Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daily Digest #237

First the blade, then the head, after that the full grain . . . . The harvest has come. —Mark 4:28-29

Over the weekend, I learned that when one is too available, others tend to take him/her for granted.... :D

I belong to a Christian community where we are grouped into households and have meetings every week. A few months ago, I was given the privilege to lead one group. Before I took the post, I prayed deeply to God that He may bless whoever He sends in my midst, and that He may let us grow together. I felt excited, but scared, of the big responsibility that was being entrusted to me. I assessed myself if I were ready for such a task. Many times did I doubt my capabilities as a leader or a medium of encouragement to others. I feared that I would be self-righteous or intolerable, knowing how I usually was. Then this group of people was finally introduced to me, and I thought, "my sisters".

From the moment we had our first household meeting, I cannot deny the fact that I was both scared and happy. I imagined we would do great things together, but doubted if we would ever overcome the obstacles – mismatched priorities and commitment. Nevertheless, armed with hope and prayer, I kept going. I looked forward to every household meeting. I longed to spend time with my sisters because they were God-given, and therefore, important to me. I longed for fellowship. I longed for a common cause. I longed to share what I was going through, what I learned recently, and witness my sisters do the same. I longed for real communication, where both parties are willing to take turns in talking and listening. I knew in my heart that I needed them, and hoped they needed me, too.

They say that to be a leader, someone has to follow. Then I thought, maybe I was not being one. Or maybe I was putting too much pressure on being one when all I could actually do was be a friend. I asked myself several questions: was I too serious? Boring? Have I become blind? Deaf? Insensitive? Was I trying too hard? Or were my efforts not enough? These musings could go on and on, but the answers would only surface if I were willing to patiently wait and listen.

Then one night, God answered my prayer. And he only said one thing: PRAY. At first, I prepared myself for debate. I even opened the Bible to look for passages on responsibility and leadership. Then I came across this: It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the Lord will be shattered (1 Samuel 2:9-10). King David succeeded because God chose him for the job, and because he persistently turned to God for his direction, just as Jesus did. The best leadership, ultimately, belongs to God. I figured, I was taking a post that was not mine at all. I can only follow His command and pray.

I take commitment and responsibility quite seriously. But I learned that no matter how serious and committed you are in any task or in any relationship, you can never force things to go your way. I figured, when one simply does something with all her heart, duty becomes a form of dedication. One gives out all her best, and does not expect anything in return – only hope that it is savored, accomplished, and realized.

When one is too available, people tend to take him/her for granted. Well, God is always available, and we often take Him for granted, but we never hear Him whine about it, or see Him turn His back on us. Maybe that's what He's trying to tell each of us – to pray unceasingly, to be honest and open, to never give up on others, and to continue to be available to those in need no matter what.

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