Move On Na, Bes!

“May mga bagay talaga na sa umpisa lang masaya.”

Yan marahil ang hugot ng nagsulat ng blog na nabasa ko last year na hindi ko malimutan. It was of a woman who happens to be a Christian and based on her story, is on fire with the Lord and yet she fell into sin. She felt condemnation. Sobrang hindi niya maintindihan ang sarili niya. She identifies herself with the Apostle Paul in saying, I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15

<Gusto ko sanang ishare yung link sa blog pero there’s a thug in my heart na wag na lang. Di ako masyadong comfy sa idea.>

Move on na bes“Ang daling matulog, ang hirap bumangon; ang daling mahulog, ang hirap mag-move on”

Moving on means rising up from where you’ve fallen, no matter the height of your downfall. Kahit gaano kasakit, kahit gaano kahapdi. And moving on is a decision. Hindi pwedeng sasabihin mong magmo-move on ka na tapos iaasa mo sa iba ang paggaling mo. Yes, the process itself is painful. Nakasanayan na kasi ang dati, tapos biglang magbabago ng environment. Kaya nga binabalik-balikan mo pa ang mga love letters di ba? Kaya nga binabalik-balikan natin ang mga instagram posts (tapos accidentally mong mapupusuan yung picture, yay!), mga private messages, mga sweet nothings na isinulat sa tissue ng Starbucks o McDonalds. Tapos bubulong-bulong ka na, “walang forever”.

Moving on is not just about forgetting someone, or something. Ito ay pagkakaroon ng wholeness, pagiging buong muli. Kung dati, lagi ka na lang feeling guilty, feeling defeated, ngayon hindi ka na defined ng iyong mga kasalanan. Hindi ka na controlled ng past. Hindi porke broken ka before, e forever broken ka na rin. Pero nasa sayo pa rin ang decision – sabi nga ni Jesus sa lame man sa pool of Bethesda, “do you want to get well?”

“Ang unang hakbang sa pagbangon ay ang pagmulat.”

Paggising sa umaga, hindi ka tuluyang magigising kung hindi mo imumulat ang mga mata mo at babangon. Hindi ka tuluyang makakabangon kung mananatili kang nakahiga lang. Laging nandyan ang temptation to stay where you are. “Comfy e, masaya na rito, masarap na rin. Wallow na lang tayo sa bitterness. Besides possible na masaktan lang rin ako ulit.” Pero kung hindi ka aalis sa kinasasadlakan mo, hindi ka tuluyang lalaya. So what are you going to do now? Do you want to get well?

Kaya mo yan. Move on na, bes.

 

* Ang article na ito ay excerpt ng series primer for our youth ministry’s #hugotserye

Art-preciation at Pinto Art Museum

Since I first read about Pinto Art Museum sa isang blog na pina-follow ko, nagkaroon na talaga ako ng desire to visit the place. Hindi dahil sa mahilig ako sa art – actually wala nga yata akong bahid ng artistry sa katawan. I don’t know how to draw, I have no inclination to sculpting, kahit color combination hindi rin ako maaasahan. Masyado lang akong na-curious sa ganda ng lugar based sa pictures and sa reviews na nakikita ko online. One more thing, just a few rides away lang siya from Marikina, so why not give it a shot?

ART-preciation

The opportunity came last Saturday. Medyo kinabahan lang ako na hindi matuloy dahil sa sobrang lakas ng ulan. Good thing, as soon as makumpleto na kami ng mga kasama ko by 3pm, the rain gradually stopped kaya nagpatuloy na kami.

Since weekend kami nagpunta, grabe ang dami ng tao. So I advise na kung maisipan niyong pumunta, do it on weekdays. Sa dami ng tao, usually couples and mga fashionista (sorry not sorry haha!), hindi malabong may photobomber ang mga photos mo. Kailangan mo lang talagang maghintay ng proper timing.

Hindi ko na sasabihin ang kabuuan ng trip around the museum – marami na online. I’ll just post some pictures na lang🙂

*This is what I call trabahong tamad. Basta salpak na lang ng pictures! Haha!*

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Grabe, sobrang ganda ng lugar. Even for someone like me who’s not into arts, na-enjoy ko nang sobra ang pagtake ng pictures. Parang Santorini ang vibe ng lugar, at pabor para sa mga katulad kong kayumanggi ang dominant white na feel ng bawat gallery.

