Sunday, March 31, 2013

The feeling of being afraid

Disclaimer: This post will be longer than usual

I am afraid. For many things. Most of them are the fear of my future. I’m afraid that I took wrong decision, afraid that the steps I took aren’t God’s, and so on. And as the fears are piling up, I start to question more, what if I fail? What if this isn’t what God want me to do? What if I disappointed Him? What if and what if…

Speaking of fear, a week ago I watched The Croods (It’s a very good movie, I recommend you to watch it if you haven’t), and there’s a quote that draws my attention. At the beginning of it, the father of the Croods family tells his daughter to ‘never not be afraid’. It’s quite interesting for me cause it’s repeated for several times, but then, at the end of the movie the father tells his daughter again, but this time, he says ‘never be afraid’.

As this ‘afraid’ problem strikes me, I try to look at the bible for what it says about fear. I search the term ‘afraid’, and found these (all in NIV):

Matthew 8:26
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Matthew 10:26
“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.

Matthew 10:28
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:31
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 17:7
But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”

Mark 4:40
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Luke 8:50
Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

Luke 12:32
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Many times, Jesus tells us not to be afraid. Fear makes us to loose what we supposed to earn. (Matthew 25:25, So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.)

But, then I think, isn’t fear so human? Jesus felt afraid when he’s going to be captured. (Mark 14:33, He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled) It isn’t said that Jesus was afraid, but the Indonesian version states so. Then, Jesus prayed at Gethsemane and he’s able to overpower His fear.

Man alone can’t conquer fear. But with God everything is possible. The thing is, I feel my spiritual condition is rather stagnant these days—if it can’t be called decline. And as I write this post, another quote stroke my mind. It’s from a movie called Demi Ucok (another good film you’ve to watch, I wrote the review in this blog). There’s a quote that says,’Takut tuh, tandanya lo jauh dari Tuhan’. I don’t really get it when I watched this movie, but now it feels very related to me. Sometimes when I feel that I sinned a lot, I think that I don’t deserve to pray. I don’t deserve to come to God. I know that this isn’t right. Then when I feel I don’t deserve to pray, my prayer will become just a routine, and this is when—like now, I will loose my intimacy with God. And as these continue, I realize that my fear will start to consume me. When things like this happens, I know the solution is to kneel, and have a little faith.

Ehm, by the way, Selamat Paska! Hehe…

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Correction Tape

Belakangan ini saya lagi sering meminta seorang teman untuk me-review tulisan saya. Jadi, saya akan mengirim tulisan saya via email, dan dia akan memberi beberapa komentar. Sebagian komentarnya positif, tapi banyak juga kritiknya. Dan dari sini saya menyadari, ternyata ketika seseorang memaparkan kesalahan kita tuh rasanya nggak enak banget ya. Apalagi kalau kesalahannya banyak. Saya jadi lebih sering mengecek ulang tulisan saya sebelum mengirimnya ke teman saya itu.

Tapi, walaupun dikritik itu nggak enak, saya bersyukur sekali teman saya mau mengkritik—memberi masukan untuk saya. Saya jadi punya sudut pandang baru atas tulisan saya, sudut pandang yang lebih luas. Dan tentu saja saya jadi tahu dimana letak kekurangan saya.

Saya pikir, bukankah hidup juga seperti itu? Kita akan berbuat kesalahan—banyak kesalahan, dan akan ada orang-orang yang menegur kita baik secara langsung maupun tidak. Rasanya pasti sakit, dan nggak jarang telinga kita akan panas mendengarnya. Kita akan berusaha membela diri, mempertahankan sikap kita.

Mengoreksi kesalahan memang bukan perkara mudah. Tapi, jika hari ini masih ada orang yang mau menegur kesalahanmu, bersyukurlah. Bersyukur karena masih ada yang memperhatikan kita, bersyukur karena itu berarti mereka mengasihi kita.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A cup of care

Sometimes things just don’t go as we want to. Plans fail. Hopes collapse. Your efforts don’t do any good. Then we get disappointed. We cry. Get mad. And ask God why.

