Tuesday, December 31, 2013

After the Rush

It was like hitting the highway. Stepping on the gas pedal so hard as if I were on a drag race. Beating the red light. Relentless overtaking. Mumbling words of disappointment over drivers who seemed like taking the ride a leisure walk in the park. Didn’t care if it rained or if the sun set. Didn’t matter if the music were in the 80s or Katy Perry. I was focused.

That’s 2013 for me. Fast. Although one of my strong points is context and that I could pull everything together, it’s surprising that this year seemed like a blur. There was no stopping. No vacation trips. No leisure. My mind was unstoppable in producing ideas and questions. Man, how hungry was I!

Last year was like a slow motion, though. I tasted God’s love in ways I have never experienced before. Like I was a little child being watched with my every move. I was cradled and adored. It was like an assurance of his presence when some hard stuff happen.

The hard stuff was 2013. Marched on as long as I could. Conquered as long as there were walls to be torn. God was with me. And we were unstoppable.

I drove all the way to the end, and when I hit December 31, I suddenly stopped. Looking through the windows, I only watched people laugh and live. It’s almost as if being with myself was a whole new strange thing after one whole year of chasing. So here I am, finding solace in isolation from the noise of the world. It’s strangely silent.

After the rush of 2013, sitting here and being acquainted with myself again, I find peace in a pause.

In the bible, when the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, they went through a long process of preparation. A long, agonizing 40 years of disobedience in wilderness. The law was given. Offerings were made. They fasted and prayed. God forgave. And there were moments that I was like, ‘Come on now! let’s go to Canaan and conquer it now!’

But then, as Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for everything. No shortcuts. And while I feel like I was in an extreme pursuit this year, God never ceases to invite me to rest in his presence. To be still and hear from Him. It’s amazing how after a long drive, I am reminded that I was never alone.

It’s not all about conquering. For what is the fight for if it were not done for love? Why else should the promised land be seized if it were done for selfish gain? Everything is meaningless if God’s not there. Whether in a battle or in a pause.

It’s always amazing how the God who made the entire universe would desire to be with me. It’s mind-blowing how I am the reason his Son would die for. It’s not all about conquering. It is experiencing the magnitude of his love. It’s breathing his existence in my life. It’s surrendering all of me.

Yes there are promises yet to be fulfilled. Seas yet to be crossed. But in the most intimate moments with God, my arms are strengthened. I am filled. And tomorrow is another fight.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Reading a good book in a coffee shop on a fine day when the sky is covered with clouds and the sun barely peeks through seems to compel me to write. I have finally finished a book I have started reading months ago. This kind of book is not meant to be just read. So I had to take notes every time leaving me a summarized version.

I don't consider myself futuristic, much more a visionary. The longest I could plan is my next week's activities. That's apart from vacation trips that need to be planned way ahead due to promo airfares. There are a lot of things going through my mind and sorting them out has always been a struggle. I was struck when Andy Stanley said,

Dreamers dream about things being different. Visionaries envision themselves making a difference. Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done. Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something. (Visioneering)

I have to admit I always catch myself thinking about making the world a better place to live. I see people throwing their candy wrappers outside the window of their cars and I am disgusted to my very core. I look at my niece throwing tantrums everyday and I already wonder what does it really take to raise a kid. The question that keeps popping in my head is "What is the right way of doing this?" There I get stuck.

I'm not a visionary, but for the past months I am consumed by the tension of what is and what could be. Before I sleep, I find myself thinking about some women under my leadership and I am emotionally involved. I wake up some mornings and their faces pop in my mind. The question remains, What is the right way of doing this?

Is there really one formula in pursuing something that God has birthed in your heart?

I can't function when things are a mess. I am discouraged when I can't see results. I can't continue when it becomes uncertain. But then God has revealed himself to me as the God of hows. Visions birthed by God in our hearts shall be orchestrated by Him. He only requires faithfulness on our part. And the rest, He would have to fill in the blanks.

I believe we will all go through a season when our faith will be tested, stretched, and sometimes exhausted. While pursuing a vision from God, we will find ourselves having more questions than answers. But then again, it was never and will never be about us. When God gives us visions, the focal point would still be him.

There are times I am consumed by the little tasks- my to do list. How many meetings in a week. What topics to discuss. Evaluating performances. Troubleshooting mistakes. Yes, as Andy said, I catch myself working too hard as if it were my responsibility to maintain the vision. As if it were too great a task for God.

But what I loved the best about this book- more than embracing the vision God has placed in my heart- is actually having to experience Him in greater depth. That from the little tasks that I had been sweating for years now, I get to shift my focus to the One whose love and greatness I can never understand fully, yet be able to get a glimpse of in increasing measure.

Seven years ago, I was faced with my life's most mind-boggling question- What is my life all about? After some time, having found my place in the grand scheme of things where God has positioned me to be, I thought working out the divine-ordained task as best as I could is the ultimate answer. But then more than the vision is God's glory. At the end of the day, it's never about the task. It's still about God. And what a privilege it is for us to be given a vision, more so to get to experience the very person of God.