Last week, Monday, I spent my holiday together with my friends and new found friends inside the community of singles from our church.
'Twas a whole day of fun and getting to know some of them through asking questions and playing games with them. As they said, you can only know the people for who they are by playing games with them.
When Singleness becomes a sickness
For so many years that I've been a Christian and spending time and ministering to some single men for years, and observing some of my friends who are single, most of them thought that singleness is a sickness.
Whether be it a single man or women, countless of them hoping they are in a relationship with someone, praying for that right man or woman to come.
Insecurity causes sickness
"Do I look like ugly?", "Why there's no man want to pursue me?", "Why seems all the woman I approach doesn't like me?" Ugh, insecurity kills. I have a lot of them. Insecurity sometimes hid in the form of pride or pity. And most of my insecurities appeared whenever someone compared me to others on a personal level.
That's when you fill the hole in your heart with so many things. Then you became bitter with others who are in a relationship.
But I want you to think in a different way.
The Three Seasons of Life
There are only three seasons a man should have. The season you were studying as a student, the season you worked, the season when you will retire.
The first season, some say that when you were a student, you have a lot of time and energy but lack of resources. Since students rely on their parents for allowances.
The next season is you have enough money but lack time. Here's adulting comes in. With so many responsibilities, we wanted for a more balanced life.
The last season is the season when you have a lot of money but lack time and energy.
There's a beauty in every season but not everyone is maximizing it. Students often waste their youth by playing games, party, drinking sessions, etc. I've been there and done that.
Single people often waste their season by still acting as a student or not accepting their present season.
Instead of building themselves up, they keep wishing.
Instead of taking responsibility they keep getting away from it.
Instead of learning how to wait, they settled in the complexity of life that could give them anything in an instant.
How about the old ones? I don't think they have enough time to waste. You see most of them maximizing the remaining years of their lives.
When I was a student, I was a gamer. I learned to play computer games when I was 15, became addicted to it, I learned to steal and lie because of it. Imagine, every time my mom asked me to buy something from the supermarket or grocery nearby. I often return to her after an hour because I have to go to the computer shop first!
When I became a young professional, I still play those games severely until I was 21. I spent all the money I earned to make sure my character becomes more powerful each painless purchase. I was starving yet my virtual player was powerful, isn't ironic?
We often waste our time pursuing worthless pursuits because we didn't have the wisdom how to number our days. You see, people often make excuses because they didn't know their time. For example, if one person told you and he's complaining because he cannot save money, then you told him to set aside 15 to 20% of his salary every month and he will tell you: "I am too young to think about it", and when he gets old and starting to build his own family, "I have to send the kids to school." And I guess that's one of the reasons why most Filipino cannot save money.
Teach ourselves to number our days
In the Bible, it teaches us to number our days. It says in Psalm 90:12 "Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom."
Brevity means shortness. Thus, the shortness of life. The question relies upon on how do we maximize this life we have?
1. Be faithful to your season.
Don't jump in too quickly. Each of us has different time zones, don't envy other's time zone.
Imagine your life as a book. And an author wrote it. For instance, I am writing a novel. Joseph was my main character for this novel project. While Joseph while doing something, someone called him outside. (that's his time) but it doesn't mean I have the same timezone as Joseph has. I can write and finish the novel for hours and moved on to another novel project which has a different main character.
Hence, I am, as an author was outside of my character's time zone. What seems days and years for Joseph was only the present for me. I don't know if that makes sense to you, but I believe that is how God operates in our lives.
In every season of our lives, for God, it is all happening at the same time because He is outside our time. Knowing that God puts us inside the time and He watches us, we should be faithful in our season.
2. Have goals with deadlines.
Zig Ziglar once said, "If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time."
A goal without a deadline is merely a wish. It's hard to hit a deadline, but it makes us grow even more. For me, even the journey of achieving that goal will be painful and difficult, I press on towards that goal because I know if I was able to achieve that, it will bring fulfillment to me and I definitely grow as a person.
Wait a minute, why should I have goals and set a deadline for each of them when you said in the previous item that God has already ordained what will happen. Can I just rely on him and slack off anytime I want?
First, God is not a sort of dictator or someone who controls a puppet. He created mankind not to control them but for His own pleasure. For the sake of illustration, imagine an artist who painted his masterpiece. Anyone can see it, anyone can touch it, He can even show it the world that he is proud of it but he has no control what people will do with it. At the same time, God created us for His own pleasure. Though He created us in his own image and likeness, we are not like Him. He gave us the free will in order that we can love Him genuinely and voluntarily. True love is voluntary, so in order for us to be capable of loving God, we also had to be capable of something else, including rebellion/sin. A loving relationship must be a free-relationship. Would you like to be in a relationship that someone controls how you do everything?
So, even though God knew what choices we would make, if He actually wanted people to love him, then He had to give them the chance to do so. Otherwise, our entire existence would have been merely a thought experiment that didn't turn out well—but that's not why God created humanity. He wanted us to know and love Him.
3. Embrace failures.
Of course, life is not only about success, achievements, and joy. Without failure, we will not know what it likes to be successful. In the same way, without suffering we will not know what it feels to be happy.
Life is not as smooth sailing as it is. You will meet challenges along the way and you will fail every now and then.
But if you know that an Author has written already your story, what a comfort it brings to see life in a brighter perspective.
This reminds me of God's plan for humankind ever since the very beginning of this world.
When the earth was only full of waters and there was only darkness, God made an expanse to separate waters and the heavens and created the land in the middle of it. Then he created birds of all kinds and animals of all kinds.
And he created man and woman out of the dust naked and vulnerable but they don't feel it because they were sustained and being warmed by the presence of God. And God gave them the command to "fill the earth."
The first man and woman failed and sin against God because a serpent deceived them to disobey God. Well, it doesn't happen very quickly. The serpent (symbol for God's enemy) has to twists and made God a liar, selfish and a dictator who doesn't want His creature to be like Him.
The enemy knows when to attack the man and woman and that's when they are out of the presence of God. Remember they are vulnerable and only sustained by God.
But despite that, God is so gracious. The mankind when punished, do all sorts of things to reach God and attempted to be like God but they failed. God brought chaos not because He wants it, but because He wants to restore everything in order.
Remember the command "fill the earth"? It won't happen if God allows all mankind to live in the same location and speaks the same language.
The same story He has for us will continue to happen to reminds us that it all starts with Him and everything will end with Him.
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