I really appreciate the place. The artworks speak of the personality of its respective creator. I can just imagine the emotions and longings contained in every single work of art displayed there. Hindi lang instagrammable ang bawat piyesa na naka-display sa museum. Actually, hugot-worthy din ang mga likhang-sining na iyon. Ilang luha na kaya ang na-witness ng bawat frame na nakadisplay? Gaano karaming pawis ang tumagaktak para matapos ang bawat sculpture?

Namangha ako sa mga man-made pieces na nakita ko. It only shows how God has been liberal in endowing some people with gifts of artistry and creativity (while some with other skills naman). Hindi man ako nabiyayaan ng artistic prowess, sobrang naappreciate ko naman ang gift niya sa mga artists natin. Iba-ibang medium man ang mga artworks na naroon pero ang naging ultimate impact is to please their respective creators.

Kagaya natin. Iba-iba rin ang wiring. God has crafted us intricately with uniqueness and beauty (or kagwapuhan, haha!) like no other, pero ang ultimate goal is to please our Maker. This is our worship. At kung makikita natin ang ating sarili sa vantage point ni Lord sa langit, siguro para rin Siyang nagmamasid at namamangha sa “gallery of His most precious creation” na Siya mismo ang may-akda.

If you want to know more about Pinto Art and what’s in store for you kung pupunta ka dun, might as well read Ms. Rej Rellova’s blog, the one I’ve cited above. Promise magaganda ang pictures na kuha niya🙂

Visit Pinto Art Museum’s FB Page for more information.

*Though parang hindi updated as of this article, P200 pesos na ang Entrance Fee for regular folks, FYI*

The Power of Rebuke

Ayaw natin, as much as possible, na pinanghihimasukan tayo sa mga bagay-bagay na ginagawa natin. We feel offended when somebody cares enough to point out the wrong in us, aware man tayo o hindi sa mga ito. May pagka-sensitive tayo, ayaw natin na nasasaktan tayo.

On the flip side, hindi rin natin gusto ang makasakit ng damdamin. Marami rin sa atin ang hindi confrontational type. Sa halip na sabihin natin ang mali sa iba, we try to sugar coat our criticisms para hindi masyadong masakit pakinggan. To us, di bale nang masaktan, wag lang ang makasakit ng iba.

ON NOW

There was a time when I made a sensitive joke about a certain Facebook video. For me then, talking about (and laughing about) that joke is no big deal. Until someone who cares enough about me rebuked and reminded me how disappointing it is for a Christian like me to join the world in humiliating the person in that video by watching such over and over again, to my heart’s content. In fairness hindi ko naman ni-like and share, pero just the same, I took time to laugh about the misery of the person. Kitams, nag-justify pa ako. Haha!

Marahil sa iba, madaling i-brush off ang mga ganung remarks sa atin. “Ang KJ naman”, “masyadong sensitive”, “parang yun lang” to some even we have this snide remark: “masyado namang pakielamera”. Different responses – ang iba umiilag, ang iba naninisi, ang iba nagju-justify ng sarili, yet the best response I should say, ay ang pagtanggap ng rebuke without holding any grudge.

There is power in rebuke. Hanggang ngayon ay naaalala ko pa rin ang lesson na dala ng rebuke na tinanggap ko out of my insensitive patronage sa video na yun. Ngunit marahil kung hindi ako napaalalahanan sa bagay na iyon, I am still living in the futility of my so-called entertainment. A rebuke is like a bitter herb given to us by people who cares enough to help us get rid of our “attitude” disease. Parang gamot na kung hindi natin tatanggapin, maaaring hindi tayo maging maayos.

May mga taong masyadong tolerant sa atin. Sila yung mga taong ayaw tayong nasasaktan. Kahit sobrang evident na ng mga bagay na dapat nating ayusin para sa ating sarili, mas pinipili pa rin nilang manahimik. Nakikita na nila ang dumi sa mukha natin pero wala pa rin silang imik. Hindi sa hindi nila tayo mahal o wala silang pakialam. Their dilemma is that they don’t want us to get offended. Subalit ang ganitong uri ng pagdadamot sa tao ng dapat niyang itama sa kanyang sarili ay hindi pag-ibig kundi pagiging makasarili. It’s the same as saying, “I don’t care if you’re living a lie or being destroyed by your misbehaviour – as long as you feel good about yourself you’ll be fine”. Again, ito’y isang pagdadamot. Kung malaman mo ang mahal mo sa buhay na may sakit at ang gamot ay nasa iyong mga kamay, ibibigay mo ito kahit gaano pa ito kapait. The same goes with our rebuke.

