Thursday, July 4, 2013

What Matters Most?

I have a confession to make. I find it hard creating an article. To make it more specific, creating an English article. I'm having difficulty constructing sentences with the correct subject-verb agreement. Until now, I still get lost and confused in dealing with tenses - past, present, and future. I find it hard also to finish an article that possesses coherence.  And actually, right now, in this article, I doubt you'll finish reading without spotting errors at least one.

I have another confession. It takes me 3-7 hours to compose an article. That's true. The thought and idea of each article is actually formulated for a maximum of 1 hour. The remaining hours are for backspacing, rewriting, analyzing, choosing the right words, deleting excess "s" (for verb, you know what I mean) and all of the editing stuffs while I am still in my composing phase yet. That's why it's a big WOW for me whenever I heard someone that he can compose an article in an hour - fully edited, fully polished, ready for publication.

Yet, here I am, trying hard and giving my best to just create an article. And you might wonder why? It's pretty obvious that I am not good in English, BUT WHY IN THE WORLD I STILL CHOSE TO COMPOSE AND CREATE ARTICLES FOR GOD? Am I that ambitious trying to dream hopelessly that someday I will be someone who can write and author a novel, or whose name is in the newspapers, magazines, and in other publications?

My answer is just a partial "yes". Because my main reason is more than the reasons I have just mentioned. And what is it?

I'll answer that in a moment. But first, let me share to you a bible story..

Once upon a time after Jesus went up to heaven, the disciples were so afraid of persecutions that they chose to gather themselves in a closed room. Until one of them began worshiping God, then the rest of them followed. While they were doing this, a strong wind entered into the room and the spirit of God rested upon each of them and they began speaking in tongues. During that time, people from different places were gathered to participate in the celebration of the Pentecost. These foreign people were puzzled and yet were amazed because they could understand in their own languages what the disciples were saying and prophesying. End of story.

Here are the points of the story:
1. The disciples were so afraid of persecutions.
2. But because of the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they still started worshiping God in tongues.
3. And here's the shocking news: the disciples didn't have any proper and formal education. They didn't have any masters degree in English or in any language that existed in their time. Most of them were just fishermen. And yet they were able to praise God in languages unfamiliar to them. And this is the amazing part, they were understood by the people that came from different places - places that have their own unique languages.

And that's what I always put in my mind whenever I feel that I am not good in English. Whenever I feel giving up because I can't express my point in written words. Whenever I feel shy and afraid of someone might find errors in what I have written. Whenever I'm out of appropriate words. Whenever I don't know anymore how will I make the subject and predicate agree with each other. Whenever my past, present, and future are all mixed up in a sentence. I focus on the goal. I focus on the impact on one's life once I finish my article rather than thinking of my weaknesses and inabilities I said above. I focus on "I don't want to waste what God is telling me. I want to share this to someone else.". I focus on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Here's my recommendations before creating an article for God:
1. Start with a prayer. No need to explain why.
2. Offer praises and give thanks. This is how the disciples started before speaking in tongues.
3. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. The Holy Spirit was the one that drove the disciples to speak in tongues.
4. Read the gospel. This is where we are going to get our daily reflections. No need to explain.
5. Reflect. Focus on the words that come out in your mind after reading the gospel. Make sense out of these words. Reflect on them. Recall if there are any personal life experience which is related to what you've been reflecting on. Or if there are any books or movies or music, or stories or anything that is relevant to the Gospel. Dwell on those areas.
6. Be patient. Oftentimes, our mind are so preoccupied with so many things that even after we pray, ask for the Holy Spirit, and read the Gospel, we still can't receive the message of God. That's normal. That's human. Don't be discouraged. But that doesn't mean that God is not telling something to us. We just have to patiently tune ourselves more and focus on the words in the Gospel until the distractions in our mind fade away.
6. Sealed it with a closing prayer. No need to explain.
7. Start writing.

And lastly, before I end this very long article, I would like to share my personal experience that would somehow serves as a witness why we should still write for God despite our struggles in writing in English.

This just happened when I joined and started blogging in ChaBu. Actually I am a little hesitant to publish my reflections, again, just because I fear that someone might laugh at my errors. But God prompted me with this idea: "Go, find someone that would edit your work.". I believe that the leading of the Holy Spirit has already started on that moment. So I hired a lot of them (with no pay, just a MILLION thanks..). I let them edit, crush my heart, and polish my articles. At the end of each "judging" phase, an article that when I read it again, it's not my wordings anymore. But the message was still there preserved, just polished. But that's not my point in the story. Let me continue. There was one of my "editors" after reading and editing one of my articles told me this: "Nakakatuwa naman yung mga ginagagawa mong blogs, lalo na yung pina-edit mo sa'ken, parang nakonsensya ako at nakapag-reflect sa buhay. Basta pag meron kang gustong ipa-edit, sabihan mo lang ako ha, naiinspire kase ako habang binabasa yung mga ginagawa mo..".. And that is my point. I didn't have the intention to do that, I only asked favor from her to edit my article. But God worked in a different and an amazing way. I was already and unintentionally evangelizing and drawing that "editor" of mine close to God. Take note, she reads my articles with some errors still present on them, and yet she still was able to understand and reflect on my articles. We can't prevent it, that's how our God really works - mysteriously.

I believe that if God sees us consistently striving writing articles for Him, He will provide us with enough and exact words, right "editors" and all the resources we need. He will even train us and enhance the way we write without noticing it. Let's just trust His divine providence.

We write not because we desire fame or we desire praises from others. But we write because we desire that everyone in the world will know and experience Christ through our writings.

Do not be afraid and discouraged just because we're not that good in writing in English. It's the intent of the article that is important. It's how we reveal Christ to others.

People who really seek and in need of Christ doesn't look in how we write the article, but they are inspired and moved on how God is using us and writing our life.

Be a writer for God.

How many error did you find in this article?

Another P.S.
Did this article touch and inspire you to write your own Jesus stories? Because that's what matters most. :)

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