Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Archive for November, 2012

Reaping the Seed Sown in Sacrifice (Song reflection on “Alla Vill Till Himmelen Men Ingen Vill Dö”)

For a few weeks, I’m re-enjoying Swedish music. One is that I’ve enjoyed its language (although I’ve forgotten most of it already). Another is that I’ve discovered new songs from my fave Iranian-born Swedish artist, Laleh.

She’s not your usual pop-rock artist as she echoes depthness and reality. Unlike most modern artist who sings about relationships or materialism, some of her songs are facets of some of life’s realities, without making them mundane or morbid to the listener. Example are her songs “Invicible” and “Some Die Young”.

Her version of “Alla Vill Till Himmelen Men Ingen Vill Dö” is a breakout from its original dance upbeat version by the Swedish rapper Timbuktu. Although not her original, I love how she strummed it with her usual rock-acoustic rhytym. Of course, I wouldn’t listen to it without knowing what it means. And for once again, I’m fascinated with the reality of its verses.

Here’s the main refrain of this song:

Alla vill till himmelen men få vill ju dö
Man vill kamma in vinningen, men sår inga frön
Alla vill till himmelen men få vill ju dö
Man vill kamma in vinningen, men sår inga frön

Thanks to an electronic translator and my very limited Swedish, here’s the translation:

All wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die,
Everyone wants to rake the harvest, without sowing its seed
All wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die,
Everyone wants to rake the harvest, without sowing its seed

To my Swedish friends, I hope you can tell me if I’m right. 🙂

I once thought that the title speaks of mortality alone, in which her song “Some Die Young” followed it. When I checked the rest of the lyrics, somehow, it actually spoke of the reality of man’s selfishness. The rest of the song echoes how human beings want to grab whatever they want, without wanting to sacrifice or give up anything to achieve their goals. To think that everyone wants to be in heaven without dying sounds funny, but it is actually a sad truth that only a few realizes.

What I’ve captured here is the idea of sowing and reaping. In science, in every action there’s always an opposite and equal reaction. A soccer ball can’t go to the goal unless you start kicking it around to bring it there. Everything has kinetic energy, but can never be released unless you do it by moving it around.

Of course, what will you harvest if nothing is sowed into the field? The Bible speaks that you will reap whatever you sow. To know what to sow and for what you are sowing for, one must realize that decisions should always be carefully made. Unwise decisions can create huge disasters, especially if the motive is for selfish gain.

Just lately, huge investment and pyramid scams made the headlines. Due to offers of multiplied kickbacks without doing much (and more perks by becoming an agent), they invested huge amounts of money into those so-called corporation.

It was shocking that some of the victims were prominent people. As I discussed this with a fellow reporter, it was evident that the idea of “easy money” and mere greediness caused them huge losses. It was also appalling to see how one’s greediness can cause one to lose the sense of wisdom, making the eyes see the end result without investigation and consultation.

We want to reap the harvest, without sacrificing right. We want abundance through easy money. We want fame without the willingness for discipline and humility. We try to reach the top without knowing the right way to reach it. There are always the terms of losses in order to get to the peak…unecessary baggages are hindrances to an end goal.

And of course, I’d never deny how I was almost trapped in that mindset. To get rich, I tried to join networking groups with products I’m not really interested in. I just liked the perks it offers. Gladly, the networking groups that I was invited into required hard work and good training before reaping that reward. In fact, there’s still sacrifice into it, and idleness is not required.

As I thought about the song, I agree how man can be so selfish and idle all along. Here’s another point to the song, a sacrifice worth keeping.

Contemplating on the idea of going to heaven without dying, I look at it in a different way. There’s another kind of death that paves the way to heaven. In fact, no one can really go to heaven unless we give up ourselves to the One who died for us.

