LIFE IS ABOUT JESUS
By: Pauline Lee
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Every so often I take a personal inventory of my relationship with God. One of those very frequent questions that keeps popping up is, "Will there be more Bs (blessings) or Ts (trials)?" Sincerely, I am seldom pleased with the results of my spiritual inventory. It is as if, each session feels like the Ts keep adding up while the Bs keep depleting in numbers. On the other hand, I am rather delighted because I find C (character) is measuring higher than all the rest. It has also taken a long long time to gather enough L (love), J (joy), PE (peace), PA (patience), K (kindness), GO (goodness), F (faithfulness), GE (gentleness), and SC (self-control) to exchange for a unit of C (Galatians 5:22). Now, time is the essence here. Through the course of many long years of Ts, the Cs finally emerged.
Here's a story that would seem familiar to many. Let us go to McDonald's to get a more vivid picture. You queue, you order and the meal is delivered in less than a minute. As predicted, it looks no different than any McDonald's meal you have had. The processed meat snapped between 2 pieces of bread with some pickles and cheese added no drooling appepite except the thought of getting that food digested in a jiffy. The fast food industry is making us consumers work like plain old food processors. Junk in, junk out. Then you hop into an expensive sit-down meal in one of your city's most popular restaurant. The captain greets you in his tux. The ambience projects a magnificent feeling of comfort and assurance. The carpet hugs your heels like soft velvet. The chair lingers around you with a silky touch. The menu looks better than your own biography. The waiter smiles and gently tugs the napkin onto your lap. Oh, the music makes you melt in romance. The silverware polished to perfecting shine. The lacy tablecloth adorning the table rests in its feathery feel beneath your arms. You waited a good 15 minutes but it all seemed to pass so long when you are pressing in hunger. Finally, food is served. It looks exceedingly sumptuous. Nothing you have seen had even come close to this. The intricate preparation must have taken a good amount of effort and skill. The aroma of the meat and wine just blend so flawlessly together. It's a mouth-watering taste of unforgettable splendour. The bite persists on in tender caressing movement between your teeth. You enjoy, you indulge, you swear this will not be the last!
Character sets the difference. It sets the overall theme. It is like an expensive meal that has been crafted after a long journey of learning, failing, and persevering. It also comes with a hefty price tag. Sometimes it seems the only good we glean from a bad situation is the resulting character God intends to instill in each one of us. I am not excluded from His mighty plan. And many times when I was going through those difficult trials, I was tempted to say, "Enough character, GOD!" Many times, I tend to desire McDonald's which is quick, easy, and serves its purpose. But my nutritionist instinct knows it is one unhealthy junk meal that will destroy me over the long haul. And thus I remember the words of Paul who wrote, "In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). Character is not meant to serve no end to itself. It was meant to create godliness, maturity, and strength. As each hurdle gets harder in the race, I knew my helpless body will not sustain to finish. And the more I had to depend on God for each jump, the more my spirit overtook my fleshly carnality. Perseverance alone was difficult enough to bare but I knew the end-result would be like an exquisite meal that breeds satisfaction. "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4)
Let not our joy be based on the circumstances we are in. We may not see ourselves pampered in material wealth, perfect health, blissful marriage and faultless children. Our joy should be based on our personal relationship with Jesus. Back to the drawing board; back to my inventory books. I have to undefine my Bs. Truly, each C and each T was a B. Life is really not about what the economic world can offer us. LIFE IS ABOUT JESUS.
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