Monday, March 18, 2013

[imho series] fruits from the ICON

Excerpts from the SFC 2013 ICON - OBEY and WITNESS

We are all invited for a purpose-driven life. 
A man can be happy in life with the fulfillment of his dreams - career, material possessions, love live, family life, good friends, travels, and more. On the other hand, a man can also be happy in life with the fulfillment of his purpose - giving/sharing his time, talent and treasure to others and having a life in service. I learned that the higher form of happiness is fulfilling our purpose. Which of the two are we then?
In our life, we get invited in many forms. We are invited to fulfill our dreams and purpose. A simple tap in the shoulder could be an invitation, a favor asked by a friend could be an invitation, a job opportunity could be an invitation, having an option could be an invitation, losing loved ones can be an invitation, pain and suffering could be an invitation, blessings could be an invitation, and a lot more. Can you identify your invitations?

I'd like to site my personal experiences. I consider the simple invite in joining Singles for Christ as in invitation for a life in service and an invitation to know God. I consider the opportunity of working in the local government as an invitation to serve. I consider my wait for married life as an invitation to explore more my single-hood. And there's plenty more of invitations.

The key also in every invitation is how we respond. A YES or a NO or an ABSTAIN could make a difference. Imagine if Mama Mary said no when God chose her to bear Jesus? That simple YES changed humanity until to the present times.

So in every invitation that comes to us, take notice of the message and RESPOND. 

The key in obedience is to LISTEN.
One of the best trait of an obedient person is having the ability to listen before taking an action, before giving an answer or opinion, and before reaching a conclusive thought. This applies also on how we listen to God's message - to the prayers He answers and to those left unanswered. One can find greater wisdom when a person knows how to listen.

When something is taken from you, give more.
If we lose what we consider important and precious, we have a tendency of taking a stronger grip of what we have left. We hesitate giving. We cling to them more strongly so we can avoid of losing them. I learned that in these moments, God is working in our life. He is trying to empty us. He is inviting us for a life in humility and obedience. So in times that something is taken from us... just GIVE MORE and you will be BLESSED MORE.

I came to realize this after hearing a story of a woman with a father being kidnapped. They lost their wealth for the ransom money and yet her father was not returned. During those testing times, I imagined that if I were her, I would have stayed by my family's side even more. But you know what the woman did? She left her family and served in a distant place to preach God's word - a tragedy did not stop her from giving. 

Overflow to Share.
When we are being blessed let us also become a blessing to others by sharing. For me, I believe that every thing makes sense when shared. And so I continue to pray that God will bless me with opportunities and graces so that I may be able to share it to my family, friends, work mates and whoever needs a little sign of hope and happiness in life.

The experiences and struggles of others humbles me.
In the ICON, the experiences of the sharers are beyond from what I have imagined. I grew shy in front of God for my petty complains when there's another person who has greater burden and yet remained grateful.

A sister went multiple facial surgeries and yet she is thankful for the accident as she continue to see herself beautiful in the eyes of God while I - I rant when a pimple grows in my face.

A brother who served years in jail found his way out from darkness and is now leading and serving in the SFC community while I - I who is free but decides to be chained to my alibis, weakness and stubbornness to serve.

Become a WITNESS of God to others.
Have we witnessed God's miracles and doings in our lives? Have we witnessed the people that He sent as instruments to help us get our purpose fulfilled? Let us take time in acknowledging these people... these people who we witness God in.

In the same way, let others bear witness of God's greatness through us. That is the challenge!

God restores us.
Our God is forgiving. Our God is loving. Our God never changes. And His never ending love restores us.