Monday, February 28, 2005

A writing to B (IV)

Hi B,

I'm very well, very well indeed. I share your thoughts that no matter how I feel, there is no escaping the truth that God loves me and I'm no longer performing or trying to prove something with Him. When I do something good that I ought to do, I know it's because God's love has moved me to do it. When I can't bring myself to do something good that I ought to do, I know I'm in a sorry state and that God loves me no less. I'm just me before God and there's nothing I can do to change His mind about me. Isn't God amazing!

...You are right, we can't even hope to urge others on when we ourselves are unmoved by what we're supposed to do. I guess our desire for God is our only testimony for Jesus as the desire evolves into actions that mark the worth of our lives. And that I'm lacking, so I'm asking.

I wish to tell you something on the side. I saw some pictures of the girl I lost to another guy which I remember telling you about. I haven't seen her for at least a year or two now and amazingly seeing those pictures (one taken with her husband) made me laugh out of a kind of peculiar joy. It was similar to Lewis' analogy of two opposing soldiers killing each other off in battlefield at the same instance and then finding themselves laughing their silly act off together when they see each other again in the afterlife - you know, that kind of laughs. I can't put words to it, but it was relieving. Honestly I still feel a sort of fondness towards her, but it's different now. Sort of a transcendence. And [C] - she's beginning to become that way for me, too. It's a little bit scary as far as worldly prospect goes. But it just doesn't matter now. I'm looking for more. And I'm going to God for that, B, hopeless and miserable as I am.

More of Him for you,
A




Monday, February 21, 2005

A writing to B (III)

Dear B,

Thank you for your prayers. Day 1 and my head's still above water. I chose and recited the whole book of Solomon's Song last night before going to bed and it was a thrilling experience for me.

I had planned to do one of two things today to glorify God: visit the sick in the hospitals or visit the city prison near my house. I ended up going to the prison but only made it to the gates. I stalled because I was afraid. Who am I supposed to visit? What am I supposed to say? What reactions would I get from the guards and the inmates? After what seemed like half an hour of hesitation I turned around and took off to drive around town. I went back to the prison thinking of giving it a second shot. I couldn't make it then either, so I went straight home.

But you know what's astounding? After my failure to go beyond the prison gates I came away feeling all the more loved by God. I have always thought that God's holding Himself back from me because of my failures to live up to His expectations. Now I can see that that's not true. The pressure's off indeed! And I'm going back to the prison next week to try again - simply because I know it'd be something that will bring Him glory. But before next Sunday comes I'll be on the lookout for little ways to glorify Him throughout the week. I pray for the same for you.

Your joyful brother,
A




Sunday, February 20, 2005

A writing to B (II)

Dear B,

I was desperate all day after talking to you on the phone. I wanted to know God like you now know Him. I avoided the issue all day until I finally faced up to it. I started asking Him, "Do you really love me?" And in return He asked me a question loud as thunder, "Would you willingly stop fighting for [C] even if I won't let you?"

It was a ridiculous question. Totally unfair. I refused to answer Him but He knew what was coming next. He broke me again. He continued, "If you, being you, would stop at nothing to win a girl's heart - a girl you can't even say in all honesty that you have it in you to love, do you think I would stop loving you even if I try?"

How amazing! And you're right, nothing I do or fail to do will ever stop Him from loving me and wanting to give me His best. At least I know that's what I'm prepared to do for C (whether or not I'll have the opportunity to do it is beside the point). But God's love for me is far stronger than mine for C. And I thought mine was strong enough.

I can't say I get it now. I have yet to glorify Him for His love for me and His readiness to give me His best as soon as I let Him. Please pray for me and wait for my next mail, I'll soon be able to tell.

Yours gratefully,
A




Saturday, February 19, 2005

A writing to B

Hi B,

Yes we've been trying to manipulate God. And I'm all the more guilty of that.

I'm driven to a point where I can no longer choose. God has suddenly opened up opportunities for me to pursue the things I've always thought He has put on hold for a long time, but at the same time I'm shown that none of them is going to get me where I want to be. Despite what I believed they're not what I desire, they're only my desire-substitutes. All I want and ever need cannot be found in this life. Nothing I pursue in this life is ever going to be enough. None of them will ever last. I need to be with Him. I need to be a part of Him. I need Him. Even now I need Him. I'm not so sure if I want Him, but I know I NEED Him.

I've been listening to people talking. All day long people've been talking about money and success and dreams and plans and even serving God. How much sense they make, and how persuasive - even noble. But how sad that none of us can hear what they're really saying. I didn't realize it, but listening to them is suicide. Once I take what people say seriously and consider their options, I'm killing that part in me that wants nothing this world has to offer. Once I believe them I slowly become them.

You're right. Trying to be a "better Christian" cannot save us. We've tried for all the wrong reasons. I, too, know what I must do, but I just haven't the courage nor the desire to do it. If I ever do it at all it's only Him that's doing it in me. God's operating in me on a deficit. I've long since exhausted my abilities for it. Sin has worn me flat out.

B you know how for a while now... C has been competing with God for first place in my heart. Though I can't see God climbing the charts it seems that [C]'s dropping off. And so are my other dubious pursuits... I have nothing left to fall back on. I'm cornered.

He's got me. But unlike you I can't say I'm joyful. 'Cause I don't think I've surrendered yet. I'm still miserable. I'm still stubborn. I'm a stubborn and miserable wreck who's forgotten how to be thankful or repentant. Still He's got me. And this time He's got me good.

Yours,
A




Thursday, February 17, 2005

At the fork

The vessel is stalling.

...Which one is it?

The seaway ahead has suddenly forked into three passages, each pointing in three separate directions. Three! Two you can understand - but three? It's even worse than none at all!! At the edge of the furcation all three passages seem bona fide, and yet taking any one of them would mean abandoning the other two. You wouldn't think twice about choosing if it's absolutely the phonies that you're abandoning...

Passage One leads to an unfinished Past.

Passage Two leads to an immediate Present.

Passage Three leads to an unknown Future.

And each of them has desire written all over... How on the high seas is a sailor supposed to make up his mind?

If you look carefully you would see that the fork is nothing but a three-headed snake monster hellbent to mislead. For three choices cannot be choice at all. It's nothing but a giant, glistening deception.

The land-dwellers have a name for this: backed against a wall.




Thursday, February 03, 2005

Reading the map of faith

The temptation is only too real.

What now is better than an easy way out? What more do you want when you can bag the prize without having to travel the full distance across the high seas plotted only on that wild and invisible map called Sheer Faith? What quicker and more assuring way than to loose your grip on that sword named Vigilance as the siren songs are lulling you to dip into the false end of the journey?

You must have made a wrong turn somewhere that permits this choral distraction. Hell - it could have easily been a series of wrong turns. Now it's either give up or give in. As always the arrogant map hasn't yielded its mysteries to suggest an alternate route, not even when lives depend on it. But holding on to it does more than just psychological good. Even though you can't read the map, without it the vessel sinks on its own.

There is now only two directions in which to navigate - forward or down. And down is definitely not an option.