Jan 19 — Tuesday of Week 2 in Ordinary Time
Here we have an anchor for our soul…
I was invited recently to address a group of newly-appointed scholars on Zoom. When I asked the scholarships team if they were sure about it, the answer was, “Yes, just give the same presentation you did for the ambassadors.” It turns out that some of the team had sat in on an earlier address I gave a few months back to another group of students — our SITizen Ambassadors. My presentation centred around 3 key words — Adaptability, Awareness and Authenticity. The point I drove home was that only by being authentic — accepting failure and acknowledging their weaknesses without fear of reaching out for help from others — would the students survive the new journeys they were embarking on.
Brothers and sisters, it takes a fair bit of courage to be vulnerable and trust someone else to share one’s deepest fears and anxieties. I have found, over the past year, that providing a safe environment is crucial for those of us who lead teams and seek unity. That can only come with self-belief and an assuredness that one is backed by a good, nurturing, caring boss or senior management.
I am certain that Jesus, as he led His disciples, gave them all comfort and strength — He provided the foundations for them to venture out and preach, evangelise and, ultimately, embrace martyrdom and death knowing that they were going to reunite with Him in heaven. How reassuring that His love become the anchor for their souls, for their ministry after He ‘left’ them. Today, as we struggle through life and deal with all sorts of issues, do we truly believe that He is with us in our hearts and our minds? What sort of decisions do we make which impact on family, our children, those who depend on us to make sound judgments in order to provide for others?
…so that we, now that we have found safety, should have a strong encouragement to take a firm grip on the hope that is held out to us.
Do we really appreciate the safety that God provides for us? Or do we take it for granted as we go about our daily lives? Because if we question God’s presence and doubt His hand in all that we think and do, where does that leave us as parents, leaders, even lay contributors to any ministry? Are we working with our own agendas in mind or are we truly participating and giving ourselves to His glory? Is He ‘present’ or ‘absent’ in the decisions we make?
For some of us in ministry, we may feel that we are merely drifting from one task to another — that we are present because others expect us to just do whatever is decided by the leaders or a core team. For others, we may be struggling with a lack of purpose — not being able to discern one or not being on the same track as what everyone else feels is the ministry’s reason for being. Perhaps that is when we need to truly discern what is ‘anchoring’ us to the ministry…whether ego, a personal agenda or something else is driving our actions.
Brothers and sisters, the time will come when each of our journeys reaches a fork, crossroads, or even a dead end. For the courage to make a change or to stay the course, we need to discern if God is indeed present, providing us with a safe haven to become vulnerable and to share our concerns with those around us. Only then can we move forward with the reassurance that our subsequent decisions and actions are grounded in Him.
(Today’s Oxygen by Desmond Soon)
Prayer: Loving and gracious Father, we ask for your mighty hand to guide us in all that we do, and to light our ways so that we can always turn to you in our times of need, knowing that You are there for us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for always loving and protecting us.