There is power in rebuke – and it is given to encourage, and not to bring a person down. Maybe a rebuke is the most loving thing you can ever give to a struggling person, something that sweet, flattering words can never become. Sabi nga ni King Solomon,

An open rebuke is better than hidden love! – Proverbs 27:5 NLT

Kaya naman thankful ako for people who take courage in rebuking me. Masakit, mahapdi, pero kailangan natin para matuto. In fact, they are the most loving person one can ever have.

Gusto mo bang maging mas loving sa iba? Maximize the power of rebuke. Pero word of caution lang, do this in the spirit of love and not with a motive of bringing someone down.

 

 

 

Ebas Generation

For sure nakita mo na ang mga ganitong eksena sa kalsada:

  • May naglalakad sa na magkarelasyon na sobrang affectionate sa isa’t isa. Mapapadaan sila sa grupo ng mga kalalakihan at once magkapaalaman na ang dalawang magkasintahan, mangangantyaw ang mga kalalakihan, sisigaw nang “hindi ka mahal niyan!” or “maghihiwalay rin kayo!” o kaya, “walang forever!”
  • May babaeng napakaganda ng porma, accentuating her natural beauty dahil sa above-the-knee dress niya. Mapapatingin ang ilang kababaihan sa kanya, titignan ang glamorosang babae in a way bordering between humiliation and appreciation. May ismid pa pagkalagpas ng subject, sabay comment ng “hindi naman kagandahan”.
  • May batang nagta-tantrums sa kalsada, getting the attention ng mga tao sa paligid. Hirap na hirap na ang nanay niya para patahanin ang anak dahil may bitbit pa siyang mas batang anak at isa pang sanggol. Titingnan siya ng mga ibang nanay pa sa paligid, bumubulong nang may panghahamak “napaka-iresponsable naman. Sunod-sunod naman kasi mag-anak!”

Ebas Generation.jpgPamilyar ba ang mga eksena? Marahil ikaw mismo na-experience na ito. O kaya naman baka ikaw mismo ang nagbibigay ng mga opinyon na kagaya ng mga nabanggit sa itaas, wag naman sana. May mga tao na nagbibigay ng mga unsolicited opinion sa iba – kahit sila mismo ay wala namang kinalaman o nalalaman man lang sa pinagdadaanan ng kanilang mga subject of criticism. Ang mga taong wala namang pakialam sa welfare ng iba ay all of a sudden nagkakaroon ng “say” sa status ng iba, yun nga lang kadalasan ay para lang mapagkatuwaan, or mapatunayan sa sarili na nakaaangat sila.

Sa totoo lang, ang dami nating ebas.

Ebas /eh-bus/ png. Salita, sabi, daldal, kwento. 

Isang salitang kalye na ang ibig sabihin ay sinasabi. Ang taong maraming ebas ay taong maraming sinasabi.

Halimbawa:

  1. Ang simple simple lang naman ng tinatanong ko, ang dami mong ebas.
  2. Ang dami mong ebas tungkol sa kanya. Lagot ka kapag nalaman niya yan.

Pansin ko lang, masyado nga tayong maraming napapansin at binibigyan ng komento. We are now in the information age kung saan ang ating mga idea, suhestiyon, opinyon maging ang mga kritisismo ay madali nang mag-circulate sa maraming mga tao. Ang anumang sinabi mo ngayon ay maaari nang umabot sa kabilang panig ng daigdig dahil sa mabilis na palitan ng mga FB status, tweets at blog posts. Hindi na ito mapipigilan. Bahagi na ito ng ating pag-unlad at pamumuhay.

Hindi ito masama. Ipinaglaban ng ating mga bayani ang tinatamasa nating karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag. Ipinaglaban ng ating mga ninuno ang pagkakataon upang hindi tayo masikil sa ating mga opinyon at idea. Malayang bansa tayo, at ito ay pinagbayaran ng buhay nang mga nauna sa atin.

Ngunit nasasayang ang ating karapatan sa tuwing ginagamit natin ito para lang makapanlibak ng tao. Tumingin ka sa social media feeds mo ngayon – hindi ba’t punong-puno ito nang mga impormasyong hindi mo malaman kung verified ba o hindi ang pinagmulan. Hindi na mawari kung ano ang tama sa mali. Dahil ang lahat ay maaaring makapagpahayag, ang kapahayagan ay umaabuso na at nagiging mapanlibak, mapanghusga o mapanghamak. Nawawalan na tayo ng respeto sa isa’t isa.

