Day Seventeen: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: I am called to belong, not just to believe.
Verse to Remember: ”In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:5 (NIV)
Question to Consider: Does my level of involvement in my local church demonstrate that I love and am committed to God’s family?
Sometimes I’m guilty of what Rick Warren describes as the “church attendee”: merely the spectator, always consuming.
But there are these times wherein I sing and respond and do all that I, a member of my local church, should do of my own accord, it feels great to participate in an offering to God. Whenever I join in, my heart sometimes feels that it is bigger than the containment of my body, because I can’t help but feel love and wonder at celebrations like this. It just feels glorious.
So yes, sometimes I can say that the way I participate in church is a reflection of my feelings for being part of God’s big happy family. :)
Day Sixteen: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: Life is all about love.
Verse to Remember: ”The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’" Galatians 5:14 (NIV)
Question to Consider: Honestly, are relationships my first priority? How can I ensure that they are?
At the moment, I honestly feel that they aren’t. They lag behind the things that I want to achieve, sometimes catching up and hurdling ahead, sometimes pausing to gasp for breath. I’m at this stage at my life wherein I don’t want to feel anything because the feelings that I get, and the things that I sometimes say (i.e. My mom and my sister) to people, hurt.
I don’t want to admit that they mean that much to me, but I see now that to profess that these relationships are the core of my life, as much as God’s relationship with me is.
I don’t know how to ensure that they are my first priority. But sometimes I think that all it takes is to look around me and remember that without the people that matter and the people that don’t matter yet still played a part in making me who I am, I wouldn’t be where I would be.
And for most times, that’s enough.
Day Fifteen: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: I was formed for God’s family.
Verse to Remember: ”His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ." Ephesians 1:5a (NLT)
Question to Consider: How can I start treating other believers like members of my own family?
Let me start off by saying that I find the question quite discriminating against those who don’t believe in God. That’s no reason to treat them differently; they just have a belief or lack thereof that differs from our own. We are all God’s children. We treat others the way we want to be treated. :)
With that out of the way, I also believe that being kind is the first step to treating someone as family. Love, a gentle disposition and a kind heart are all ways to get someone to open up, and for one to establish a mutually good relationship with. Those, and of course, with the fact that we are essentially fulfilling our connection to God, as He made us in His image, and God is love. It goes without saying that we, too, have a capacity to love, and love beyond our own comprehension. This is what I believe in.
Day Fourteen: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: God is real, no matter how I feel.
Verse to Remember: ”For God has said, ‘I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.’" Hebrews 13:5 (TEV)
Question to Consider: How can I stay focused on God’s presence, especially when he feels distant?
I like to think that this saying, “Without pain, how could we know joy?” is missing a Christian dimension, which for me, goes like this: “Without Christ, how could we know God’s love?”
Sure, I may have lost a number of opportunities, things and people in my life, but the pain of losing them is incomparable to the pain of losing Jesus in my life. The weight of loss and absence cannot exceed that of Jesus’ sacrifice for all of us, just to enable us to grow closer to the Father.
That’s how I focus on God’s presence in my life, no matter how far away He may seem: I would never have Him in the first place if it weren’t for His Son’s sacrifice.
Day Thirteen: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: God wants all of me.
Verse to Remember: ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:30 (NIV)
Question to Consider: Which is more pleasing to God right now - my public worship or my private worship? What will I do about this?
It all has something to do with wanting to let people know what’s going on with you - the further we progress in this digital age, the more we are to inclined to open up our lives to others via technology. Even I am guilty of this - public worship of God when it’s so darned obvious that God seeks for us to give all of our entirety to him privately in a personal, intimate relationship.
After giving it some thought, the only way for me to progress to that kind of relationship is to withdraw - draw myself inwards to where He really is, not out there outside of me, and love. Offer my whole being to him in the best way possible… Because that’s what pleases Him the most.
So I’ve pressed my luck and decided to try out for the Philippine Collegian, the official student publication of my college, the University of the Philippines Diliman.
