In my life journey, I have made the conscious and deliberate effort to follow the way of Christ. I have found strength, inspiration and deep meaning in doing so. In time of difficulties, I found guidance in his words and actions. In times of joy, I understood the reason and source of my blessings.
One thing has bothered me in recent days. I may have been influenced to a significant degree by the Prosperity Gospel. I am sincere in being thankful foe God’s blessings in my life. But sometimes, I catch myself trying to do God’s will and follow his son Jesus in order to be favored by his blessings. I often find myself assuming that my default situation in life is to be so blessed that I would be free of problems and troubles and that all the Lord wanted for me was an easy and comfortable life.
And yet, if I pay close attention to the person I have chosen to follow; I would see and hear a totally different message. He did not promise an easy life for his disciples. In fact, he warned them that they will have to take up the cross, the ultimate symbol of ultimate pain and suffering during those times. He asked his would-be followers to leave everything behind, everything that gave them a sense of security, comfort and certainty. Including family, home, and possessions. He shunned the rich and mingled with the poor. He blessed the weak, the widows, and orphans, the fringes and rejects of society.
When I pray for blessings in terms of an easy and comfortable life for myself and my dear ones, might I not be missing the message and the challenge of Christ? Am I to be blessed with comforts and possessions? Or, am I to be the channel of blessing for others, not getting these blessing myself?
Now that I am being emptied in this latter part of my journey, I need to heed this Gospel of Christ that does not try to do away with pain suffering but rather recognizes its salvific and transformative power in my life.