O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 131 ESV
and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Mathew 3:17 ESV
I haven't been feeling well lately. I don't how it started or what started it, but in the last couple of days I've felt as if my life doesn't really amount to much.
Maybe it is my father going back to Nicaragua last week and not being sure when I will see him again, or if I'll ever see him again, because of our not so peculiar situation as immigrants.
Maybe it is the realization that my own sinful nature seems to keep me back from my lofty ideals.
Maybe it is the realization that if I look back on my life, all I see are half attempts and unfinished goals.
Whatever it is, I have been down.
You wouldn't know it by a superficial look at me. I still seem the quintessential me. The jokes, laughter, and even joy are still there.
But if you look deeper...
Perhaps it is the heavy darkness that clouds my judgement at this moment, but looking back I can see these things:
I see that I rarely been the first choice, or that I rarely excelled in anything.
I see that I haven't achieved much. Not even a High School diploma.
I see that I'm still working what I started out 10 years ago when I came to this country, a gas station cashier.
I see that my work performance is nothing to be proud of. I have been fired. Even in seasons of mindful diligence, it doesn't amount to much.
Even in the ministry, what I consider my true calling, where my gifts are most fitting, all I can see is mediocrity and a bunch of loose ends and unfinished business.
God knows I'm still a missionary by His grace when I was given a second chance by someone in the order, when I thought myself on the way out.
When I look back, all I see is unharvested and neglected potential.
Yes, maybe all of these reflections are exaggerations of half truths that are fitting in self-pity parties in the midst of difficult moments in life.
I honestly don't know if they are exaggerations or not. I can't seem to make good arguments against them, or seem to lack the mental energy to make them.
So they take over me with the seeming strength of truth, whether they have that characteristic or not.
And in these moments, all I have left is God.
When I feel like I've never been the first choice, He reminds me that He chose me.
When I see others achieve what I have not, He reminds me that I am His and He is mine.
When I get disappointed of my lack of achievement in the ministry He reminds me that is not my ministry, but that I'm only here to serve.
When I get disappointed of how some people treat me and don't respond to me in the way I desire or expect, He is there to remind me that I'm here just to love them and leave the rest to Him.
It is only because of Him that I can still joke, laugh, and have joy, even if I feel like I don't amount to much as compare to others.
It is only because of Him that I can be like a weaned child, quiet and content, even if I lack the list of accomplishments to show to the world.
It is only because of Him that even in my sinful nature, He says "this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased".
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
St. Teresa of Avila.