"My faith is something like my radio: God is always sending me messages, but I’m not always in the right place to receive what God is sending. Sometimes my mind and heart aren’t tuned well enough to hear what God is sending, and I need to follow Jesus’ example."
I believe many of us can relate to what is highlighted above. Wouldn’t it me better if we were more "in tune" with what messages are sent our way? But merely saying our that desire is a step, what is needed is the decision to create "space" and be at "places" both internally amidst the inner chaos of our daily pilgrimage, and externally facing struggles and even attacks from all ends. For me, while I can talk about what happens inside and outside separately, in reality, it’s much more closely related. Interestingly, the way in towards getting the heart in tune begins from the outside. The plain simple taking a shower, sitting down, slowing down my breathing to pray and center myself, pick up the pen and open my journal to begin writing … nothing fancy but the results are fantastic (like writing this reflection). When I get ready for a small group meeting with fellow pilgrims, getting the kids ready for Sunday worship, making sure Elysia wears her shoes the right way, carrying Ewan into the car seat … the list goes on. Very earthy external stuff … but it’s the way in. Like putting the radio in the right place to get the best reception … nothing fancy but the results are fulfilling … when we manage to hear what God is saying, how can we not be change?
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I was in a conversation with a friend in transit from Penang to Australia, and she brought out an personal insight. She described how when she was back in her home city and often because there”s so many homeless people on the street that she felt dumb to the reality. Perhaps, she suggested, we have a kind of defense mechanism which allows us to move on with our own life without allowing these needs to paralyze us.
But then during her time in Penang, she shared how in a trip to give some food supplies to the Burmese refugees, the whole experience shocked her to the core. Suddenly, while one is in a totally foreign context away from home, the suffering of others hit home harder than when she was home. Perhaps, she wasn’t that cold after all.
And I suppose each of us will have our won story to tell. And what’s important is not to keep on beating ourselves up, or being preoccupied with the failure of others. Both exercises is a sure energy draining program. What is needed is that (1) Being open to what is right before our eyes and near to our ears. (2) Go to places where we can open our eyes and open our ears, (3) No matter what we feel whether cold or warm, we ask … What’s next? What baby step I can take? (4) Talk with someone, and ask them to join you or keep you accountable.
Usually, by simply stepping out of our comfort zones into the unknown brings unexpected the joy and fulfillment of not only doing what is right, kind, and unassuming … but feeling alive in the best sense of the word!
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These harmonics vibrated from April 17-18, 2008