Category Archives: Commitments

In A World Where Emptiness Abounds

We live in a world where emptiness abounds. We know something is lacking within our heart of hearts. It’s beyond what’s intellectually understandable. The struggle to finding certainty is beyond being able to mentally accept things at face value. It’s way deeper.

Choices. Sometimes, I simply come to a point like this. I still have an intact knowledge of who I am and how things are supposed to be. But I don’t live it all the time.

That is probably why I get by. But it’s not as it healthy as it should be. Being too contented with one’s pace would not be healthy. Being too passive would undermine one’s consciousness about the real consequences. Passivity is probably my disease.

Come to think of it. All these years, I probably had only a very thin connection with God. Now that’s relative. The description is valid because I tend to just get by. Maybe because that is how I was brought up, passively.

I’m describing the connection as thin because it is. I still don’t feel fully well how it is to be best friends with Jesus. I probably know. And, I might be able to imagine how such a relationship is like. But that’s a bit different from making the possibility a daily reality.

All I’m saying is that my mind can run and run and run and it gets me mentally tired. In times like this, I can just blurt things out without having a total emotional attachment to my thoughts. I write my thoughts out just to relieve myself. And, probably, to extract more sense from what I’ve been going through.

I just thought about two words. I’ve mentioned the first one. Passivity and impulsiveness. How can the two go together?

Well, they can go together within a person like me. Most of the time I’m passive. If something really attracts me, I can get really impulsive. So I can’t say I’m already self-controlled. That’s yet too far from reality.

But I know, I know. I need to get it right. My mind has probably just become an expert at reasoning. And I had too many rationalizations that I have forgotten to listen, really listen to God.

It’s just that I had to start over, again. It sounds too ambitious knowing the failings of the past. But there’s no way I should give up. There’s more to my destiny than just giving up. I should be thankful for the experiences that I’ve had in life — those that made me somewhat resilient. But too much of it makes me passive, and it’s not the best way to live the Christian life.

So, I’m here today, lacking some sleep, ending up not writing an “optimized” post. Maybe it doesn’t really matter, at least not this time.

It’s just time to unwind and unmind. I probably had been too mindful about my thinking or my rationalizations. I sound like I’ve been masking my face all this time. It’s okay. I just need to talk to God right now. I know He’ll listen. I’ll get there. I only needed time.

And, most probably, reality.

Where Is Jesus? The Song of the Story

If you would ask me what my favorite song is, I could not think of one single answer. Apparently, though, this song stands out as an oasis for the struggle of the moment. Where is Jesus?

(Hit the “play” button to listen to the song.)

On a journey from Jerusalem
Returning to their home
Joseph and his family
Traveled all day long
They must have walked for many miles
Before they realized
Jesus was not with them
Mary sadly cried

Where is Jesus?
Did we leave Him far behind?
Did we take for granted He was here
Walking with us all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
We must return to the place
Where we left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

I prayed for God to lead my way
That His will for me be known
All He asked is that I wait for Him
Still I stepped out on my own
Without Him here to guide my steps
I’ve failed Him many times
I only have myself to blame
I bowed my head and cried

Where is Jesus?
Did I leave Him far behind?
Did I take for granted He was here
Walking with me all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
I must return to the place where I left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

You’ve made some bad decisions
With a selfish thought in mind
You had the best intentions for
The goals you set in life
Your relationship with God’s secure
But the fellowship is gone
You can choose to walk with Him again
You don’t have to walk alone

Where is Jesus?
Did you leave Him far behind?
Did you take for granted He was here
Walking with you all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
You must return to the place where you left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

Just where is Jesus?

And why is this post called “The Song of the Story”? What is the story?

Well, we all have stories to tell. We have stories of our own lives—how we’ve managed to walk victoriously over our own set of trials and temptations. Some of us, by the way, have many more stories of defeat to share.

This song by the group “Pictures of Grace” just effectively retells the story of initial defeat, and then, a subsequent victory. It tells of how Mary and Joseph lost their thought of where their “Son” could be. They assumed He was there with them for one whole day. Later, their hearts were pierced. Conscience spoke through their neglect. A discovery of their weakness was the beginning of their victory.

So where was Jesus?

Apparently, Jesus was just in the temple. He was there, conversing with rabbis—mostly old men who were esteemed authorities back in their day.

Why was He left there? Where were Mary and Joseph headed? How could they be neglectful of Jesus’ presence?

