle on our own. He wants us to keep still… Stay on guard and draw strength from Him.. Because after all it’s not through our own strength that we’ll achieve victory but through the deliverance the Lord will give us.

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The “egyptians” you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Hallelujah!

New Place

Welcome to my new place! I’m still feeling my way in managing this one but I think I wil enjoy it here. Hehe. It has more attractive themes and easy-to-use administration pages. Although the codes are off-limits so I have to say goodbye to shoutboxes and other “home” accessories.

I chose the design because of its gothic theme and it reminded me of my most favorite City on a Hill album, Songs of Worship and Praise. Check out the album cover below..

City on a Hill, Songs of Worship and Praise
Anyway, I hope you’ll have fun in my new place. Hope to see you again. PLease update your links to my new address. I won’t be deleting my previous blog, for now, so everyone who goes there will be redirected to my new place.

God bless you all!

Understanding True Sacrifice

I got this quote from The Dawn Patrol where they posted it as a quote of the day and the first person to guess the author of the quote will win the book from which the quote was extracted.

I don’t know about you but, for me, the quote is a prize as it is. Stumbling upon it and learning the truth behind it help us know more about that Big Man up there and strengthen our relationship with Him, which is, far more beautiful and beneficial than anything else in this world.

Here it is:

“In all religions sacrifice is at the heart of worship. But this is a concept that has been buried under the debris of endless misunderstandings. The common view is that sacrifice has something to do with destruction. It means handing over to God a reality that is in some way precious to man. Now this handing over presupposes that it is withdrawn from use by man, and that can only happen through its destruction, its definite removal from the hands of man. But this immediately raises the question: What pleasure is God supposed to take in destruction? Is anything really surrendered to God through destruction? One answer is that the destruction always conceals within itself the act of acknowledging God’s sovereignty over all things. But can such a mechanical act really serve God’s glory? Obviously not. True surrender to God looks very different. It consists — according to the Fathers, in fidelity to biblical thought — in the union of man and creation with God. Belonging to God has nothing to do with destruction or non-being: it is rather a way of being. It means emerging from the state of separation, of apparent autonomy, of existing only for oneself and in oneself. It means losing oneself as the only possible way of finding oneself (cf. Mk 8:35; Mt 10:39). That is why St. Augustine could say that the true “sacrifice” is the civitas Dei, that is, love-transformed mankind, the divinization of creation and the surrender of all things to God: God all in all (cf. 1 Cor. 15:28). That is the purpose of the world. That is the essence of sacrifice and worship.” (emphasis added)

— Pope Benedict (writing as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger), The Spirit of the Liturgy

Most of the time, we sacrifice something, either a person, thing, memories or past experiences, by getting rid of them and not wanting to have anything to do with them anymore. It’s like saying, “God these things are yours now. I don’t want anything to do with them anymore. Whatever your plans for them are, I don’t care. I’m offering them up to you. They are yours.”

Can you relate?

I can.

But the idea of true sacrifice is not taking these things off our lives but letting God make His way on them.

How can God be glorified through my struggle? How can God’s love be shown through this person I really hate? How can God’s power manifest through my problems?

God wants us to let Him into everything in our lives, no matter what they are, no matter how personal, dark or insane they are. Through this we are acknowledging his sovereignty over everything…God all in all…The very essence of sacrifice and worship.