My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
DO YOU EVER FEEL LIKE DRIFTWOOD IN
THE SEA OF LIFE?
Life is mysterious and unpredictable, very much like the weather. There are many similarities between human life and the weather. A day can start calm, sunny, and mild, but without any warning at all, it can change to being cold, windy, stormy, raining, or even a blizzard. Life itself can be going well for a time with the promise of a great future, but unexpectedly one becomes ill, loses his job, is disabled by a car accident, is bankrupt, is divorced, loses his home, or is injured badly by an assailant. I have many such examples in mind. One such example is of a young married couple who was married just a year. A friend visited them for few days and, following his visit, he was driven to the train station to go home. As he was walking, out of nowhere, this criminal with a gun assaulted him and shot him in the head. He, by the grace of God, lived and eventually recovered but his life and that of his wife changed completely.
It is true that when things go well, we tend to believe that life will continue on this track and we are convinced that we are in control of our life. We believe that we have our sights and plans for the future and we are certain that all of our dreams will be fulfilled. At least, that is what we hope will happen. Realistically, most of us know that is not always true. We are NEVER IN CONTROL of events in life, either good or bad. The people who have lived long can attest to this fact. However, one must be prepared to face whatever comes his way with courage and be willing to fight back and remain determined to overcome the storms and the difficult days ahead. It does not mean that it is the end of life, it means that we cannot take anything for granted or that we should ever give up and surrender to the calamities of life.
We cannot become like driftwood and allow the waves of the sea, winds, and tide to toss us here and there. We are God’s children with a good mind, with intelligence, with reason, with talents, with the ability to evaluate our situation and to try something new or different. To learn from mistakes that were made by us and with faith and prayer to continue our struggle to survive and overcome life’s obstacles.
There are some people who look down upon driftwood, but others who see its unique beauty, and value. Driftwood is wood that has been washed unto a shore or beach of a sea, lake, or river by the action of winds, tides, or waves. Some consider it a nuisance, but even driftwood has its purpose and provides a service. It provides food and shelter for birds and fish and other aquatic species. I read somewhere that the Inuit tribe found many uses of driftwood, such as making bows and arrows from it and even boats such as kayaks and as kindling for their fires throughout the year. Artists see beauty in driftwood and portray it in their paintings or even use it as a base of a lamp or just as decorations in their homes. Driftwood, therefore, is not useless or valueless,
No one passes this earthly life free and clear of suffering, pain, struggles, challenges, disappointments, failures, mistakes, tragedies, and tears. That said, life is not just anguish and torments, either. There is a balance of good and bad experiences in life. We must be patient, prayerful, hopeful, and always with faith and trust in God Who loves us. This earthly life is indeed a place where everything that we are is tested, i.e., our faith in God, our courage, our patience, our willingness to fight for things that we believe in, our character, our willingness to protect our family, for our Christian faith, for principles, for our county, etc.
Whatever one of us is going through and how painful it may be, God is there to guide and protect him. We do not overcome anything in life without God’s invisible helping hand. Sometimes I hear of people whose faith is not very strong and are ready to throw in the towel. That is a serious mistake and wrong, because not only does one give up on himself, but also gives up on God. Our Lord never gives up on any one of us. To dare to think in this manner would be a grave sin and great offense to our Savior knowing how much He loves us.
Even if you see yourself like a driftwood, ‘drifting so to speak,’ to and fro, don’t be afraid, know that the Lord is near you. Remember, that you are unique, beautiful, useful, and that you are important to those who seek you, and that you can be an inspiration to those around you. The Evangelist Saint Luke 8:23-25, tells us a true story on how Jesus calms a storm. "And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out. But as they sailed He (Jesus) fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and they were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ Then He arose and REBUKED THE WIND AND THE RAGING WATER, AND THEY CEASED, AND THERE WAS A CALM. But He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ And they were afraid, and marvelled, saying to one another, ‘Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him." In the most difficult moments of life, "FAITH" unites us with Christ and gives us His strength and comfort.
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in Our Lord’s Glorious Resurrection,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George