Sunday, 10 April 2011 15:02
Sometimes into our spiritual journey, after the waves of anticipation that mark the beginning of any pilgrimage have begun to decline, a voice speaks to us in the midst of all we are doing. There’s something missing in all of this, it suggests. There is something more.
At first, we mistake the source of this voice and assume it is just our imagination. We tend to disregard or even forget it and continue with our lifestyle. Yet weeks, months even years go by and the voice speaks again: Aren’t you thirsty? Listen to your heart. There is something missing.
We listen and we are aware of something dangerous, something that makes us feel guilty and disloyal to the religion we are serving. We tell ourselves that this small, passionate voice is an intruder who has gained entry. Why? Because we have not been diligent enough in practicing our religion.
Sometime later, the voice in our heart dares to speak again. Listen to me – there is something missing in all this. You were made for something more. You know it. Then we realized and tell ourselves that the uneasiness of spirit we feel even as we step up or religious activity is a sign of spiritual immaturity and we reprove our heart for its lack of devotion.
The voice often comes in the middle of the night or in the early hours of morning, when our hearts are most vulnerable and our thoughts unedited. The Bible tells us that when the young prophet Samuel heard the voice of God calling to him in the night, his priestly mentor, Eli, told him how to respond. Samuel discovered that it was God calling. Rather than ignoring the voice, or rebuking it, Samuel learned to listen (1 Samuel 3:9).
In our modern, pragmatic world, we often have no such mentor, so we do not understand it is God speaking to us in our heart. Having so long been out of touch with our deepest longing, we fail to recognize the voice and the ONE who is calling to us through it. Some of us silence the voice by locking our heart away and feeding it only the bread and water of duty and obligation until it is almost dead.
But still, sometimes in the night, when our defenses are down, we still hear it call to us, oh so faintly – a distant whisper. God knows something we have forgotten. We have forgotten that the heart is central. Take note of Deuteronomy 6:5 and it reads: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Jesus called this the greatest of all the commandments – and notice that the heart comes first.
The cumulative of days upon years that we do not really understand is a subtle erosion. We come to doubt our place, we come to question God’s intentions toward us, and we lose track of the most important things in life. We are not fully convinced that God’s offer to us is life – abundant life. And the glory of God is man fully alive.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
By Paeng Santos
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