It’s good to know I’ve managed to reach Day 8 of my own 30 challenged to reenter my rhythm for journaling-prayer-meditation. It still hasn’t moved back into more paragraph writing yet. Perhaps, it’s because I’m also blogging too.
This morning’s Upper Room Devotional was good. A timely word after an unexpected email.
My mind wanders to some comments I heard lately. The thing I don’t like about comments like this is the temptation to view people in their weakest moment than what they could be. Words are powerful tools for liberation or imprisonment. So, as we grow older hopefully we can be discerning how words spoken affect us. How we process what we hear and what is how response is key to what could be possible. But this requires some energy.
There’s still some mini highs lately. I’m glad to re-look at ideas to reorganize all my books. The next step is to create some space to begin sorting the books out.
I wonder whether I’ve been giving people wrong impressions. Maybe because I come from a family who doesn’t display anger or displeasure in public, so I don’t really know how to do it. When I told someone, actually I was not that excited about a particular proposal, she told me I didn’t look that I was disagreeable. Then I replied đŸ™‚ I kind of have three modes of reactions – If I’m excited about something, I’m all out supportive …. If I’m showing I’m disagreeable, usually it means I’m REALLY not supportive at all – which is pretty serious because I’m generally open to experimentation. And of course, a wide in between where it’s more like … I’m open to explore. Perhaps, in our world where there’s so much indecision, people prefer a strict YES I fully support or NO, it sucks! But, if it’s I’m open to see what happens …. it becomes harder for us to size up the next steps because it requires multiple options available?
There have been a number of good highs as the year started, but there are real lows too. It cut when I heard of a young 17year old youth from another Lutheran Church dying on New Years’ day after motorbike hit and run accident. I can’t imagine how it feels to be his parents. Just when the new year is meant to be celebrating new life, we are confronted with the loss of life. That hits us hard. It will take time to grapple with this.
Just when we think life is progressing, then we’re hit again and again with walls whether constructed or hidden. So, today’s scripture was a timely one for me…
Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.
-Galatians 6:9 (NRSV)
Sometimes, I hope I will be a person never tempted to give up. I mean after 101 knocks on the head we assume we are toughened by the challenges or our hearts are stronger now. But, the temptation to give up never goes away. It’s a life long battle. At times, we rebound quicker. Other times, we lay low longer. At all times, we’re confronted with squeezing the last ounce of energy for the next step.
“Spiritual warfare”? Hmmm … that’s one area which has been somewhat invisible in my vocabulary. But after injecting the phrase with better theological content, and cleaning up some heresy, the experience of its reality reminds me to be more watchful and vigilant. There’s no demon in every bush, but the inner and outer battles are not computer games!
I recall a question asked by friend on me being a pastor, and I think it was alluding to it must be hard. There are many highs, I need to state that first. And I never wanted people to just focus on the “dung” we are often confronted with (disclaimer note: I’m not refering to people with that word! More of the stuff we all need to deal with) . It would be tragic if pastors are a bitter bunch. I remember the first thing which popped into my mind, and I’m not sure I articulated it well that night when the question was posed to me.
But, perhaps similar to a parent’s relationship with their children, or friends with each other, with a somewhat magnified experience, is the reality of “beyond our control” scenarios – in terms of people deciding to walk a path or take steps away from human flourishing. These choices which we know might hurt them, or harm them in the short or long term. I don’t have omniscience and I’m well aware I maybe wrong. But sometimes, I’m most fearful that I could be right … I’m not one who likes to impose my advice on people, and I do hope I’ve grown wiser through the years, but when I offer it I genuinely try to see it as gifts which would be of help to others. It’s not easy when those gifts are rejected or ignored. But that’s the nature of gifts … it can be received or rejected. A forced gift no longer is a gift.
Suddenly, my random thoughts have gone blank…. until the next round.