Sunday, November 13, 2016

Pause. Press. Play.

The week started out like a normal week. So ... I thought. I was about to take a flight out of London after visiting my cousin. As I left London, the sky cried like there was no tomorrow. My cousin said I took the sun away. My nieces started crying too and my nephew was sad. So much water around. So much that even the fuel of the plane I was on had water in it. So the flight was cancelled.


One of the lessons of that weekend was to take a moment ... a moment to pray. So, in the midst of the cancelled flight a thought entered my mind. A day for a life. What is a day compared to a saved life. The pilot had announced how dangerous it would have been to fly with water in the fuel. It would have been disastrous. Instead, we spent hours in queues going back through immigration, getting rebooked at the flight transfer desk, waiting for the bus to the hotel, getting our rooms, getting our vouchers. It seemed like endless waiting. Sometimes, life seems to not move forward or there are so many hindering circumstances but really, it's just a time to pause. To reflect. To pray.


While spending some time in Swindon with my cousin, she had reminded me of the importance of prayer. But not just any prayer but a prayer that "pestered God". The reading for this Saturday was about the judge that gave into the demands of the widow lest she strike him down with her persistence. So, in our prayer we should ... PRESS on ... to keep asking God day and night for our heart's desires. Yes, He knows what we want before we even ask but just like the widow, wouldn't God give to us what we ask for if we persist in prayer, if we press on?

I had been putting off a certain work-related talk because I thought it was not necessary but God knew how important it was to get it off my chest and He made a way for it to happen. I believe it was because of prayer, prayers offered for me by dear friends.

Two friends also went on retreat this week. I was blessed to receive the messages of God through them, even if vicariously. I heard Him loud and clear.

One friend's retreat spoke of Jesus' first miracle - the Wedding at Cana. Just like the empty vessels that was to receive the water turned into wine, we are called to invite Jesus to come into our lives especially when we feel empty. Sometimes, we need to be empty so that God can fill our emptiness. Just like the servants who were asked to fill the vessels, we are also called to do what God says. And finally, we are called to act.

On the second day of the retreat, the message was forgiveness - to be forgiven, feel forgiven and be forgiving. The example was that of the paralytic who was lowered from the roof. As God forgives, we must also give of that forgiveness so lovingly given. This theme tied in with another friend's retreat where she was asked to carry a stone for a whole day and then leave it at the foot of the Cross so that Jesus may take it away. We often hold on to the stones in our lives weighing us down because we think we are not worthy of forgiveness. God calls us to let go and to let God.

On the third day of the retreat was the Last Supper. Before partaking of the bread, Jesus in humility washes the feet of the disciples and in this humble act we see the greatness of God. We are called to be servant-leaders and to heed the example of Jesus' humility as we serve and lead others.

The fourth day of the retreat, the theme was the value that God gives to each and everyone. Jesus cured a hunchbacked lady on the Sabbath in a synagogue. In a time when women had no value, a sick woman was considered a nobody. Jesus gave her the value that she thought she didn't or couldn't have. With Jesus, we have boundless worth and value even if we think we are worthless.


It's all good to pause and press but we also have to act - to press the "Play" button, so to speak. We need to act. It is not enough to pause, to pray and to pester God, it is also important to act. Just like the servants who did what Jesus asked them to do, we are to do God's will in our lives, however difficult.

I remember my cousin's voice saying, "Do something". It's not enough to pray.

One of my actions is to write about the message I received so I can also share what I learned. I hope that I gave justice to my friends as they relayed to me the message of God.

One of my commitment to action is to serve at church. I am part of a music ministry. I am a happy musician playing the guitar in the background and when I get asked to sing, I feel like having a heart attack. I sang one song today and it went well. Although I missed the entrance to my second verse, it still went well. God has given me a voice, good enough to sing, so I faced my fears and sang. It was a way of giving back and to act.

Today, I also met my mentee who I will be walking with, in faith, for the next six months. It seems like a daunting task but I feel very honoured to be able to accompany a confirmandi, a candidate for confirmation, with her faith walk. I often feel unworthy to accompany anyone with their faith as I too struggle with mine but I feel it is God's way of keeping me in line, to share of God's goodness and blessings because He has given me so much.

To play is also a call to ACTION ... (Act like Christ To Invite Others Near). We are also called to be God's disciples, a human representation of God on earth so that we can invite others to Him.

So the message of the week was pause, press and play. Pause to pray, pray in persistence and play to perform what God intends for us.