Luab: Focus on the essentials-A A +A
Saturday, March 23, 2013
WHEN you love someone, you give full disclosure of your heart and your mind. You bare your soul. You do not stop to think of how vulnerable you can get. To God baring one’s soul is no problem.
This season of Lent is the time for all of us to accept that we can never be perfect. Therefore we cannot expect others to be perfect too.
Remember the answer Jesus gave to the scribes and Pharisees who brought Him the adulterous woman to be condemned by stoning?
Jesus said, “Those who have no sin may cast the first stone.” What happened next? One by one the irate crowd left till only Jesus and the woman were left.
I would like to address my column today to all who enjoy stabbing friends at the back by gossiping. All of us have experienced backbiting, ridicule and even mockery because of people who just enjoy talking ill of others. What makes gossiping worse is when stories are made up and exaggerated or taken out of context to serve a certain purpose.
Some people exalt themselves by putting others down. What makes this kind of subtle mudslinging bad is that it works. I shall never forget the day when my heart got broken because people who I thought were my friends but were really not my friends after all.
Birds of the same feather flock together and in a group that enjoys gossip one of the members is liable to tell tales out of school and the tales get back to the object of their devastating past time. The problem of this kind of defamation is that for a decent victim, the person does not demean herself by a confrontation. Most of the time one’s strength of character, one’s firm adherence to the truth can stand the test of the cruelly of slander. In some cases, a relationship or even just a pure budding friendship is destroyed. Breeding often keeps the victim on its feet even in the midst of emotional pain. But usually brokenness is effected.
Remember the time when Pontius Pilate asked, “What shall I do with this man” when Jesus stood before him? There were cries of “crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Now, how many in that irate crowd were really convinced that Jesus was guilty? What was the end result?
The crucifixion of Jesus!
In a crowd of hecklers during political sorties, how many of those who are mocking the candidates are well aware of the track record of the candidates? How many are paid hecklers? How many are shouting invectives just because they are moved by the mob (i.e. mood) of the moment?
During Lent, there are many helps for us to grow. At the Holy Family Retreat House there is a retreat for women only on March 22 to 23 and a retreat for men only on March 28 to 29. Call the retreat house for details. There are two nights of recollection at the Redemptorist Church on March 25 and 26 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sacred Heart Social Center is also a venue for a three day morning retreats on March 28, 29 and 30. The Pink Sisters also have their own schedules. All we have to do is call the respective congregations for more details.
If only we can empty ourselves of everything that is not of God. If only we can spend time on the more important aspects of our faith. If only we can do a bit of spiritual readings. If only we can minimize the hold that our egos have on us, we can concentrate on the essentials and not quibble on frivolities.
What is really important in this life? Is it the adulation brought about by your success story like a P70 million mansion, three cars in a garage, and a yacht thrown in?
Are we created to just live here on earth and that’s the end of our lives? Once I suggested to a group of people, “Count with your fingers who your real friends are. Can you fill up your 10 fingers?” There was silence as the truth of my suggestion sunk in.
Actually, if you reflect on it, you will discover that you have some real friends in your life, maybe not 10 but a few. Perhaps we can focus on ourselves in the remaining weeks of Lent and be the kind of person who can not only be a treasure to others but also be
an influence for good.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 24, 2013.