Monday, 16 May 2011

Surprise Party

“Do you trust me?”

This seems to be the question God continues to ask me throughout my vocation discernment journey.

If you’ve ever planned a surprise party for someone, especially someone truly important and special to you, you know you would create the best possible plan ever and make the most amazing party arrangements just to give that person the time of his life. And once you’ve prepared everything, just before you lead that special someone to your surprise party, you would blindfold him, and whisper into his ear, “Do you trust me?”

God did that to me 4 years ago. That was a time when I had a secure and promising career in a top accounting firm, and was blessed with a beautiful, Christ-loving girlfriend who was everything I ever wanted in a lifetime partner for marriage. I thought I had everything I could ever ask for. But God knew better. With a grin on His face, He blindfolded me and prompted me to attend my first Diocesan Vocation Retreat. Initially, I was apprehensive, especially when I couldn’t see what was ahead of me. Then God whispered into my ear, “Do you trust me?”

During the retreat, God then lifted up my blindfold a little, and gave me a sneak preview of what was ahead of me. As I learnt more about the priesthood, my eyes were opened to a whole new way of life, one where I was actually attracted and inspired to boldly lay down my life not just for my spouse, but for the entire Church! Of course, under the blindfold, I was also crying profusely at the thought of having to leave and disappoint my girlfriend then. But God whispered into my ear, “Do you trust me?”

4 years later, I can now share this testimony only because I answered, “Yes!” And I’m here to tell you, that God’s vocation for me has so far been the most amazing surprise party of my life! Throughout my party, one pleasant surprise after another keeps coming up, and the Party Planner, God Himself, has shown that He can never be outdone in faithfulness, generosity, and surprises!

Firstly, every struggle, pain, obstacle and worry that I had to deal with in responding to my call, was taken care of one after another over time. My ex-girlfriend was blessed with another God-loving man; my family has been well taken care of; and my resentment and jealousy towards couples have been healed. All of them now join me in my party with their full support and blessing, and that has meant the world to me.

Secondly, never did I imagine how much closer I could get in my relationship with God. The more I trusted Him, the more the Lord revealed Himself to me in ways so personal and deep that it has brought me tears of joy many times. Through this relationship, I no longer need to see what is ahead of me with my eyes, but have learnt to let the Lord take me by the hand, and simply see the Lord’s providence, goodness and love with my heart, trusting Him to lead me every step of the way to the greater things that lie ahead of me.

Thirdly, I have met so many people whom God has brought into my party, and have witnessed and been affirmed of how the Lord has been using me to make such a deep impact in their lives that I am just astounded and filled with so much joy when I see these people filled with the same joy and love that I have experienced from the Lord!

Our God-given vocation in life is not something to be fearful of. Whether priesthood, religious life, marriage, or single life, all these vocations are meant to be a party! - a celebration of God’s love for us! But it is not just a celebration for us alone. Our vocation also affects the lives of many out there whom God has brought into our surprise party, people waiting for us to answer our call and appear at our own surprise party, so that they too can receive blessings and love and joy from God through the living out of our own vocation. Our one choice whether to trust in the Lord’s plan for us, can determine a lifelong celebration for thousands, including ourselves, or turn us into a party pooper, and leave many disappointed and deprived of a celebration.

Today, I pray for those of you who have yet to find your vocation in life, or may already have some promptings but are still fearful of proceeding blindfolded. Be assured that God has already made all the necessary and awesome preparations for your surprise party. On top of that, He has brought in all the necessary people who shall support you in your journey, as well as all the people whom He wishes to bless through you. God is not asking you to jump off a cliff blindfolded. He only asks that you trust Him one small step at a time. All you need to do, to enter into the biggest party of your life, is let the Lord blindfold you and take you by the hand, and respond positively to Him when He whispers into your ear, “My Beloved, do you trust me?”

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