Have you tried wearing a watch on your right wrist? It’s awkward. Have you tried unbuttoning your shirt using a different hand? It’s clumsy. Have you tried putting on your pants starting with a different leg? It’s easy to lose your balance. These are little things we do in our daily lives that we are unconscious of. They will bring us discomfort when we change them. Yet, no matter how small these changes are, they are to me, challenges.
It applies to spiritual things as well. When Jesus multiplied the loaves to feed the multitude for the first time, it was received with awe and praises. But when the second and third time came along, I believe that His disciples would have skillfully divided the people into groups and picked up the scraps after the meal without being told. What if Jesus had suddenly given a different instruction? Won’t it be a challenge to the disciples? Similarly, in today’s context during the many charismatic prayer meetings, there is a tendency to invoke the Holy Spirit in a mechanical way. Even the working of miracles seem to fall into some kind of “format”. What if the Spirit proposes a different outcome? Won’t it be a challenge too?
The season of Lent is approaching and it is a time for challenges to re-direct our lives towards God. During these forty days, we customarily practise fasting, prayers and alms-giving. I had intended to forgo my daily cup of coffee that kick-start my morning, yet this kind of abstinence may become a temptation to impress people or worse, God. Our desire during this period should be making an effort to grow closer to the Lord. Perhaps, it may be better if I start working on little challenges in my daily life, like wearing my watch on my right wrist, to instill a greater awareness of God Who is Omnipresent. By B