Unlike the metamorphosis of a butterfly that requires nothing of the caterpillar but to obey the wirings of its making and submit to its will to lay dormant within the cocoon for 7 – 14 days before emerging as a new creation, my metamorphosis is made up of multiple conscious decisions that must be acted out with much effort.
I am writing this piece on the iMac that I have finally been able to make space for, by making tough decisions to throw much of my past life away. I am a hoarder in rehabilitation, hoping to kick the habit before it consumes me and buries me under the objects that I could not bear to part with. I still have much to get rid of, but I have made significant progress, and it deserves to be celebrated.
During this journey, I have found some tips from Marie Kondo to be helpful, especially the point about using joy as a selection criteria of what to keep. On top of that, my identity as a Child of God who has been adopted into an eternal inheritance demands that I no longer hold on to what’s behind, but run with perseverance the race set before me, fixing my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Jesus, while He was on earth, said,
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.“
Beyond the act of hoarding, in the final analysis, it is all about the heart condition, about making room for what really matters till the end of time.
It’s not the lack of openings and opportunities that trouble me, but the presence and abundance of.
Multiple openings show up at different times, and seem to test my loyalty to a commitment made prior to it.
The Lord is sovereign, and His thoughts and His ways are higher, beyond all comprehension.
In this time, the Holy Spirit calls to mind different prophetic pictures at different times. Right now, it is of the white snowy mountain top, where all signs of trails and tracks are covered by layers upon layers of snow, and He says, I’m free to walk where I want to walk and He is right there with me.
Just finished reading “The Shadow of the Almighty—The Life & Testament of Jim Elliot” as compiled by Elisabeth Elliot a couple of days ago. The book is a compilation of Jim Elliot’s journal writings, letters sent to his family and friends, along with context and additional text by Elisabeth Elliot.
I was eager to finish it and there were so many relatable passages that resonated in me as I went along, so I conveniently folded the top corners (sometimes the bottom ones, when the passages lie closer toward the lower part of the book), neglecting the fact that the book belongs to my sister who doesn’t appreciate a well-worn book as much as I do.
Anyhow, here is a compilation of most of the passages that struck a chord in me whose corners still remain folded. For the sake of future reference, all passages will follow in parenthesis with the title of the chapter, the page number, as well as Jim Elliot’s age at the point of writing. I was reading a copy published by HarperOne, with ISBN 978-0-06-062213-8.
Note: Upon review, some pages had been folded without clear memory of a distinct passage. In such cases, passages that resound upon second read are recorded. Otherwise, if no distinct passage stand out, the corners are unfolded and restored without record for now.
Gratefulness for Ale has creeped into my heart amidst uncertainty about whether I’ll go or whether I’ll stay at FL.
Ale has been a great mentor, and I’m so thankful that FL is the first corporate that I have ever stepped foot into.
(to be continued)
So, I’ve always wanted to be a useful person wherever I am. When I don’t feel useful, I have a tendency to quit since there is no point of me to stay and be a bum.
But I’ve never realised that there is a spiritual dimension to this. Gained a new revelation through this morning’s devotion about “Sanctification”.
The author writes,
When you were first connected to Jesus Christ and received the amazing outpouring of his gifts to you, the gifts of love, forgiveness, hope, and promise of immortality, it was the best thing that ever happened to you. But that isn’t the end. You are not merely existing here on earth. This planet is not a huge station where you are just killing time waiting for the train to take you to heaven.
You were saved for a purpose now, not just for your later passage into heaven. The day you became a believer, the Holy Spirit took up residence in your brain and heart and the personal transformation began. The Spirit has a double agenda:
1) to change your thoughts, words, and behaviors to be more like Christ, and
2) to make you useful to God’s agenda to help and convert other people. This process is called sanctification, saint-making. St. Paul knew that he had been converted not just for himself, but so that he could in turn become a blessing to many others: God “gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:16).
The sanctification process (i.e., transforming you to act like a saint instead of a sinner) is gradual and incomplete. Not until heaven will you be 100 percent free from sin. But in the meantime you can enjoy the Spirit’s power, renewing you constantly and giving you the dignity of usefulness.
Every moment I may be conscious and rejoice in the knowledge of God’s will. Obedience to every command puts me on the track and keeps me there. Decisions of course must be made, but as in railroad, so in life—a block signal, a crisis, is lighted only where there is special need. I may not always be in sight of a ‘go’ light, but sticking to the tracks will take me where the next one is. Understanding the will of the Lord is believing Him, that He will—in all situations where I have obeyed—make that way His own way, effectual for eternity.
—Jim Elliot, 1950, Shadow of the Almighty
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.