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TH (Trying Hard)

The story is told about a wife, who, gasping for air, woke up her husband, and frantically said: “I have difficulty in breathing! I can’t breathe!” The husband just casually told her: “Don’t try too hard,” and went back to sleep.

In today’s Gospel (Mt. 5, 38-48), Jesus tells His disciples not to try too hard, and not to be imprisoned by mere compliance to the law. He challenges us today to make a paradigm shift, a conversion on how we should live and love beyond the law, beyond worldly and human standards and measures.

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Have you ever experienced opening a door that wouldn’t budge no matter how hard you pushed or pulled the handle, and finally discover that all you had to do was to slide it to the side? Let us be open to new ways of looking at and doing things. Let us be open to conversion, insight, or “eureka” moments. If we truly listen to God, He will show us the way, the truth, and the life He wants us to live.

Last week, I shared at a recollection with a group of retired executives (AIM, MBM Class ’73) at the Subic Holy Land, organized by Bob and Maribi Garcia, the three conversions toward a more peaceful and joyful life. In other words, what do we need to focus on more, and focus on less, especially as we begin the Lenten season this coming Feb. 26, Ash Wednesday?

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FOCUS MORE ON THE LOVE IN OUR HEARTS, AND LESS ON THE WORK OF OUR HANDS. All too often, we focus on our work and achievements, and money in our hands, and forget the love in our hearts. Too busy with work, we often forget God, and neglect people, relationships, affections, and matters of the heart, and end up empty, lonely, and alone.

FOCUS MORE ON BEING EXPRESSIVE, AND LESS ON BEING IMPRESSIVE. All too often, we are busy impressing people by how we look, how we talk, and how much we have, to the point that we hold back our real selves to protect our “image” so as not to lose public approval and applause. Forget what people think or say. Focus on what God thinks or says. And be busy reaching out and expressing your personal concern and care to people you meet everywhere.

FOCUS MORE ON BEING THE PASSENGER, AND LESS ON BEING THE DRIVER. God is the driver. Hand Him over the wheel, and obey, trust, and believe that He knows where He is leading you. Let the Lord take over. Let go. Let God. Remember, there is a God, and you’re not him. Stop being a TH (Trying Hard) person. And become a person with a TH (Trusting Heart).

These are just three conversions I have realized and shared. Each one of us has our own insights and realizations. In prayer, especially this Lenten season, let us all take time, really listen to the Lord, and let Him point out the areas in our lives that need healing and conversion. The key to any conversion is honesty and humility. That’s all, and that’s it.

“Oh, God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” A beautiful prayer worth repeating as we journey on. Note that the focus is “on me, a sinner.” The moment we focus on others, and their sins, we may end up being proud and self-righteous again. Remember, we are just dust, and to dust we will return.

What’s wrong with mankind? We have forgotten to be human, and we have forgotten to be kind. Human kindness to each other is what we need most, more than ever.

A moment with the Lord: Lord, more than a TH (Trying Hard) person, help me to become a person with a TH (Trusting Heart). Amen.

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