My cousin Mary Joy and family came over from the US for their summer vacation. Always thoughtful and loving cousin that she and family are, aside from the “pasalubongs” for the family, they also brought me a copy of The Bible, a 4-disc DVD copy of the popular television mini-series of the History of Salvation of God’s people. The first episode of the mini-series was seen by 13.1 million viewers, the largest cable television audience of 2013 to date. There were inconsistencies as compared with the Holy Book but in general, it was able to meet its objective of telling one sweeping story with one grand, overriding message: “God loves each one of us as if we were the only person in all the world to love.”
One thing noticeable in the entire series is that in the different times and seasons of Israel’s history, God always anointed leaders to guide His people. From the time of Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to Joshua, to the Prophet Samuel, to Saul, to David, etc., leaders, with God’s guidance, defined the direction where they would go. Whenever leaders followed God’s directions, which were coursed through the prophets in their time; they would always be victorious against their enemies. On the other hand, whenever they disobeyed or sinned against God, they would lose battles, and even suffer whether from defeat, death or loss of territories.
Being called to discipleship is a privilege. When one becomes God’s follower, one must also be ready to take a leadership role, whether in one’s family, group, community, or even His Church. Leadership requires responsibility to both God and His people. That’s why it took a special breed of leaders chosen by God to accomplish it. However, this type of leadership isn’t defined by how we define or perceive it to be. The only basic qualification is the willingness to go where the Lord wants us to go and trust in Him completely. For “as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours” (Is. 55: 9). This requires the courage to humbly accept the Lord’s will. And God will take care of the rest.
Humility and courage are two attributes that God’s leaders ought to develop. These differentiate the believer from the unbeliever. Very different from how the world looks at it. But we need not look far to prove this point. The Twelve Apostles were the most ordinary and lowliest of folks. Yet when they answered “Yes” to God’s call, they were transformed into great preachers, great evangelists and great leaders. It takes courage to be truly humble. When they started to trust completely, they became courageous, to the point of being ready to give up their lives for God. Of course, suffice it to say, that because of their faith, the Holy Spirit provided them with various gifts to equip them for their mission.
Fr. Armand always reminds to “Believe before you doubt.” Our faith doesn’t operate in the way that God performs miracles to prove Himself first before we believe. He just wants us to trust and believe, even without seeing miracles yet in our lives. If we do see miracles before we believe, that’d be a blessing. However, I doubt if we’d be able to see it as such. For how can we say, “it’s a miracle” when we don’t have faith yet, right? Besides, even if there’s nothing happening in our lives, it shouldn’t matter. Let the intensity of our faith bring the miracles to us. While life’s trials and challenges may tear our spirits down, let us be consoled in the fact that Jesus has said and promised,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt. 11: 28 – 30).