Jesus died for you and me. When He gave His life on the cross, His death and ressurection sowed eternal life to those who are willing to reap it. His blood has become a seal of righteousness and cleansing to those who are willing to give up their own selves and exchanging their selfishness to a relationship with Him. In such a sowing, I believe this one with the most wonderful offer. We can never get into covenant with the true Covenant Maker if we don’t break our covenant with the world that had infilled us with selfishness from the beginning. As the world teaches us to gain without giving into discipline, righteousness, and selflessness, Jesus teaches us to die to our old sinful nature, more so give up negative baggages that hinder us from getting the inheritance that He has set for us from the beginning. Just like the eternal life that He promised to those who accepts Him as Lord and Savior.

In my walk with the Lord, I must admit, it’s not easy to die to myself. Until now, I’m battling with my selfishness and pride. But in order to live a fulfilling life in Him, I must give up the baggages that hinder the prize Himself. Jesus is my prize. His love is worth than millions of kisses. Actually, heaven is just a perk in this. But it is Jesus Himself who’s worth it all.

So going to heaven does not only require dying physically. So does getting the abundance and the inheritance the Lord has set for us. To die for one’s self is hard, but when we do, it’s worth the freedom and the joy that comes from Him.

The Search for Wisdom

Whenever I open my journal, I’m always prompted to reread past entries. I couldn’t believe what I was thinking then, as if I was reading another person’s entries. But through them, I could see how faithful the Lord has been and countinually is in my life.

Here’s a journal entry last July 29, 2011 worth sharing. Enjoy!

I am quite enamored by the thought to take up law. As I gather information from Malacanang as a reporter, I would sometime think that upon the need to understand more of the differences of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branch, I need a hardcore study of the constitutuion. Thanks to issues like the Spratlys visit of the five congressmen and the Ampatuans’ deceiving demand for a hospital visit (which was a supposed to become a hospital arrest), I am beginning to get a more details understanding of our nation’s law — but it seems not enough. As Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said in a Senate session on the PCSO anomaly, you cannot read the constitution in a day because it takes eight years to study the whole of it.

It’s true that world government interest me, but somehow the urge to gain more knowledge in the political arena is enticing. Now, I understand why most broadcasters end up as politician — the ones who monitor the law, become makers of the law to ensure their own protection. As they say, being educated and knowledgeable can make one survive this harsh world. But it is not enough to last for eternity.

While I considered law in my next five-year-goal, I have mixed feelings. I fear that pride was just trying to set in, as my craving for knowledge is not in the right motive, perhaps. On the other hand, I am hopeful, maybe I might have a purpose in dwelling into the barbaric side of politics, hoping to change its tides.

Though powerful, the law and the knowledge of the world will one day be gone. The Lord said that heaven and earth will pass away but His Word will remain (Luke 21:33). All of my supposedly eight-year study will all go to waste, and compared to an intimate five-minute meditation to the Word, which is the Highest Law, it’s no match. So what if I become a good lawyer yet I am foolish towards the Greatest Judge of all? If I am to dwell in these things without setting my heart right, and for myself and in Christ, all other things that I’ve worked for will burn in fire — so then, only my love for Him will remain. In this way, I see how foolish is the way of the world but great is the way of His love and wisdom.

To study or not to study? I guess I don’t have to study — unless the Lord tells me so. For now, I believe that while I am placed in the midst of mass media and politics, He is just opening my eyes to the truth of these things. But I am not to look at them by its physical state. I believe that one day, no one will set aside God’s compelling presence at the Senate and Congress. It’s true that we had to put the spiritual aspect into the physical facts. But there’s no reason to separate His love and glory just as our law separate the church and the state. One day, His glory will fill the earth and we’ll drop our law books and tear up every house bills because of His everlasting glory — such a glory that none has yet experienced and yet it is so wonderful we would shut up, bow down, and worship Him.

Living the Moment

To live by the moment is sweeter than living in a future created by the mind. And yet, it is only now that I’m learning how to live at this moment and enjoy life in its present tense.

By doing so, I am being a steward of this lent thing called time.

I have to learn it that hard way though, and it has to take so much altering of the mind.

Months before I’ve been moaning due to the “smallness” of the things around me. I envied the people I know who work in large entities. I lamented the lackness of our depth of our department. And there were so much imperfections in my entity that caused me to ponder on my resignation.