Life is just like that. At some point you’ll stop and get your heart broken. You won’t know anything to do. And all you want is curl up on your bed, sipping a cup of tea. Hoping that you can forget everything.

But that just won’t happen. Your problems are real, there is nothing can make it disappear. You need more than a cup of tea. You need a cup of care. And somehow there is someone who always cares. He cares. Your Father cares. God cares.

It isn’t easy to feel His concerns, but you’ll know. You’ll know when there is still someone who wipes your tears. When there is still somebody who makes you laugh even he/she doesn’t know your problems. You’ll know when there is someone listens to you and tell you everything going to be all right. You’ll know cause somehow you manage to stand even if your world crumbles.

He cares. In the midst of your problems he cares. He provides. He loves. Through people He puts in your life. Through every little surprise. You are still in His hands. Always.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Gentle Thunder

Pernah nggak sih terpikir seperti ini, ‘Kok si A orangnya nggak jujur tapi hidupnya adem ayem aja ya?’ atau,’Si B tuh two-sided banget, tapi kok nggak pernah kena batunya ya?’

Saya sering. Bahkan kadang sampai protes,’Duh, Tuhan, kok saya buat salah dikit aja, tegurannya berat banget sih?‘ atau ‘Tuhan, nggak salah nih? Kayaknya si A lebih jahat deh, kok dia nggak diapa-apain sih?’

Baru-baru ini seseorang yang saya kenal bilang seperti ini ke saya,”Kelihatannya enak banget ya ngeliat orang lain berbuat jahat tapi nggak kenapa-kenapa. Kita nih, yang anak Tuhan, yang babak belur kalau ngelakuin hal yang sama”.

Bagian babak belurnya memang nggak enak, tapi bukankah seharusnya kita bersyukur untuk setiap teguran yang Tuhan berikan? Isn’t God showing His fatherly side by tugging us? Sama seperti orang tua kita yang ngomel kalau kita berbuat salah, Tuhan juga menegur kita karena kita anak-Nya. Ia mengasihi kita, dan salah satu bentuk kasih yang Ia tunjukkan adalah dengan mendisiplinkan kita.

By reminding us for our simple mistakes, I think He raises our standards beyond this world’s. He sets the bar, and we should be grateful for this. Ibarat sekolah, kita sedang belajar di sekolah yang punya standar kelulusan tinggi, dan ketika saatnya ujian nasional, kita nggak perlu takut nggak lulus, karena selama ini kita sudah dilatih dengan standar yang tinggi. Jadi, kalau sampai hari ini kita masih ditegur untuk hal-hal yang kecil dalam hidup kita, I think we should be glad. It’s a prove that we’re loved.

“God is creative as he is relentless. Both kind and stern. Tender and tough. Faithfully firm. Patiently urgent. Softly shouting. Gently thundering. God does what it takes to get our attention, and if that means a jolt or two to get you in your seat, then be jolted. Earthly discomfort is a glad swap for heavenly peace.”—Max Lucado

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A never fail jerky

There is a funny thing about giving. When you give, it doesn’t make you less, instead, it makes you more. And I was reminded about this yesterday.

I just bought some jerked meat from my friend, and suddenly I thought about my other friend. On the next day I gave her some of it. She was in a hurry when I met her. Interesting enough, when I gave her the jerked meat, she also had something for me. She gave me a cute little notebook. I remember she ever told me that she wanted to buy me a notebook, but I don’t think it would be on the same day as I gave her something.

What I want to share is, there is this fascinating thing about giving. It doesn’t diminish any of your belongings. Instead, it contents you. It makes you happy. It makes you grateful. It makes you rejoice for something that you’ve done.

It doesn’t matter how much you give, what matter most is your heart. The love you put in it. And when you give sincerely, you’ll get abundant. Even if you don’t feel it, believe me, it is. Giving is never fail.