Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Joy In The Lord

I had this conversation with a fellow missionary and we were sharing about how we’ve survived this far. (Actually in reality we are not just surviving, we are in fact thriving in the joy of the Lord.) That I can say for sure! Why? How can we be happy in the midst difficulties? Difficulties are everywhere; the important thing is we find what kind of life we want to live.

I think missionaries are happy because they found what they wanted. I think, other people who are also working in other ways can be happy too if they find there work as the path God wants them to be.

Another thing, what I found in mission is that we can be in desolation ourselves but can still be joyful because we find our consolation in the joy of others. We rejoice of others joy and that is enough consolation for us.

Lastly, our joys are grounded in our faith in Christ, so things can be fleeting but we can be joyful because His is eternal.

by aats

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sin of Omission

I’ve heard before someone shared to me about sin of omission, that it is a sin of failing to do good. It can be as simple as failing to help an old person crossing the street to failing to voice or stop a bad thing happening before your own eyes. However, last month I realized it’s not just about failing to do good; sin of omission is also about failing to appreciate the good. When we fail to appreciate even the little good things that we actually have, such as the air that we breathe and the simple fact that we can walk or talk.

This has become more apparent to me when I got sick, “very sick” a month ago. A month before that I was already going to numerous doctor appointments. It got worst instead and by December I was full blown sick. And this was Christmas season, worst time of the year to get sick. I could barely move because I was always in pain. I was in bed most of the time. Every little movement was painful. It was hard for me to even walk and sit.

The situation made me look back on the things I used to do with ease and now I couldn’t, simple things as sitting comfortably, walking without pain, and eating well. Being deprived of it made me fully grasped what a beautiful thing to sit well, walk well and eat well and I only realized it when it was taken away from me. I failed to appreciate all the good things God has given me.

This is a reminder for more sensitivity to the little things but actually very essential to quality of life.

It also slaps me with the truth that has always been there, “I am nothing without God!” Oh how simple this truth is but seldom acknowledged and appreciated!

How many times we fail to appreciate the things that are always there for us?

Lord God, sorry for failing to appreciate the good and grant us the grace to see blessings in everything. Amen.

by aats

Friday, December 9, 2016

The World of Convenience

The world is pampering us with convenience that is why it’s easy for us to give up on people. It is easy to call it quit when the going gets tough with the people we are serving. From convenience store, buying online, ordering food at the comfort of home, drive through teller for money withdrawal and yes, even entering a store, the door opens for you! We are becoming a lazy generation without us even knowing it! That is why at the smallest discomfort we quit.

This is very telling in terms of our family, career, love life and service.

1.   We quit on our family. We don’t visit or talk to them we are too busy. We don’t even help them; we only go back when we need them only to realize it’s too late anymore.
2.   We quit on our job so easily. A little struggle here and there with co-workers, boss or even on work itself, we resign. We don’t aspire to study and improve ourselves.
3.   We quit on love life. We change relationships like changing a wardrobe! Worst, we don’t even own the wardrobe we just use them!
4.   We quit on service. If it stresses you out, it’s not going your way, it’s encroaching on your “life”, we quit!

So okay, all valid reasons, so maybe somebody should have told your parents not to get pregnant of you because it was inconvenient. Or, somebody should tell companies not to hire you because you cannot handle stress, co-workers and the boss. Or maybe, somebody should broadcast to all the sisters (if you are a brother) or to all brothers (if you are a sister) that you are a user and you just wear them at your comfort and then discard them. Or maybe, somebody should tell God to stop looking after you, stop serving you and stop listening at your prayers because it’s too uncomfortable and inconvenient for Him to serve you. Maybe this is fair.

“I’ll serve as long as it fits me. If it fits with my lifestyle, my schedule and my stage of life, then okay.” This is a very narrow way of looking at things. God did not created us out of convenience. Serving out of convenience is not service it's just filling out your spare time. It is devoid of sacrifice. Service without sacrifice is no service at all!

The story of creation or the entire salvation history culminating in the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord for that matter is not a story of convenience. If this is our gauge, then I think we need to change our perspective on service for certainly our salvation was not out of convenience.

Lord, may we not look for convenience in serving You, but when difficulties come, grant us the grace to find use and joy of it. Amen.

by aats

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Disturb Us Lord

I came across a beautiful prayer composed by Francis Drake, English navigator, a beautiful prayer that challenges man to search for adventure and go beyond what the world offers. This is a timely prayer for people who got tired of monotonous life and is in search for something else different.

“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess,
We have lost our thirst for the waters of life,
Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity,
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas,
Where storms will show your mastery,
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back the horizon of our hopes,
And to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ.”

There is beauty beyond the comforts of where we are, go have an adventure!

by aats