Thursday, May 04, 2006

An invitation

Why do we adopt a grave attitude whenever we speak about the God of the Bible? I kid you not, I myself am one of those who often get all serious and grim whenever the topic of God comes up, as if I'm talking about a rich, powerful uncle who wouldn't spare a penny on his needy relatives unless he sees a reasonable return on his "investment", whether in terms of a favor or a twisted sense of indebtedness. We all know someone like that. It doesn't matter if I happen to like this uncle a whole lot. I'd still talk about him the same way. Just like everybody else outside the family who doesn't know him any better.

And for years this "cosmic uncle" seems to have wanted to change my deep-rooted but gravely mistaken perception of him. I know he has been wanting to do that for a long time since I was much younger... if I weren't too caught up with my own problems to notice what kind of an uncle -- what kind of a person -- he has always been. And the kind of inheritance that he's long since written down in his will for me.

If I had told you exactly how God is inviting me to see for myself His true nature, rather than the nature imposed on Him by our wrong perceptions of Him, you would dismiss me as either hallucinating or simply out of my mind. But one reason why I believe what I'm called to do is what God would want me to take up is because it's a task that is, left to my own recourse, humanly impossible. Much more importantly, when I'm brave enough to be honest with my vulnerabilities and despite its immensity, it is a task that stirrs my heart and affirms that this is what I'm made for.

I seek not to convince you of God's good and passionate nature. No man can do that for another. The only way to find out is for each of us to know what He's telling us and do exactly as He says. This I am striving to do well myself. And the first step is to accept His invitation, with the full knowledge that we're not invited to a leisurely walk in the park, but to an adventure. That means we would have to take risks with God. And it also involves sacrifices. And one other thing: success is not guaranteed.

Now I ask myself: What kind of a God would take such a risk with mere mortals? And the conclusion I draw is this: Only the God who sacrificed His own Son for our sake is capable of such adventures. Not Uncle Scrooge.

God's invitation is never for the faint of heart. And the decision is totally ours to saddle up and ride after Him into battle. A battle to ransom hearts.

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