Iniisip natin na bahagi ng kulturang Filipino ang pagiging open book sa tao. Pansinin ang mga kanto at mga tindahan – hindi nawawalan ng umpukan. Masaya tayo sa pakikipagkwentuhan at pakikipagkapwa-tao. Bahagi ito nang kultura. Subalit sa pagiging bukas na libro natin, ninanais din nating bulatlatin ang libro ng buhay ng mga taong wala namang kagustuhan na sila’y basahin ng sinuman.

Now that the community is slowly shifting from being face-to-face and personal to being virtual and impersonal, mas nagiging vulnerable lalo ang buhay ng mga tao sa kamay ng mga malisyosong maraming ebas. Online gossip. Online slander. Online shaming. Isang post, tweet and share at madali nang makakapanira, makakapanghamak, makakapanghusga nang iba – on a massive scale. At ang motibo – makahakot ng likes at social approval. Hanap-kampi kumbaga.

***

I don’t want to end this post sounding more like a rant. I would like to offer something of value pa rin – more so, biblical, spiritual value.

If you are a believer of Jesus, though this sounds like a cliché, but you must be responsible for every comment you express to people – be it in real world or virtual. Maging careful sa bawat sinasabi. Mahirap lalo pa’t exposed na exposed tayo sa mga unhealthy conversations. Personally, I was rebuked by a friend hardcore for a joke I thought is plain funny, but is actually disgraceful and degrading pala. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. The Apostle Paul instructs us:

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:6 NIV

Paano nga ba tayo magbigay nang komento sa iba? Nakakasakit, nakakapanlibak? Nagbibigay ba tayo ng buhay sa ating mga salita? O kagaya natin ang mga naunang examples na nabanggit ko? Agent ka ba ng mga unsolicited opinion na mapanakit ng puso?

Whatever we say most often, and the manner how we say it, reflects the condition of our heart. Remember what Jesus has said:

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 ESV

Gayundin naman, out of the abundance of the heart, the FB status speaks.

Hanggang dito na lang din. Ang dami ko nang ebas at mga unsolicited advice. Shut up na lang ako.

Saan ka nga ba Humuhugot?

bakit ka nga ba HUMUHUGOT-Gone are the days na ang mga kabataan ay nagbibitaw ng mga pick-up lines at mga cheesy jokes. A few years ago, uso ang mga “ways to win her heart” at mga “how to catch his attention”. Ngayon ang uso ay mga “hugot”, na sinusundan pa ng “walang forever” at “maghihiwalay rin kayo”. Bentang-benta sa atin ang mga negosyong may kaunting touch ng ka-bitteran at encouragement sa pagmo-move on. Nagbabago nga talaga ang panahon.

Being a hopeless romantic myself, samahan mo pa ng pagkahilig ko sa mga mabulaklak na salita, tuwang tuwa talaga ako dati sa mga pick-up lines. Those catchy little phrases were my attention catchers whenever I speak before a group of youth. Pero ngayong mga salitang pa-hugot na ang in sa panlasa ng mga kabataan, medyo kailangan ko na ring mag-upgrade ng artillery ko. This is my observation sa mga kabataan ngayon – most of the time you can win their attention with your wit. Kapag may pagka-smarty-smarty ka, malaki ang chance na makukuha mo ang kanilang atensyon necessary as you unload the gospel story.

Sa dami ng humuhugot ngayon, nagiging katatawanan na siya. Ako mismo, I find most of the hugot lines on the internet both as amusing and intellectual. Nakakatuwa ang katabaan ng utak ng mga nasa likod ng mga ito! It just proves how resilient we are as a nation – hindi lang tayo sa mga bagyo at baha matatag, maging sa anumang uri ng unos na dumarating sa ating mga puso. Ano naman kung mabroken-heart? Isang hugot lang yan!

Pero ano nga ba ang nasa likod ng ating mga pag-hugot?

  1. Isa ka nang bitterana

Marahil ay naranasan mo nang masaktan, hindi lang nang isang beses kundi maraming beses na. Sa sobrang exposure mo sa sakit, naging hustler ka na. Alam na alam mo na ang pakiramdam at naging manhid ka na dito. Pero gayunman, kabilang ka pa rin sa mga umaasang darating din ang panahon na mapapalitan ng tamis ang bawat pait at lalabas din ang sweet tooth personality mo.