It’s kind of funny, but I initially denied myself the opportunity to apply, because my friend Patrice, who also is applying for Kule, told me that the examinations were in Filipino, so I backed away. I’m not bad in speaking or writing Filipino, per se. *clears throat* Pero sa totoo lang, mas magaling ako sumulat sa Ingles - hindi ko pa alam kung paano bigyan karapat-dapat na hustisya ang wikang ginagamit ko ngayon. *coughs* If I felt like it, I could probably write about how English comes as easily to me as breathing and its relation to the effect of colonialism and forsaken national identity, but I’ll save that for another article next time. But seriously, I gave up hope until the paper’s recruitment letter made me think otherwise.
There was still hope.
When I couldn’t take it any longer, I e-mailed them, asking whether it could be taken in Filipino or English, and to my surprise, it was the Editor-in-chief herself, ate Majoi, who replied days later. I took that as the go ahead signal to start working on my requirements: my curriculum vitae and portfolio.
My CV was easier to work on, and my portfolio, well, not so much. I spent two days trooping to Ms. Rhazel’s office, the school paper moderator of Crossroads, of which I was formerly EIC, and getting old papers that contained my articles. I spent those nights typing them up, and feeling embarrassment and shame in the process. I did suck. *shakes head*
Because I texted ate Majoi as well, we struck up correspondence this morning, which ended with her giving me an assignment, which is about whether Filipino should be scrapped from the college curriculum or not. She added that it was due on Wednesday afternoon, and that it was to be sent to her personal e-mail.
Right now, I’m nervous and scared, because I don’t really know what that should mean. I haven’t officially become part of the paper and yet I already have an assignment. But I’m not complaining, actually… Just anxious. Where will I be headed?
I’m still thinking about what to include in the article that I’ll be writing. I have the facts and the essential information, but I don’t know yet how this will turn out.
*crosses fingers* I’m hoping that I will do my best this time.
Day Twelve: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: I’m as close to God as I choose to be.
Verse to Remember: ”Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you." James 4:8a (NLT)
Question to Consider: What practical choices will I make today in order to grow closer to God?
I’ve always believed friendship is maintained by constant communication, and in this case, I believe to achieve that with God is to talk to Him every day. Through prayer, action (because they speak louder than words), everything. Regardless of what it is about, I realize that to grow closer, I must open up every aspect of myself. Baring the soul, but in a good way. Always in a good way. :)
Day Eleven: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: God wants me to be his best friend.
Verse to Remember: ”Friendship with God is reserved for those who revere him." Psalm 25:14a (LB)
Question to Consider: What can I do to remind myself to think about God and talk to him more often throughout the day?
It’s something that I have been already doing for quite some time now, but… I always subconsciously remind myself that God’s always with me, wherever I go, and that’s a powerful reminder in itself.
Sometimes, God and I have these quirky exchanges. It gets the load off my chest. I love Him for that.
Day Ten: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: The heart of worship is surrender.
Verse to Remember: ”Surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes." Romans 6:13b (TEV)
Question to Consider: What area of my life am I holding back from God?
Even when I was a child, and shamefully today, I still have an impatient attitude when it comes to spending time dedicated to the Lord.
This is especially evident in attending Masses. I usually ask myself when will it end and other questions, questions that basically scream “kapal mukha” because I still have the nerve to ask God to grant my requests or hear my prayers. I say, then, that it’s my desire to do what I wish with my time that creates this kind of attitude. Most of the time, I’m a control freak. It’s my desire over my dominion that holds me back from fully surrendering to God.
But I see now that in order for me to discover my purpose and to enter a full relationship with the Lord, I have to surrender. I have to surrender my time and attention, best spent in honouring God, rather than wasting them away on trivial, worldly matters of concern. It scares me at first – I like to be in charge of what I do – but anything that is under His control, will never get out of control. To surrender is to trust. And I trust the Lord with His plans for me.
I won’t hold back my time any longer. Anyway, Lord, You have given them to me. What right do I have to lay claim to what is not mine?
Day Nine: Thinking About My Purpose
Point to Ponder: God smiles when I trust him.
Verse to Remember: “The Lord is pleased with those who worship him and trust his love." Psalm 147:11 (CEV)
Question to Consider: Since God knows what is best, in what areas of my life do I need to trust him most?
I need to trust Him whenever I’m about to undergo troubling experiences. Sometimes… I forget that He’s there to hold my hand throughout the storm, and that’s when I start to go downhill. Simply put.