Slave for love

February 11, 2015 at 8:19 am Leave a comment

Todays second reading from Pauls first letter to the Corinthians (chapter 9, verse 16) really resonated with me for even though sometimes I feel as if I am a slave to the demands of others and my resentment shows in the impatience of my actions, I know that ultimately there is nothing I desire more than to help spread the Good News to others. If it means making myself a slave, then so be it (this does not imply abject subjugation but rather humility and the ability to be sensitive to the needs of others). 

Like Saint Paul, I aspire to become all things to all so that I may help at least a few people experience the Good News in a way I have. His words encourage me to keep going for if I want to claim my share of the Gospel, that is to fully experience the joy of the Gospel myself, then I must live my life in a particular way: lovingly, joyously, empathetically, considerately and, most of all, compassionately. I must not shy away from connecting with others, and in every encounter, I must invite a spirit of hospitality into the interaction so that it becomes a positive experience.

This is quite difficult for me for being task-oriented, I sometimes forget about the journey being so focused on the destination. I get impatient and disconnected easily. I also often forget to rely on God for everything. Of course this is when things always go awry, when I insist on letting my ego take the drivers seat. Thank God for His graciousness for He always saves the day and ensures I do not do too much damage in my inept and crude ways.

Reflecting on the last four weeks which have been busy beyond belief, there are lessons I can draw from to keep me going in 2015. The first lesson is that love really does conquer all. I have found that when I genuinely love the other (even if I may not agree with or like the person at times), I can do all things in order to touch the others heart and show the other how God loves him or her. The only way to love without prejudice and baggage is to keep experiencing Gods love for myself first.

As Pia reiterated in her talk on Christian leadership, being contemplative allows us to see beyond the face of things and to get to the heart of prickly relationships. If I know how to speak and act, especially with difficult people, I can then enable them to glimpse their own true identity. I will be able to bring their inner beauty to surface. Prayer helps me forgive slights imagined or real and to extend a sincere and open hand of friendship in any situation. I can be gentler, wiser and more generous. This is what it is to share Gods presence with others in spite of my own human frailties and shortcomings.

Another lesson that has been relearned recently is to keep saying yes to God even when I am frightened and feel inadequate, so not up to the task. Especially when I know my yes would make a positive difference. Rather than let my fearful and lazy child self stay in the shallows, in agreeing to swim out into deeper waters, I have found strength and empowerment. I grow, more into the person I have been created to be. So while saying yes is not always enjoyable, it is definitely fulfilling and enriching. I will keep saying yes to being a slave for that is my obligation as a filial child of God.     

All this running around has meant that I have not been so diligent in looking after my body and getting sufficient sleep. Letting go of the disciplines of physical fitness has resulted in physical exhaustion and a body that creaks and groans like a rusty, old machine. This, I have since discovered, is really bad, for feeling out of sorts physically I am short with people and I have no tolerance for delays or changes to the plan in my head. I am highly irritable and not pleasant to be around. I make errors in judgement. I become scatter-brained. I snap at people then regret it just moments later.

Physical health is thus vital to spiritual health. How can I serve when I am physically not up to it? I am short-changing those I serve for I just cannot give all of myself when my energy levels are close to empty or when some body part is in pain. So I am, more than ever, invested in regaining a supple and ache-free spine.

Thank you Saint Paul for inspiring me to be a slave for love. It is now time for bed for a busy week awaits.

Retrieved from http://kahalableu.blogspot.sg/2015/02/slave-for-love.html
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