Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Excuse me, are you an angel?

Lent this year has been a surprisingly new experience for me. Normally I would approach Lent like one going for chinese tuition class, dreading and dragging my feet. But I'm not sure why this year, Lent looks to me like a 40-day retreat. A time to really spend time with my Lord and renewing my relationship with Him.

Another different thing about lent for me this year were my resolutions, or more like how I was approaching the carrying out of my resolutions. Year after year, I would begin with hope of keeping all my resolutions for the whole 40 days, but along the way, a minor hiccup would throw it all into disarray. Disappointment sets in, doubts start to seep in, and I'll be convincing myself that I've set the standard too high, or that I just don't have the discipline to see it through. But this year my focus for my Lenten resolutions has been on the end which is Easter. My resolutions should be preparing me spiritually for Easter and beyond. Much like a retreat builds up and culminates on a high, these 40 days and what I do in this time was to help me reach that high in my relationship with God. And that is a gradual process, not one that I can expect right from the beginning.

CTK Adoration RoomThe above realisation came to me one morning when I was in the adoration room (one of my resolutions to begin the day). The room was crowded, so there was no space for me to lean against the bench and face the Blessed Sacrament. So with my back to the side wall, I sat facing the door of the adoration room. While I was thinking through this issue with resolutions (obviously because I encountered a minor hiccup), one of the morning mass aunties got up and walked out, and what she did surprised and amazed me.

CTK Adoration Room

From the photo you can see that there is a curtain that shields the inside of the room from the eyes of people walking outside, forming something like a false wall. And almost everyone coming into the adoration room or going out would walk around it going through that small opening on the left, as if it was a real wall. But this auntie took the direct route to the door, walking to the right side where the curtain meets the wall, gently pulled it aside and walked "through" the "wall". This reminded me of the common phenomenon I observed in the church canteen. If there are two doors at the entrance, and one of it is open, everyone would walk out the open one, and nobody would open the closed one, even if it was crowded.

And it just occurred to me, that so often we see an obstacle in our spiritual journey, and we assume it to be a wall, or we fail to see that it is just a curtain and choose to go around it and avoid it. In actual fact the obstacle is not as difficult as it seems, but because there is the option of going around it, we choose it because it is easier.

I walked out of the adoration room, heart lightened, and encouraged to perservere on this Lenten journey. That night I was going for a meeting, and the girl who was to bring me to place of the meeting told me she went to the adoration room while waiting for me. So I decided to share with her this revelation that I had gotten in the morning. Her first reaction was "Oh my, are you an angel or something", because she had just been praying of some obstacles in her own life. That's the first time in my life that I've ever been called an Angel. Praise the Lord for sending me an Angel in the morning, and allowing me to be an Angel at night too.

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