Hugot 1
Image taken from https://kami.com.ph/8929-elections-hugot-lines.html
  1. Lunod ka na sa luha ng iba

Sa araw-araw ka ba namang iyakan ng mga kaibigan mong akala mo kasama sa marathon kung maghabol sa jowa nilang ilang beses na silang iniwan, syempre mapapahugot ka talaga. You learn by experience ika nga, pero sa experience ng iba.

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Image taken from https://www.wattpad.com/200184000-ms-hugot-hugot-lines
  1. Reflective ka lang talaga

Ikaw yung tipo nang taong hugot nang hugot kahit wala namang lovelife; yung huhugot na lang bigla makakita lang ng maruming basahan, tuyong dahon o kahit gamit na tissue paper. Lahat na lang ng bagay kaya mong bigyan ng hustisya. Hindi ka man lunod sa luha ng iba, lunod naman ang iba sa kakahugot mo out of nowhere.

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Image taken from http://www.manillenials.com/twitter-hugot-lines-class-suspension/
  1. Add your personal reason

At walang makakapigil sayo.

Hugot 4
Image taken from https://twitter.com/pinoyhugotlines/status/742317502613463040

Last year dahil sa That Thing Called Tadhana, naging pambansang destinasyon para mag-move on ang Sagada. Ngayon, salamat sa bagong commercial ng McDonalds, naging mas malapit at mas affordable na ang pagkalimot kay ex – no need na para umakyat nang bundok. Burger McDo lang, mapapakanta ka na ng “tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko”.

Magandang mai-release natin ang ating mga hinanakit at pait sa buhay. Malaking bagay na ang anumang nagpapasakit sa ating puso ay mailabas natin para tayo ay makarecover. May mga therapy pa nga na ginagawa ang iba na kailangang magbasag ng mga pinggan sa pader para makapagrelease. Unfortunately for some, mas pinipili naman nila ang maglaslas. Umibig – nasaktan – lumuha – nagselfie.

Kaya nga tinawag siya na moving on ay dahil kailangan mong pumunta from one place to another – from a place of hurting and pain to a place of recovery and freedom from bitterness. Ngunit hindi magiging madali ang proseso. Sa iba, ito ay mabagal at sa iba naman ito ay madali lang, no need na sumunod sa Popoy rule na three months. Ang pagmo-move on ay hindi isang karera na kailangan mong mauna sa iba – ito ay isang paglago tulad ng isang binhi. Sa paglipas ng panahon, mas yumayabong ka at nagiging mas matatag.

May mga instances sa Bible na kahit si Jesus ay napapa-hugot din from His surroundings to drive important points para mas maunawaan natin ang mga gusto Niyang sabihin. He’s the best teacher after all.

Nang minsang kumain siyang kasama ng mga tax collectors and “sinners”, mga social outcasts nang panahon nila, pinag-chismisan siya ng mga ruling religious men. Kaya’t nagsimulang humugot si Jesus:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” – Luke 15:4-7

Sa labis na pag-ibig din Niya sa atin, with deep emotions and compassion may isa pang hugot si Jesus:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” – Matthew 23:37

Sobrang mahal tayo ni Jesus and out of His great love for us, He wants us not just to know about it but to experience it as well. Ngunit maraming pagkakataon rin na nasasaktan lang natin Siya. Gustong-gusto niya tayong makausap at makasama ngunit hindi natin Siya pinapansin. Ang mas masakit pa, mas humuhugot pa tayo ng inspirasyon sa mga human relationships natin more than Him.

Maraming gustong sabihin si Jesus sa atin. Buksan mo lang ang Bible mo at mamangha sa napakaraming hugot ni Jesus – hugot nang pagmamahal at hindi ng bitterness, hugot upang tayo ay mag-move on towards Christ-likeness from a life of brokenness.

May mga hugot tayo sa buhay at kadalasan puno ito ng bitterness. I encourage you na in all of these hugot sentiments, mas humugot tayo ng lakas, inspirasyon at tunay na pag-ibig from Jesus Himself.

Splendor

SplendorI believe that God created the moon and the stars

But why do they all sparkle in your eyes?

That God sends lightning in the skies,

But why do they flash every time you smile?

While lilies grow and tomorrow die,

Your beauty fades not with the passage of time

God has commanded mankind to love

But towards you, I would give more than enough.