And yet the thought of having nowhere to go prevented me from doing so. It was a desperate and despairing season.

In order to release frustrations, I would meet friends outside the office. I prayed for an opportunity and an exit. But I was seeking the wrong answer.

I’ve asked the Lord when I will go and He was silent.

Instead, He gave me questions:

Why will you go?

He showed me my heart and I was ashamed: I wanted to be popular.

For what are you made for?

My heart broke: For YOU.

I was not made for fame.

With this, the Lord reminded me to be a good steward of what I have.

I realized I’ve been impatient and selfish. I’ve been expecting too much. I have forgotten how I had been jobless who despaired on having nothing and being given a job of my dreams. I was not thankful. I tried to create a destiny of my own. I almost made a path not in line with the Lord’s perfect will.

This, I’ll remember: I’ll do my best in this job, I’ll excel in where I am. By doing so, it prepares me to where I will go…to the destiny that the Lord has prepared for me. He has a purpose why He placed me here. There is no such thing as “smallness”, for it is only created by the world’s standards.

I still don’t know where I should go. But to be there, it takes one step at a time, refinement through experiences and crisis…if I don’t go through the process I will never be prepared if I’m there.

Thus, I have to enjoy and to live in this moment. I should not cling to a future that has not yet happened or it will never happen if I don’t live today.

Empowered and Broken to Conquer

Right in the middle of the night, I fight against a running nose and a sore throat that was caused by restless screaming and loud worship and praise for the past four nights and three days. For those moments, I was deeply empowered with fresh revelation and an overflow of His Spirit, despite of this physical circumstance I’ve endured just today.

But that’s not where my real battle lies. After the convergence, I welcomed myself into the realities filled with brokenness…the realities I am to conquer.

If I can sum up the message of the past JRev (or Jesus Revolution) Convergence, the bottom line is the call to conquer the cultures of society. Imagine, we are not called only for church, but we are called for Christ. It’s a revelation of spreading His love to the other spheres of culture: family, education, business, arts and entertainment, government, media aside from church.

I was very much empowered, encouraged, and moved. The worship was intense and the Lord’s presence was so tangible, I wish I could stay here forever. But I have to go out.

Every night I’ve left the place, my eyes were once again opened to the poor and the needy sleeping in the streets, the broken and the homeless wandering on the sidewalks, and the places filled with filth and trash. Where’s the glory that I’ve basked myself into? Not in this place. And yet, for a weird instance, I felt moved at the sight.

For those three days it was empowering, but those four nights were heartbreaking.

I’ve seen that there are many people…a whole lot more in exponential numbers in such a broken situation compared to those who attended the convergence, or even those who have experienced God’s glory. And then, I remembered other people who have not even known the Lord in the places I work, much more in the field I go out to.

But I’m just one woman. What am I to do?

What I did not realize, the promise that I kept on claiming over and over is going to be a my tent peg in this upcoming war: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

This brokenness is just the beginning. The moment the convergence ended, I knew that the real battle is just to begin.

There’s so much justice to be attained. These people I saw are just a remnant of the majority wallowing in deceit and poverty. I am called to be a voice in this mountain. But I need strategy. I need people to partner with me in prayer. And I need to keep a close walk with the Lord to know His heart and to be kept in realignment with His leading.

I knew bigger storms are coming. But these are for no apparent reason…these storms are just trying to hinder me from the inheritance that I’m warring for.

“Sometimes, your worst warfare is happening because the devil knows you’re approaching your biggest breakthrough and he’s trying to stop you from staying or getting to where you should be!” said Dr. Lance Wallnau, as he shared how to conquer the mountain of culture. Deep in my heart, I choose the mountain of media (government as second but not the main) and knew that with this commitment, I can not turn back.

I have to stand firm, be sensitive and be willing to be molded. I’m but a voice. I’m but His hands and His feet. I’m but a forerunner. I’m but a small man. But what is this huge mountain if I have a really big God to back me up.

Am I ready for this? I’m watching out for the arrows, but I knew I already have the victory through this war for I am a co-heir with the mighty King who had already sealed the war in victory!

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