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Step aside

The story is told about a woman who was attending to a vehicular accident victim when a man roughly pushed her aside, saying “Step aside! I had a course in first aid!” The woman stood up and watched for a while, then tapped him on the shoulder and said: “If you need a doctor, I am here.”

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Today is the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. In today’s gospel (Mk. 1, 7-11), John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.” The presence or absence of humility can make or break a person’s life, mission, and ministry.

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If John the Baptist had illusions of greatness and had issues about his role and identity, then the work of salvation could have been delayed, hampered, or all together derailed. May we not be stumbling blocks to God’s plans in our lives, and in other peoples’ lives.

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May God grant us the grace to learn when to stand our ground, and when to step aside so that others can pass. And may God grant us the wisdom and the willingness to do so.

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As a basketball player in my younger days, I have learned that one of the most effective shots is the fade-away shot. The forcing-through shots are effective as well, but they are done with much effort and with much conflict. Given the choice, I would choose to use the former in the game called life.

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As a tennis player in my later years in life, I have learned too that the best shots need not be power shots. Drop shots and well placed lob shots can also do the job. Of course, as in tennis, let us specialize in good service as we go through this game called life.

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We all have our opinions, but we don’t have to be highly opinionated. Again, we have to learn the art of listening to others, and stepping aside when necessary, for the sake of the greater good.

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The opinions I write in my column are just my opinions. Actually, they are my personal opinions in line with the teachings of my Lord and Master. Personally, I don’t have much ideas or opinions about life and issues, except those that come to me in silence and in prayer.

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We still have much to learn from John the Baptist whose only agenda was to be a herald, a messenger of the Lord. Let us imitate his honesty to make sure that we are not preaching ourselves; and his humility, to make sure that we are not carrying out our personal agenda.

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Today let us remember with gratitude the many people who stepped aside so that we can get going with our lives. Let us have a sense of gratitude, a sense of belonging, and sense of stewardship so that we can leave a better world because we knew how to step aside.

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Sharing with you the complete “Serenity Prayer”: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as a way to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is; Not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, teach me to learn when to step aside so that others may pass. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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