All I want for Christmas is happiness [2014: E O]
Born in a Catholic family, being baptized as a Catholic since I was a baby and sent to study in a Catholic school since I was 3 years old for 15 years, it does not mean that I grew up to be a devoted Catholic or a faithful Jesus followers. Instead, I have been trying to untie myself from a certain religion since I was 18 year old. It is because of my disappointment over many religious people, who appears to be hypocrite in my eyes.
Even so, I have always been interested in a spiritual life and religious teaching. I have been reading a number of book about Buddha, Islam, Christianity and I also read the Holy bible. Luckily as a journalist, I also often attended a number of religious seminar with religious leaders from Islam, Hindu, Buddha, Catholic and also Christian. It gives me a deeper insight about what religion is and what spirituality is. One thing that I could say from learning from all the religious teaching is that all of them teaching the same thing, L.O.V.E. But the implementation of it depends on its followers.
Interestingly enough, it is not just L.O.V.E to our lover/boy friend/girl friend/husband or wife. It teaches us about L.O.V.E to our family, to our neighbor, to our family and even to our enemy. Can you imagine to love our enemy?
Anyhow, few weeks ago, I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine in Grand Indonesia mall. She told me that it is required a high intelligence to learn about religion. Why? It is because many religious people tend to hear what they want to hear from the bible and forget about all the warning, which has been written also in the bible also.
Let’s take an example from the life of Christian and Catholic people for instance. Holy Bible is actually contained of various life guidance ranging from God’s promise of protection to the warning of sins. Honestly I have not finished reading the 3,044 pages of the Holy Bible of Old Testament and New Testament, but I find that Holy Bible as a book of wisdom, which guides us to live our life accordingly so we can find happiness in this life.
Like I said before that I am not a devoted Catholic or Christians. I am not even a righteous. I often make mistake and hurt other intentionally or unintentionally somehow. But one thing that I often see from Christian people is that they like to hear the bible’s verse that they want to hear and forget about God’s warning.
I don’t mean being judgmental but if you go around in social media, many people, who appears to be Christian, like to quote the God’s promise and post in social media whether it is from the book of Psalms or the book of Proverbs. Similar things happened in the real life.
Or, if you have a discussion with narrow-minded religious people about the God’s warning from the same Holy Bible that I read to seek for comfort in God’s promise, they would tell you that we are not a righteous and no human are righteous except Jesus Christ. Oh God… how I hate those argument! As if it is a green light for us to hurt other people.
Yes! We are only human but if you are a sensible person, we have to make an effort as humanly as possible to implement what bible say in our life and don’t be ignorance about God’s warning. But… who am I to remind them? Right?
Well, I should not have been surprised with those reaction! Proverbs 9:8 – 9 says “Never correct conceited people, they will hate you for it. But if you correct the wise, they will respect you. Anything you say to the wise, will make them wiser. Whatever you tell the righteous will add to their knowledge. To be wise, you must first have reverence for the Lord” It is indeed reflecting how our society is living their religious life.
I like to share my religious and spiritual life experience with you …..
We, Catholic, do not read bible on daily basis. Unlike Protestant, they do. But I started to reading bible since I knew George in 2011. He introduced me with the reading of Holy Bible. I find the joy of reading it. I have been reading bible for more than three years now.
I must say that I do not do it everyday but I try it as often as possible. I also purchase a daily devotional book as a guidance to understand what I read in the bible. Interestingly enough, I have been reading some bible verse about warning of sin.
I was afraid at first but when I consulted it with my mentor, he told me sometimes we could not implement everything that bible dictates us to do. We are only human and we are not Jesus Christ. So I was being ignorance of what I read. Yet, deep down inside my heart, I still was afraid if bad things happened into my life.
It did. Bad things did happen into my life slowly. It was blinding me. I did not notice when the bad things happen. My marriage was slowly falling apart, my man lost his job, we had nasty argument nearly everyday, I was discourage to achieve the goal of my life, I got sick, I lost many of my friends, I got depressed, I tried to kill myself many times etc. It seems that all the bad things just keep coming one after another. I just felt that there is nothing to living for anymore. I was so tired. I cried to God to ask why.
I saw the answer nowhere near to coming. I stopped praying. I stopped going to church and kept continuing to live my life. But deep down inside my heart, I scream to God “When are you going to answer my prayer?” Though I have all the material stuff to live my life, I don’t have a peace of mind.
Few weeks ago, the answer came. If it was an airplane landing, it was not landed smoothly. It was even slipped off the runway. Scary and painful. Yet, everyone was fine. I was traumatized for what happened. I have been crying, weeping and mourning for days as if I could not accept what happened to me.
Until three days ago, I closed my eyes and said a prayer to help me to overcome of my burden. I closed my eyes and opened the bible with God’s help. I ended opening Jobs 42:1 to 6, It says “I know Lord that You are all-powerful that you can do everything you want. You ask how I dare question your wisdom when I am so very ignorant. I talked about things that I did not understand, about marvels too great for me to know.
You told me while you spoke and try to answer your questions. In the past, I only knew what others had told me but now I have seen with you with my own eyes. So I am ashamed of all I have said and repent in dust and ashes. “
For me, it was indeed a very strong reminder on how God has been loving me over the years. God has been watching me and sending me a warning but I have been ignorance over it because I have closed my ears and my eyes to God’s warning. Instead, I listened to other people’s suggestion because I have not placed my faith and trust in God.
Few days ago, I joint a bible study with a good friend of mine. I told reverend that I accepted my destiny, I have made mistake but I could not accept without knowing the reason why it happened all these time. Yet, the reverend told me that it does not matter. Now it is better that I just focus in building my spiritual life and place my faith in God so I can have peace of mind.
For I have noticed that I have sinned, the reverend suggested me to read The Parable of Prodigal Son on Luke 15. It is written “I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said ‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’“
If you do know me in person, I am not kind of person who easily admit that I make mistake because of my pride. Yet, if I want to have a peace of mind, I have to swallow my pride and admit my mistake. Most importantly, I have to change and be more aware with God’s warning.
For God has also said in Proverbs 8: 32 to 33 “Now young people, listen to me. Do as I say and you will be happy. Listen to what you are taught. Be wise, do not neglect it”
I believe that I might appear to be very religious in this post but my experience has taught me a lot about God’s word in the bible. I must say that the bible is not just cloud of words but it is a very wise life guidance, which can be used by anyone regardless their religion and/ or beliefs
Have a blessed Sunday!