I thought that I won’t be able to write anything this week. Our week of prayer is ongoing and there’s so much fun and value in praying fervently for the event. If you are somewhere in Pasay, drop by this week at Pasay Adventist Church Multipurpose hall and attend the Jesus Made Real week of prayer.
I was recently reminded of a memory back in High School. Probably because of the influx of High school friends and batch mates who recently reconnected with me. Back in Senior Year, the final grades were being handed out. The top ten was announced and I was ecstatic that my friends made it there. Some were even out to get awards. I guess not everyone was happy with the results though.
While going through the usual room cleaning to start the vacation, one of our teachers called up to me. This was one of the teachers that really struck fear in our hearts. She was a terror if there ever was any teacher who was such. Her booming voice and her piercing gaze made us shudder. I thought I was totally doomed because I was singled out. She set me aside and looked at me with one of her terrifying gaze. I was already sweating. Whatever it is, I am sure I didn’t do it.
She began to talk softly as antagonist would do before they would strike for the kill. “You know the grades are out. Are you aware of that?”
I nodded. “So why are you not in the top ten? Look at (she began to mention names of my classmates)” She continued still with the soft voice. “They all made it. I expected all of you to be there!”
I couldn’t find the words to answer her question. Fast forward a few months later.
New school, new environment! At last I am in college. I managed to sneak into a good university. We were on tour around the campus. It was tradition for sophomores and juniors to tour the freshmen around campus. Out of no where, some of my fellow freshmen erupted into talks about their ranking in high school. I have never felt so small in the room. One said he was the valedictorian of their national high school. Another mentioned she was a salutatorian. The third mentioned that he was first honorable mention. I was suddenly surrounded by achievers and honors. I realized there was a hush and I noticed that everyone was looking at me. It was my turn. I didn’t know what to say. I just smiled and shrugged.
Apparently that was not the last of it. When we were ushered into the huge hall for the orientation, the introduction of the chancellor made everyone gasp. “In here, forget all the honors that you received in high school. Those mean nothing here.”
I guess if there was a redeeming moment, this was it.
In this country or probably in most Asian cultures, your ranking in school is a big deal. The numbers matter because the numbers bring you to the best schools and the best jobs. Most parents would even brag and compare their kids against others because of their ranking or their talents. Some would argue that this is old school and ineffective but no matter how much you clamor; this is still the case in some families. Pride is high and so are the expectations.
Such is not the case though with God. To Him, the numbers you yield in your achievement test does not matter. Your school, your career, your successes and failures do not matter. In His eyes, whether you are successful or a failure in this world, you are worth loving. There is nothing that could convince Him otherwise. If you look up at Christ and see the beauty of His sacrifice, you will understand. You will probably cease joining the rat race of grade superiority and achievements. Those things do not matter to Him. What matters to Him is your heart.
A friend summed up one quote from our week of prayer this week:
When you accept Christ, wala ka ng career. *collective gulp from the crowd* When you accept Him, you will now have ministry #JesusMadeReal
— Raphael Rapi (@papiraps) January 26, 2016
And it is true. Career turns to ministry. Power turns to opportunity to serve. Money becomes a means to spread the word. Christ has that kind of effect to our lives.
Come to Christ where numbers do not matter. Come to Christ and totally surrender and your life will definitely get better.