"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Holds Us Back?

        Why is it difficult to surrender ourselves to God?  If God is love and loves us, why should we hesitate?  The answer is "fear."  It involves a basic struggle between letting God be our lord and retaining our role as master of our own life.  Many of us think that we can manage our lives and really don't need God.  God sees this and leaves us alone.  We also have many worldly goals to achieve, such as owning a fast car, making a lot more money, achieving great fame, etc.  If I let God into my life, does that mean that I will not be able to do any of these things anymore?  Worst yet, does it mean that I must now become a missionary in some poor country?  These are real concerns ~ that last thought was what I had once. Since we cannot serve two masters, it boils down to pitting myself against God.
        The reality is that once you have decided to let God into your life, all the fears become baseless.  God will either take your desires away or still let you enjoy the many good things, which came from him anyway, but in complete freedom.  You'll feel that the things in the world no longer shackle you.  How fast this transformation can proceed depends upon how much you let go in God.  The important thing is to take that first step.  Yes, you'll have nothing to lose, but all things to gain.   
        This is a good place to mention that letting God transform you can be a most exciting and rewarding experience.  We all feel good when we successfully complete some project in our life.  Now, consider transforming yourself into a more saintly person before God to be a project.  When God works on you and you actually see that you are becoming a better, holier person, you'll experience the satisfaction no other accomplished projects in this world can possibly give.  For this is transformation at the deepest level that involves your innermost self.  You'll be really happy with yourself because you are now a more beautiful person before the heavenly Father.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Heading Which Way?

        Imagine a horizontal line segment.  Let's label the left endpoint W, standing for the World; and the right endpoint G, standing for God.  A person at point W is one who belongs totally to the world.  He plays god, lives for himself only and even hates God.  To anyone at the other extreme, point G, God is all.  He lives for God alone and is ready to deny himself for doing his will.  He is in the world, but no longer of the world.  Mathematically speaking, this line segment is a set of points, and every one of us  inescapably occupies a point somewhere on this line.  As we move toward point G, we improve our standing before God.  The result (reward) is that we will experience more freedom, giving us peace and joy.  Only God alone can give us this freedom of the spirit. 
        By the way, the Holy Father Pope Benedict likens this journeying toward God to climbing a mountain.  Sometimes the path may be steep, but the higher you go, the better the view.  Naturally, when you reach the top (endpoint), you get to see the most magnificent view.
        If you approximately know where you are situated on this line segment, would you backslide toward point W, stay put (be just lukewarm), or move toward point G?  The wise and sensible choice should be obvious.  As long as you make your desire known to the Lord, he will draw you toward him so that you don't have to struggle on you own. 
        Last, once your journey starts, remember from Luke 9: "Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God."  Happy plowing!