Showing posts with label Patience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patience. Show all posts

Friday, April 21, 2017

Please wait...

I used to work at a high-rise building which overlooked a busy highway. Every evening, I would notice vehicles lining up for several kilometers on a road that should otherwise not cause traffic obstructions.
But because I could see a 10 km stretch of that road, I could notice how motorists about 8 km's away would speed only to join a growing pile of impatient, angry motorists. 
Sometimes, I'd wish that if only the motorists knew what was ahead so that they could be patient and prepared for the long wait. If only they knew they had to wait, and allow the traffic lights to turn red, their wait would have been a lot more stress-free. 

Life is a lot like this.

We can't see our future lives. We could predict it, but there's no way to know for sure how long it would take for us to experience all the things we want/desire. 

I used to be an impatient person. But I had an experience that mellowed me. 
It was a time when I was at the crossroads of my career. I'd been preparing for a job position for a few years by then. When the time arrived, I had to face a test to be hired. It was a test that could 'make-it-or-break-it'.
But in that moment, I stopped worrying. I remember confidently telling myself to wait and not be anxious. 

Two weeks later, I get an email from the hiring manager telling me 'I have been hired' for the position I didn't qualify. I was beyond stoked! The fact that I waited patiently impressed my employer so much that she chose to hire me. 
I later learned that I was the most suitable candidate out of 100's of other candidates that she'd interviewed for over 6 months for the position.

In retrospect, I hadn't prepared enough for the role and I didn't do my test well. I had very little experience to do the job I was expected to do. 

That was only the first time I realized how liberating it can be to be patient. 

There have been many more instances when God silently worked in the background, moving people out of the way, clearing obstacles and changing situations so that I could get to where I had to. But then, I am also grateful He didn't give me everything I asked for either. 

In the beginning, I would be wrecked with anxiety and self-doubt. I would keep wondering if I would get that job/hike/interview/or whatever it is that I wanted at that moment. As days stretched into weeks and months, I would almost give up hope. But then like welcome drops of rain on parched desert ground, my faith is restored when I hear the good news! 

When I planted the first sapling of a Golden Bamboo in my balcony garden, it looked like it wasn't growing at all. After weeks of watering, and when I'd almost given up, it started gaining height and sprouting new shoots. It never stopped growing after that. It became the tallest and toughest plant in my garden, growing several inches every day.  

After having been impatient at a certain point in my life, I think it is because we live in a world that promotes 'instant gratification'. 
Our media compels us to hurry because being slow = being a loser. 
We are fed a rich diet of the 'Copernican theory' of living.  We must get it when we need it. 
We've been ingrained with the belief that Success is measured by the number of 'Instant Yes's' and a 'No' means we've failed. 

Two of the most annoying words we will hear every day will always be 'Please wait'. 
We know we need to wait. Yet we can't bear the delay. 

That bamboo needed time to establish its roots, away from my watchful eyes to grow into its full potential. Many of the situations/people/things that happen in our lives are alike. 

It's terrifying when our tomorrows are uncertain. 
For some, it is about losing our identities. For others, it could be uncertainty about finances or health. But what we remember to forget is how we need to allow God to establish the roots of our future before we are allowed to step into it. 

So the next time you feel like things aren't happening as fast as you want it to happen, remember this - It isn't a No yet. It isn't a Yes either. It is a 'Please Wait, I am working to get you what is best for you'.

Are you ready for the best He has for you?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

for my sins.. He got the Kiss

Part 1 
A five part series dissecting the last moments of Jesus and its relevance on our lives

Today, as the planet mourns the passion and death of Jesus, do we really understand what He went through?
Watching the Mel Gibson movie 'Passion of the Christ', I am moved and painfully reminded about the kind of trauma and death that He went through.

Christians around the world declare their undying love and confess that Jesus died for them. Their sins.
But do we really know what those sins were?
Are we really confessing our undying allegiance to Him or are we just as cocky as Peter was, until he denies Jesus three times before the cock crows?
Are we pagans who pay lip service?

Dissecting His passion, Jesus knew that he was sent for the sole purpose of dying for the sins of all humanity. His destiny to be the sacrificial lamp was defined right at the dawn of the humanity, when man fell into sin.
Born of the virgin Mary, He became Flesh of our flesh, Heart of our hearts.
A King born to the lowest strata of the Jewish society, His childhood and life on earth shows him how he was the model son to his earthly parents. Parents who nurtured Him. Never arrogant that He was God, He loved His mom and adored his earthly father just as much as He did His heavenly Father. How many of us can boast of being as humble as He was, fully God and fully human.

The movie revolves around the final hours of Christ Jesus.
It shows us the trauma that He went through, completely aware that He has to be persecuted, tried and crucified, He is pained. He wishes that this does not happen to Him, but obedient even to death, He wants His Father's will to happen. Betrayed by a kiss, to die a death that He wanted to save all of us from.
How many of us would let down his/her own life so that someone else would be saved? How many would do this willingly? Not many, I presume.

There are a dozen plots in this beautifully made movie, devoid of any of the corny dialogues and drama that most contemporary blockbusters are known by, this movie gets beneath the skin of its viewer every time they watch it. Some are moved to watch it again and again, and some are too wimped up to see the gory details of how He suffered for our sins.

Starting with his final moments of earthly freedom at the garden of Gethsemane, He sheds tears of blood traumatized by the enormity of his task ahead. Satan, the quintessential smooth talker tries to talk Him out of His purpose, but Jesus rises to quell all temptation and any thought of backing down. Looking through the six odd minutes at the garden, we see how staunch His resolve is. It looks just too easy to our eyes that have seen a million corny movies where the protagonist is shown to have the resolve to defeat all of earth.
But are we really strong enough to squish smooth talking satan in our lives?

Every Sunday, Christians confess, profess and sing their allegiance to Christ. They partake in the Holy Communion and after the service, they gather to gossip about what they did the past 6 days. Not that I discourage socializing but is gossiping, fellowship? On the way back, they curse at the next motorist who cuts them off. Throughout the service their minds wander, making a mental note of what they will need to do after mass and/or looking at that fashionably dressed 'uncle/aunty'. All in a vain attempt to please God by being physically present, we think that our mere presence will please Him.

Pastors encourage this by not correcting the wayward congregation, for fear that they may withdraw their membership and thereby a steady source of income. Theft is common in some churches. So much so that a church that I go to, reminds their members to carry their bags, valuables and other mentionables with them to the altar, lest they be stolen when you return 4 minutes later.

We falter when our egos are bruised. I've lost way too many friends who've stopped talking to me since their egos have been bruised.
We fall for the false pretension that our wealth will see us through the dry spells of our life.
Coveting for your neighbor's car, spouse, children, wealth, peace and every possible thing that you can think of. We are suckers to our neighbor's lives.
We are even jealous of those who work hard to earn every penny. We want all the good things in their life without any of the bad things.
We want our bosses to recognize us for every bit of good work we do, but not punish us if we goof up.
We are indignant at the co worker who works hard to get ahead and stay ahead. But we won't go the extra mile to work smartly ourselves.
We expect our co workers to stand in awe of us every time we are at work, but make a goof up and you don't want to be made an example.
We want our children to be the best in everything they do. Because you were not. We even want our children to be like the neighbor's children.
We want our parents to be an ATM, spewing out money with no expectation of accountability.

I could go on.. but the point here is, are we really ready to be obedient to His will and patient to His purpose?
Are you?

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