Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dreaming Good Dreams

“And it will come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young people shall see visions. Eve upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my Spirit.”
Joel 2:28

Each of us has a dream. A dream that becomes a driving force to our lives. A dream that makes us stronger every time we face great challenges. A dream that always encourages us to continue communicating with others, that keeps us alive and on fire in service to God. A dream that unites us to possess one common dream.

But the question here is that, what do we dream?

We are very much fortunate that we have this kind of gathering each year. This provides us a time to meet friends, and to celebrate Christmas Season with them. Thru this, we can have the opportunity to listen to God’s words and to have a special time for self retreat and a break from all works.

It is very hard to gather people especially the youth this time because of our security situation but it had not been a hindrance for us to be here today.

However, we should not take the issue for granted. We as the youth of our church should always be aware of the situation of our land. News reported bombs that had been continually threatened different cities and towns in Mindanao . Lives had been taken, men and women, both young and old. And this is the call that we should respond to. It is not enough to show compassion to the distressed people seen on TV. Yes, you might not have experienced what those people experience. But may their pain be a reminder to all of us that we need to pray and do what we should for peace to have a room in everyone’s heart. That we will not feel what they have been through.

As we Christians are celebrating our Christmas season, our Muslim brothers and sisters in some parts of Mindanao have been experiencing oppression and trauma. Oppression in the sense that they are despised with the kind of race they sprung from. That they have been associated with the word terrorism and other degrading things. Trauma in the sense that they always experience war and unexplainable conflicts that exist in their villages.

Let us reflect on these obvious facts this Christmas Season. All these times, it is always preached to love one another for through it, God is glorified. This theme is not only revolving in our church. This is also tackled in many different churches that proclaim peace in the world. But I can’t see that we are acting from what we learn. We are ought to befriend with people even how different we are to them in terms of culture. We are ought to understand the ways of life of others, that we may compare their traditions with our traditions and that we may see how similar we are to them in terms of believing in one Creator, one God.

It does not mean that we will be fully giving all our concentration to this issue. A little attention is needed that we may keep ourselves on track and on truth. For this is the truth this time. All of us are affected with the existence of the MOA-AD, where it divided the whole populace of the country. It also triggered the lawless elements to make more war. It provided more conflict to people when the GRP had been in contrast to the plans of the MILF. And we as ordinary citizens had been threatened with the unpleasant things that arose and might arise in the future.

We continue to go to school and compete with our classmates, yet we forget to strive to learn more than what our teacher teaches us that we may be more critical in seeing things over. We continue to go to church to pray for peace as we believe that after the service we bring home peace yet we haven’t shared it to those who don’t have it. Halfway through our lives, these are the things that we are about to miss.

If we will put ourselves on the situations of those who are directly affected with the conflict, we might be able to sincerely hope for those who are happy to help us lift ourselves from our present condition. If this will happen, everyone will not anymore be thinking of the diversity that makes us inharmonious.

All this time, I dream that there will already be a lasting peace in the world and in Mindanao specifically. That every man and woman will have compassion over each other’s burdened hearts. That all of us will dream of peace. That we will have the freedom to chose our own self determination, as long as we will not forget that we are still to give glory to our Savior who can give us peace.

As the scripture that we read is telling us that time will come that God will pour out His Spirit to everyone, may all of us be encouraged to start that time now. We should start it to give peace a way to reconcile every conflict that hinders us to uplift our situation from the grassroots level onto a higher scale. We should start it as soon as possible that one day soon we will wake up assured of our security in our equal rights and responsibilities.

May this be one of the things that all of us should think about. And may this be our every heart’s dream. A dream that will bind us together in praising the Lord. A dream that will set all else for the protection and fairness of mankind, especially in Mindanao and for the glory of the Lord. That we as the youth be really useful in the kingdom of God in our own way and in dreaming our good dream.

May God bless us with understanding minds today.