Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Earthquakes, Halloween, Ghosts and Jesus...


I feel much better at this moment. A couple of weeks have passed since that chaotic week when I lost my job, when ministry seemed to go downhill, and my anxiety and emotions were getting the best of me.

Many opportunities for ministry have come my way now that I don't work at nights. I'm not ready to say that I lost my job just so I can concentrate on my ministry, but I know that God can bring out good from many unfortunate events in our lives.

This past Thursday's bible study was great. I took my team-mate's idea and, since Halloween is just around the corner, we talked about demons and ghosts.

The guys loved it, and everyone seemed anxious to share their ghosts stories. Hearing the almost fabled nature of these stories made me wonder how much of it was true and how much of it was glorified for mere shock value.

We had two earthquakes in San Francisco that day, and the second one added a literal shock value to our stories. While we were in the middle of sharing our stories the earth started to shake. The room's lights went off for less than a second, and everyone was in a state of utter shock.

Thankfully, the lights came on again. Everyone was silent. My mind was wildly amused by the apparent coincidence, thinking to myself, “what the heck is going on here?”. It was as if God decided to add His little touch to the stories.

Of course, talking about darkness seems meaningless, unless you include the contrasting light of Jesus. Later we talked about how we can fight darkness with God.

I learned many things in the past two weeks, and on that Thursday night I had to relearn something that I had apparently forgotten: the message of the Gospel is unnervingly simple, and its strength lies in its magnificent simplicity.

No need to complicate matters with heavy and pretentious theological terms. No need to delve into deep philosophical complications. And while these theological and philosophical endeavors have their purpose and place in God's plan for us, they fall short in revealing God's glory.

I learned the lesson St. John Bosco learned in his ministry with the youth, that the Gospel message should be presented so simply that even a little kid could understand it. Oddly enough, a simple presentation of God's message often leads to deep discussions, and more importantly, deep transformations in our lives.

Photo Credit: Sarah Ackerman.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sorrow...

It has been over a month since I updated my blog. The reasons for this are many. Part of it is the lost of habits that transitions can bring. Other part is just the difficult times I've been having lately.

I don't wish to just write a list of "bad" things that has happened to me, and so enrich my feeling of self-pity, however tempting that may be.

I just want to share my feelings of helplessness and sorrow.

I feel like I'm failing in all areas of my life.

I just moved into a missionary order that I love and works in the same area where I've been volunteering for the past 5 years. It is a great joy to be received in this community!

But of course, this is not to say that I don't have any difficulties. I feel that I have failed in ministry. Last Thursday's Bible study was a nightmare! I found myself giving a topic that nobody seemed interested at all. A very humbling experience.

I haven't been feeling that good over the past two weeks, as confusion and doubt started to sink in in my mind. Am I really hearing God's voice when I seek His guidance? Or have I deluded myself to such point that I guide myself to wherever I see fit?

Things in life can come up that can threaten this sense of guidance, and I feel like I'm walking in darkness. Where is God's guiding light? Can I even recognize it? I know that His sheep hear His voice, but do I really?

I have reasons to believe that I do, and reasons to believe that I don't. The doubts seem endless, and the anxiety that comes from them can be overwhelming.

I was feeling like this when I was  heading to work last night, and being fired from the job didn't help at all.


I don't know what to do exactly, other than beg God for His guiding voice in me. I hope these times will help me to grow in my relationship with God, instead of alienating me from Him.

God, have mercy on us all. Amen.

Photo Credit: fallingwater123.