I’d like to be perpetually joyful, but it just doesn’t happen sometimes.
Some lessons take longer to be learned. There are days upon days when some things don’t make sense even when God seems to be blaring it (not that He would be so inclined to blare, but maybe declare) straight into my ear.
I wish I could be more constant. Constancy is godly, something lofty and difficult and altogether desirable. My God, after all, is timeless and unchanging. (more…)
Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. (Jn 16:31-32)
So yesterday, I was so busy with my household chores and my escapist amusements that I, effectively, left Jesus alone.
How easy it is sometimes to keep busy without remembering to pray. Like one makes a choice to leave work early to be with family, or to choose one appointment over the other to spend some time with someone important, I need to do this for my Lord, too.
Many a Christian worker has left Jesus Christ alone and gone into work from a sense of duty, or from a sense of need arising out of his own particular discernment. The reason for this is the absence of the resurrection life of Jesus. The soul has got out of intimate contact with God by leaning to its own religious understanding. There is no sin in it, and no punishment attached to it; but when the soul realizes how he has hindered his understanding of Jesus Christ, and produced for himself perplexities and sorrows and difficulties, it is with shame and contrition he has to come back. – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (emphases are my own)
Mr. Chambers makes a good point. We often get so wrapped up in life that we forget who we’re living it for. Or we don’t, but we have our own ideas as to how to serve Him best. But as we gauge that this thing and that thing is needed, how many of these things are actually non-negotiables in the Bible? Sometimes we forget the most important thing,the oft ignored non-negotiable, quality bonding time with our heavenly Father.
Jesus, being a high priest who is familiar with our mortal tendencies and is no stranger to our troubles, walks the path we’re all expected to take:
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. Lk 6:12
All night! Top that. If I were to pie chart my entire life, or even my hours of ministry, I probably would not be able to produce a prominent chunk dedicated to just conversing with my Creator.
But in the name of my Savior, I continue to ask to be made in His image, that I may imitate Jesus in all aspects of my life including this private aspect of prayer.
Parting shots from the OC and the Holy Book:
We are not told to walk in the light of conscience or of a sense of duty, but to walk in the light as God is in the light. – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1Jn 1:7
Walking in the light is the best cleansing agent. It turns out that the biggest steps toward God aren’t as taxing as we normally expect–just spending time with Him as we spend time with people we love is a great start.
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Lk 10:41-42
So this, in a picture, is what my life looks like right now.
I have so many dreams. Which is also why I have decided to pick the most important one first, chase and tackle and corral it, and THEN AND ONLY THEN run off in pursuit of the others.
Okay, that sounded waaay too serious and downright scary. I originally just wanted to show you all the cute lolcat.
I woke up at 4:30 AM today and for lack of anything better to do (going back to sleep just seemed wrong at the time), I got started on the laundry. I had a lot on my mind after the nerve-wracking happenings in the tail end of the week, and desperately wanted a break from any work-related thoughts. I also ended up scrubbing the bathroom, prepping lunch, fixing up the living room, and cleaning up in the kitchen.
Yesterday, I read about what Heather Koerner wished she could tell her younger self about preparing to be a stay-at-home mom. I could relate with a lot of her insights. While a discussion on masters degrees and MBAs were common among my female peers, I was hard-pressed to find someone who was enthusiastically and vocally making preparations for staying at home to be a full-time mother. I spent so many years studying just to assume a management traineeship at a bank upon graduation, but I had next to zero time investment in cooking, cleaning, and all the other glorious errands that would make a home of my own liveable.
This much I can say: Housework is no joke. We new generation girls have really got some nerve assuming that we don’t need to prepare or study for it. This month isn’t the first time we went without a helper, but since this is the first time I’ve been taking an active role in running the household, I am realizing every single day that the chores require just as much concentration, system, planning, and skillful execution as my next new project at work. So maybe as I work at home I’m not doing regression analysis on our past grocery purchases, or sweet-talking a client into a manageable mood. I am, however, trying to estimate with hard-won accuracy how much food to prepare for minimal leftovers, and negotiating with myself for a little more patience as grape-size pentel pen stain continues to gape defiantly at me from Robby’s polo shirt sleeve even after two hours of soaking in bleach. (more…)
I wish I could understand the most proper place of feelings in my life.
On the one hand, it allows me to connect with people.
On the other hand, it makes me push them away.
Why do we want the things we want even when consequences abound like waves on a stormy sea?
What is the nature of this wanting, and what is its use?
Is it meant for evil, or meant for eventual good?
Why does it numb, when all it seems to make you do is to feel, feel, feel, feel?
These and other questions are swirling in my bosom in lazy light circles.
A lot of the time, I wish I could turn off my heart.
It brings nothing but ruin and hurt upon other people and makes me insist on my own way.
On the other hand, I don’t know how I’ll manage without it.
What’s life going to taste like without the seasoning of salty tears and bitter sorrow?
Is happiness an unworthy aspiration? A selfish one?
Why do I have all these desires if all I am meant for is to serve other people?
Is there a way to acknowledge myself and be selfless at the same time?
My eyes are heavy. By my mind, troubled and tossing, floats lightly overhead.
In prayer, one must hold fast and never let go, because in this game he who gives up loses all. If it seems that no one is listening to you, then cry out still louder. If you are driven out of one door, go back in by the other. If you are told, as was the Canaanite woman, that you do not deserve the grace for which you are asking, then reply like her that you lay no claim to unusual favors, but only hope to eat the crubs which fall from the divine table” – St. Jane Frances de Chantal