Aug 19: Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently
Aug 20: Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Aug 21: John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Aug 22: 1 Corinthians 15:51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed
God is divine! It’s funny how when I wrote the last piece of reflection, I started with Romans 8:25 without realizing that it is the scripture reading for Aug 19. So technically, Aug 19’s text should be included in my last reflection. But then again, I realized that I am the one hung up on such “rules” – God probably looks at me and said “mission accomplished” – for the end result is I have reflected and written about Romans 8:25 – and that’s all that is to matter for God and for His Glory!
I have been attending a course to become a coach for the past 2 weekends, and yes, we will all be changed. In fact, I think we have been transformed.
My trainer told me that I belong to the type that is most difficult to be coached, mainly because I don’t listen to others easily. I guard what comes into my mind cautiously – I don’t simply allow anyone to come pollute my mind! And I have also realized that I only listen to those whom I respect, or whom I have given permission to enter into my world. The main point, however, is that my trainer says I will benefit most from journaling, as a form of “self-coaching”. When I read back my journals and reflections, I will probably gain more insights on my own values and beliefs, and thus be able to move on, removing any mental blocks (mostly self imposed) along the way. And it dawned upon me, that God is present everywhere in my life! He is the one who helped me get started on this journey of reflections, and He is now slowly putting the pieces in place for me. I do believe, that God, in His perfect timing, reveals Himself to us bit by bit, piece by piece – anything more and we will be overwhelmed, miss the point, and not have the wisdom to comprehend. God, in His infinite wisdom, prepares us to receive His message. We not only have to be patient, but ever ready to open our heart, so that “we will not fall sleep”.
Not allowing others to have power over how I feel, means knowing that there are people who will make comments that hurt us, but it is our choice whether we want to be hurt. I mean, if it is a total stranger, or someone who is not important in my life, then why should I even bother with how this person thinks or says about me? By getting angry with this person, I am in fact handing over this person the power to affect my emotions and my thinking! I recall once a friend asked me if she should tell a lie to a stranger, and I said no and we need only be truthful to those who have a right to the truth! The moral of the story is similar – we just have to decide who has the “right”.
During the course, some people got to know my faith and came to evangelize to me their particular sect of Christianity. They claimed that they are “denomination-less” – and state that in the early church, there were no divisions or denominations among the disciples, and hence, they are the only true followers of Christ, that all other denominations, including “Roman Catholics”, are not “original”.
I could have defended my faith, but I looked at them with compassion and said to them “Thank you for your sharing, but I know what I want in terms of my faith, and I would rather not listen to yours!”
They were kind enough to stop there. I wonder if I should engage them, but somehow, I just feel that God wants me to stand firm, but not be drawn into an argument with them, and trust that God in due time, will let them understand. It’s the same feeling I have with regards to the recent mega-church trials in the media – I can only tell myself: who am I to judge? At the end of the day, it is between them and God, and only God will decide. I only know that my duty as a follower of Christ is not to add fuel to the fire, and at the same time, be ready to defend the faith, and be His light.
Which I did – in that same course someone shared about how her brother turned to Christianity and treated their mother badly, and hence she has a very bad impression about Christianity. She felt her brother cares more about his “fellow brothers and sisters in Christ” rather than his own flesh and blood. At that point, I knew I have to say something – it’s almost a nudge from God – and I told her that in the Ten Commandments, we are told to “Honour our Father and Mother”.
Going back to today’s theme – transformation – I have seen how I have been slowly changing, and that is how God teaches me to stand up in one instance and to keep quiet in another. It is as if God says, “Hey, let me deal with them; it’s none of your business!” And God spoke in a loving way, of course.
And that is truly God’s mystery. Amen!