The splendor of creation won’t be complete without you

For you work wonders even with simple things you do

Each day of my life I desire to win your heart

In this life, to keep you forever will be my lasting part.

You are a treasure in the deep

A diamond I’m willing to keep

And if you can be reduced to anything of value

You can only be measured by my love for you.

Embracing the Ordinary

There are times when I feel like I am on a mission to change the world. Going to mission trips, accomplishing a seemingly impossible project, meeting awesome people, trying to be an influence to the younger generation – these are awesome moments in life that has been chronicled in my memory. Yet after the “highs” then come occasional “lows”. These are seasons in life when trials try to pound and break you. By God’s grace, I always come out victorious, but not without battle scars and without shedding tears.

Embracing the OrdinaryI don’t think I am the only one who feels life like this. Christian life is not always characterized by “highs”. Jesus didn’t gave us any promise that our life on earth would turn to be very ideal once we accepted Him as Lord and Savior. Yet to be fair, Christian life is not always characterized by “lows” as well, though there will be expected seasons when our faith will be shaken to the core because of our belief. To be a Christian is to journey with Jesus in the “highs and lows” of life here on earth onto eternal life.

I call these “highs and lows” of life as extraordinary events. These are seasons – temporary moments that is not expected to last for keeps – that adds to the thrill of being a Christian. I consider these times as testing periods. When these moments come, our characters are being refined. It may add or take away flavor to our saltiness, brighten or dim the glow to our light.

Yet how do we define those times when life seems to run on a plateau? I have a few words to describe such period:

Ordinary. Mundane. Routine. Actually I’m tempted to add to the list the word “boring”.

A lot of times I have found ourselves whining about the mundane aspects of life – going to work on weekdays, going to church on Sundays, occasional visits to mall, bookstores, or spending lazy moments at home. This has been the case for more than two decades of my journey here on earth.

During these ordinary moments, I crave for mighty moving of the Spirit to bring me to a situation where my faith will be exercised. I want life to be full of excitement. I want life to be full of adventure. I don’t want life to be plain, I want a flavorful spiritual life. I long for His manifest presence, when I can just feel Him physically near me.

But life is not like that. God doesn’t respond to our selfish whims and desires like how I wanted Him to show Himself in random times of my ordinary days. God has no reason to show off just because I am bored with my daily routine. He is able to do that if He wants to, but why would He?

Borrowing the context from a school calendar, if “highs and lows” are testing seasons, then ordinary days are like our lecture days. During these ordinary, mundane, routine days we accumulate the lessons we need to pass our tests. These seemingly “boring” moments in life – much longer than the testing periods, is the key that determines our maturity. It is not in the “highs and lows” we grow spiritually; it is during the ordinary days. Our tests just determine how “Christ-like” we have become during the ordinary days.

The thing is we are not a fan of the ordinary. Just like me, majority of us whine when there isn’t too much adventure on our course. We want thrill. We want flavor. We want “highs” (who will desire for “lows” anyway). Going to work on a daily basis is ordinary. Going to church on Sundays is ordinary. Spending time with the family is ordinary. While we cannot live apart from these ordinary activities, deep within us we want to break free from the routine and the familiar.

Is there a way we can break free from the ordinary? I don’t think so. Even if we become accustomed to a life of “highs”, sooner or later we will find the constant “highs” as ordinary.

The problem is not in the changing seasons of life. The problem is in the way we view life.

We can embrace the ordinary activities that we have with the awareness of an extraordinary God who commissioned these ordinary duties for us to do. At the back of our mind, we desire to go on a mission to change the world. Yet God has this mission that whenever we are busy filing papers in the office for His glory, He is changing our world. As we seek to be an influence in the community with life-altering activities we organize at the back of our mind, God prepares us to be an influence first from the way we treat our spouse, our children, our neighbor and our boss. We view our day-to-day actions and interactions as ordinary and mundane, yet God is busy working extraordinary work in us through things we consider as mundane.

Paul encourages us,

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

As long as we view God in high regard, these ordinary things in our ordinary days will have more value in our lives. We will see these ordinary things as vital ingredients in our spiritual journey.

In this world where the mantra is YOLO and breaking from the routine is the new normal, as followers of the Lord we need not fear nor loathe the ordinary and the mundane. Remember, out of the most mundane of things, the dust of the ground, God has created His most prized creation – you and me.

Join me in embracing the ordinary.