Before we start accusing them, let’s take a look at the rest of the lyrics of the song. I will discuss “The Story Behind the Song” in a separate post. (Click here to get notified when that post comes out.)

Where did we leave Jesus?

We could have left Jesus behind, too. I often do. Often, I pray “for God to lead my way that His will for me be known.” All He asks “is that I wait for Him.” Still, I step “out on my own.”

The lyrics of the song just cuts it straight.

Tired of waiting

Often, I get tired of waiting. I’ve been impatient most of the time. In other words, I’ve been impulsive. I guess you, too.

It’s in here that we make a lot of mistakes. We often get ahead of God. Unknowingly, we think of ourselves as wiser than Him when we make decisions rashly, without conducting a consultation with Him.

A God Taken for Granted

Do we ever take God for granted? We probably do. We brush Him aside whenever we think we’re doing just fine. We often do.

Often the Last Resort

How would God feel if we make Him our last resort? I don’t know; I’m not God. I could even question if it could be a loss for Him. He’s God. He doesn’t need us. But the fact that God is love makes a lot of difference.

When we make God our last resort, it’s definitely never His loss. Rather, it is our loss. And how would that make God feel?

Still, A God Who Sympathizes

If He’s a God of love, and He truly is, He would most certainly feel for us. Consider a loving earthly father, watching his son or daughter struggle to obtain a certain item. The son or daughter would have expended all he or she can do just to get that item. But let’s just say only the father knows how.

Wouldn’t it have been easier for the son or daughter to simply have asked the earthly father to get that item for him or her? Isn’t this an apt illustration of how we often relate to God?

Returning to Jesus

“To find Him once again, we must return to the place where we left Him.”

How often we leave Jesus behind right after our devotional time. We make haste to do our daily duties, and we forget the fact that we’ve asked God to guide us every step of the way throughout our day. But we often forget.

Distracted by cares

Our daily cares often distract us from Jesus. But it’s not only our “legitimate” cares that turn our eyes away from the Savior. In this day and age, we are often bombarded by “illegitimate” cares, those that we expose ourselves to unnecessarily.

Distracted by the unimportant

Our newsfeeds truly “feed” our brains. There may be good things out there but it is important to filter our feeds in order to maintain a healthy connection with Jesus. Discipline is necessary.

Following Jesus

In order to really follow Jesus, we may have to unfollow those that prove only to be distractions. Distractions, remember, may be deemed “good,” but not all “good” things get you to a goal.

For example, activism about something “good” may be beneficial, but if it takes all of your time—including your time for Jesus—then that activism must be subjected to control.

How Not to Lose Sight of Jesus

Moment by moment. We need to think of Jesus moment by moment. But how is that even possible?

The key, perhaps, is not to lose consciousness of the presence of Jesus. Our brains are powerful. We may use the power of our minds to imagine what is actually beneficial to our souls. One thing we can do to maintain our connection with Jesus is to imagine Him right here, just beside us.

What If the Savior Stood Beside Me?

This reminds me of another song entitled, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” by Sally Deford. I also love this song as it is on point. If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?

Indeed, our consciousness of the presence of Jesus beside us, or wherever we go, makes a lot of difference in the way we behave. We certainly would have this “fear” of Him—not a fear that would make one fear a tyrant, for of a certainty, God isn’t a tyrant—but a certain reverent, godly fear that would prevent us from sinning against Him.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?”

Just where can we go from God’s Spirit? Where can we hide from His presence? (See Psalm 139:7-10). Now God is everywhere. But doesn’t this contradict the question we’ve asked from the beginning? Where is Jesus?

It may be beneficial to point out that Jesus will forever retain His human nature. Indeed, He can’t be everywhere at once. He’s presently in heaven, ministering as high priest on our behalf. But He can be everywhere at once, only through the person of His Spirit.

It’s our choices that make us feel away from God

While God can manifest His presence to us, anytime, anywhere, and while He sees us anytime, anywhere, we can still feel far away from God. This is because of our own choices. Darkness envelops us whenever we, by choice, distract ourselves from Him.

“You can choose to walk with Him again”

As the song says, we “can choose to walk with Him again.” You and I “don’t have to walk alone.” We can walk with Jesus again.

Do you ever feel lost, and far away from God right now? The good news is in the song. It is the song of my story, your story. While it began by retelling an apparent defeat in someone’s spiritual walk, it ends with an encouraging note that we can, indeed, choose to walk with Jesus again.

Where is Jesus? He’s just there waiting for your choice. Take that U-turn and walk with Him, again.