“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Flight mode is when we run away and escape once faced with a threat, a crisis or a dilemma. Given a choice, we naturally prefer the FLIGHT MODE in dealing with our challenges. We are good at running away. We don’t want trials, uncertainties, and difficulties in or life – for we don’t want to fail, to be insulted, humiliated, and left alone. Sometimes, it is clear to us what we should do, and yet we postpone it. For we don’t have the strength and courage to do it. Thus, saying YES to the will of God or to do the things we ought to do becomes so painful to us.
Running away seems to be the best option – and we are good at it. Carrying our cross and facing our challenges we are indeed very difficult, frustrating and painful. But we need to recognize that running away is far more painful and less productive in the end. We need to accept that when we embrace our cross, we become more true to ourselves and to be our identity.
Joseph was totally devastated when he learned that Mary was pregnant. He could not understand it. Suddenly, all his future plans crumbled to pieces. And yet, out of his great love for Mary, he did not judge her. Joseph decided to leave Mary silently to save her from being stoned to death. He decided to RUN AWAY. But when Angel Gabriel appeared to him in a dream and explained everything, Joseph faithfully embraced Mary as his wife without any doubt. His decision to take Mary into his loving arms brought him closer to Betlehem – step closer to his identity and mission.?
What about YOU? What are your fears and anxieties? What are you running away from? What are the things you need to embrace?
Let us ask for the grace to be like St. Joseph, to be able to gain courage to say a BIG YES to the will of God. Often, we find ourselves troubled by fears, anxieties, and frustrations. We find ourselves tightening our grip on our circumstances, believing that we have control of anything. For some, that statement alone could set off feelings of panic, but if you think about it, it is a cause for joy and peace. Why? Because it means someone more capable is in charge, and He has your best interests in mind: God. As they say, let go and let GOD. It’s easier said than done, but like St. Joseph, we will always find the grace we need to follow God’s will when we seek it.
People bump into each other everyday. According to one study, at an average of a 78-year lifespan, and assuming that we bump into three new people daily, at the end of our lifetime, we should have met a total of 80,000 people. Think about it. Just imagine the potential of making a difference into the lives of these people. That’s a wonderful and awesome contribution to God’s kingdom!
The four Gospels are awesome stories of Jesus’ encounter with countless people. And everybody that bumps into Jesus would always be healed. They would leave with happy thoughts. They met God through Jesus. When someone encounters Jesus, healing would definitely take place. He makes a difference in our lives each time we encounter him, even in our prayers.
In Luke 7:11-17, we see an encounter between Jesus and a certain widow. The periscope was all about an encounter of two groups: the group of Jesus and the group of the poor widow. Both were being followed by a huge crowd. But the groups have different dispositions and destinations. Jesus and his disciples were on their way to another village; the widow and her friends were on their way to another village, the widow and her friends were on their way to cemetery. It was a contrast of life and death.
When the two crowds accidentally bumped into each other at the city of gate, everything change instantly. When Jesus saw the funeral procession and the poor widow.
At the moment of bumping into each other at the city gate, the two groups found themselves united and connected with each other with one purpose: they wanted to help the widow. Plus the fact that Jesus moved their hearts when brought the young man back to life. At that moment, the crowd was transformed into a caring community.
But what’s the difference between a crowd and a community? a crowd is a group, on the other hand, a community is a group of people bound together by one common, noble purpose.
But what about us? Are we part of the crowd or are we part of a community? We bump into each other everyday in many gates, corners, and hallways of our lives, but most of the time, we could only say “Hello” or “How are you?” We don’t make a difference in each other’s life. There’s no depth. No warmth. No relationship.
If we are destined to meet 80,000 new persons in our lifetime, let’s touch them with our words and deeds. Let’s be kind to them, for this could be your first and last time to make a difference in their lives.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering-fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. (Genesis 4:2-5)
As a single person, now’s the time in your life when you are earning and have a minimal financial obligations. Unless you’re supporting your parents or putting your siblings through school, what you earn is all yours.
You can afford to spend on your luxuries now and then. Your money and your time are your own. You don’t have to feel guilty if you buy something for yourself because you’re not depriving someone else-a spouse or a child-of what that money can buy.
You’re at the time of your life when you have so much to offer back to God. Unlike when you were a student, you’re not subsisting on your allowance. You now have experience and expertise in your job. If your community needs to decorate a stage for a gathering and you’re an architect or an interior designer, you have the skill not only to make an excellent design but to execute it well, too.
And because you’re single, you can offer more time for service. In 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, St. Paul says, “I should like you to be of free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. An unmarried woman is anxious about things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction.”
More to Give
It’s also the time when you can afford to give more of your money back to God.
If you haven’t learned and applied the principle of tithing in you life, now is a good time to do it. The Bible teaches us to give back to the Lord the first 10 percent ofbthe financial blessings we’ve received. It’s a principle that comes with an awesome promise that even some secular business people teach it.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,”says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3:10)
In the singles group that we grew up in, Abel was our model of generosity. God was pleased with his offering because he brought the fat portions from the firstborn of his flock. In other words, Abel gave the Lord the firstvand the best. Cain, meanwhile, just offered whatever fruits he had when he felt like it.
So start giving our best to God. Get into the habbit of tithing. Be generous in your offerings.
Always remember, when it comes back to you, you’ll be overwhelmed by God’s bounty.
-Oh, God, I’m still SINGLE! Rissa Singson-Kawpeng