Life is not meant to be lived fast-forward.
Pause for a moment…
Read books that are good for your soul…
Reflect on your life…
This is one of a series of articles written by our home-grown OMF Lit authors to help you reflect on the things that are essential, in the midst of a world that is constantly on the go. May you be inspired to
Pause. Read. Reflect
Hit the Pause Button
In the first three months of this year, our planet has been shocked by a record breaking 900 plus quakes already—the strongest being the one that killed more than 13,000 people in Japan, with more than that number is till missing. The political turmoil in the Middle East has been a cause for global concern. The unprecedented increase in the price of oil has pushed economies to grapple for investments and capital infusion. Death tolls, political unrest, economic uncertainties—all these and more add up to what is now fast becoming a worldwide scare.
But amidst the panic, the fear and seeming absence of peace, one divine alternative stands out. In a time where everything seems to be stuck in furious-fast-forward, what we really need to do is push the pause button.
The key is an intentional shift of focus from all the craziness that’s rocked our planet to the “Rock.” And while many people are scheduling their out-of-town trips and summer outings, why don’t we get down to the real deal? So just in case you get tempted to think that lent is all about white sand beaches and getting a tan, I plea that you reconsider. Lent is about Jesus, His great love for us, and our response to it. There are three things you may want to contemplate on doing as you go solo with God:
Revisit the Cross
Return to Jerusalem 2,000 years back and listen again to the echoes of the booming sound of the angry mob, “Crucify Him…crucify Him!” Mull over the crown of thorns that they forced on Jesus’ head. Ponder on the cross. Remember that He carried this heavy cross, literally and figuratively. Reflect on the three nails—that spiked through His hands and feet. Hear the sound of His voice when He said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
The soldiers lifted the cross. Jesus was the centerpiece. With His arms stretched and His body lifeless, He tells us all, “This is how much I love you.”
Reflect on our lives as Christians—our obedience and love
As we meditate on Jesus’ love for us, what’s next is a heart check. Search deep into your own life. Is Jesus still number one in your life? Is He still your top-most priority? Have we grown in our love? Or have we grown cold in our relationship with Him? Are you still excited about Him?
For some of us, God might be asking us to go back to our first love! And the reason why we’ve been feeling a bit lost is because we’ve lost focus. The best starting point is always the cross. He might be saying: “It’s time to get back on track.”
Restore broken relationships
One of the signs of a genuine encounter with God is a decision to patch up damaged relationships. Bridge the gaps. Let go of hurts. Forgive if you have to. Apologize if you need to. This might be the prompt that you’ve long been waiting for.
Maximize this Lent to the hilt. Decide today! Make sure that your version of Lent this 2k11 counts.
Pastor Ru dela Torres serves as the director of Wildfire, the youth ministry of His Life City Church in San Fernando, Pampanga. He founded the Manifesto Movement, a finalist in the 2007 nationwide search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations. He is currently taking up Theology at the Asian Theological Seminary.