Who I Have Become

Everyone’s listening intently. We’re on the third part of the series about ordinary men used by God.

“We already finished studying Philip and Ananias”, he scrolls down his tablet computer, “Now, let’s move on to studying Peter.”

I began to know how ordinary “The Rock” was. He made the same mistakes I did. What’s most interesting, we both have mindsets.

Henrietta Elegunde, author and life coach, gave a good description of what mindset is:

It consists of a person’s frame of reference, which includes a person’s knowledge, experience, goals, values, beliefs and attitudes. It can affect a person’s way of thinking, and the way he sees his life.

(Acts 10:9-14, NCV)
“I can feel my stomach growling!”, Peter noticed that the sun is already high while praying on the roof. Then an unexpected vision came.

Heaven opened up and he saw a big sheet containing all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds being lowered down to earth.

Then he heard a voice,”Get up, Peter; kill and eat.”

He argued, “No, Lord! I have never eaten food that is unholy or unclean.”

In the book of Deuteronomy, God’s people were instructed not to eat certain animals for they are “unclean”. (Deuteronomy 14:3-8 NCV)

But the voice said to him again, “God has made these things clean, so don’t call them unholy!”(Acts 10:15 NCV)

In the New Testament, Jesus said, “There is nothing people put into their bodies that makes them unclean. People are made unclean by the things that come out of them.” ( Mark 7:15 NCV)

(“Whew!”I rubbed my belly,”Buffet anyone?”)

“God intends to break our mental attitudes and prejudices”, the Pastor emphasized.

In her article, Develop a Winning Mindset: Reinvent Your Mind, Henrietta Elegunde explained that our mindsets reflect where we have been, and what we have seen and heard, but not necessarily who God made us to be.

Hearing this revelation made me ponder about my own mental attitude. Whether positive or negative, a poignant question rose unexpectedly: “Why do I embrace one?”

Is it because it shapes ability and achievement?

Often we’re advised that our potential can be discovered once we tap into our inner selves where all the answers are found. Then, when we know specifically what we want, we are reassured we will have a destination in life and then we can move forward progressively. However, as time passed by, many ambitions got thwarted in the end. Their “fruits” are only temporal and not satisfying. Inevitably, their resources got drained.

I was one of them. I didn’t realize it early, but God patiently taught me that my actions are the fruit of the way I think. Right thinking results in right behavior. More importantly, I can’t bear fruit by myself if I don’t remain in “The Vine”.

God led me to seek the truth from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Paul encourages us,”In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 2:5 NCV)

Jesus knows He’ll die a criminal’s death on a cross yet He humbled Himself and was fully obedient to God for us to be redeemed from our sins and have eternal life. (Philippians 2:8 NCV, emphasis mine)

Jesus’ mindset is giving up, letting go, pouring out Himself for others. Consequently, God highly exalted Him, giving Him a name above every name. And He can do the same with us, His children.

His inclination is aligned with God’s purposes. Mine is self-absorbed.

How do we have the mind of Christ?

Remember Peter and his disposition? You’ll be amazed at his testimony! Later on, he declared, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need to live a godly life. And we have received this by coming to know Jesus who called us to Himself.” (2 Peter 1:3, NLT, emphasis mine)

As long as we’re connected to God, His power is our power! What’s His becomes ours.(Maxwell, 1999)

Indescribable. He can see through the depths of our hearts and still love us the same. Truly, He’s an amazing God!


Uprooted Complacency

Day 2.

“Great, I’m still fifteen minutes early”, I glanced at my watch upon approaching the building entrance.

I have a scheduled orientation this morning. I feel bushed from yesterday’s eight-to-five seminar and I struggled on waking up early.

I am required to attend seminars that can help me integrate successfully as an immigrant.

“I’ll be meeting you at the seventh floor”, I recalled from my adviser’s instruction.

After getting my visitor’s ID tag, the front desk guard informed me that the elevator ends at the sixth floor and I need to take the stairs thereafter.

I followed what he said and found a door at the end of the hallway.

“Fire exit”, the sign read.

“I guess this leads me to the stairway”, I figured.

It led me to another door and I got surprised when I opened it: I can see the next building.

I’m in the roof deck. And by the way, I’m afraid of heights.

I remembered watching this in a Spider man movie. “Isn’t this great timing? I forgot to bring my web-fluid”, I kept myself amused.

I felt relieved after seeing a janitor pass by. He explained that I should have used the “other” route. Note to self: don’t underestimate fire exits.

There are four of us seated on a big couch. The orientation officer proceeded on giving us an overview of our career path.

The inevitable reality spilled over. The jobs we desire required assessment and licensing. And it takes time going through the process.

We are encouraged to broaden our options. She is offering us the idea of choosing a new career direction during our transition.

It isn’t hard to recognize that we are all beating our brains out after hearing her revelation. We invested time, effort and money with our current profession and,now, we are being directed to look for another career.

“Unfortunately, many skilled immigrants languished at the bottom of the work pyramid and unable to reach their fullest potential”, she emphasized. She looked at us straight in the eye and said, “It really depends on how you envision your life will become in the future.”

In his Twitter account, Mark Sanborn posted,”Complacency comes when we feel ‘acceptable’ is already good enough.”

Honestly, I share the same perspective of plainly surviving when I’m there. I’m learning that I need to re- grow once I get uprooted.

Browsing over a manual given to us, I encountered this significant statement: “Planning a career move is much like mapping your route for a road trip. If you don’t know where you are going, you can’t decide on how to get there!”

It contained recommendations that I should do promptly: gather information about the types of work that interest me, explore related possibilities especially on different career areas and develop a plan of action. I find them very helpful in my preparation.

I believe everyone had the same manual five years ago. But what kept them at the bottom of complacency?

A wise King wrote in Proverbs,” People may make plans in their minds, but the Lord decides what they will do.”(Proverbs 16:9)

The Lord determines where, when and how my life will unfold according to His purposes for me. In the past, I failed in so many ways because I pursued living life without seeking God’s guidance and asking His help. I also believe many have tried their best. They would’ve waited for the right time to come. But weariness crept in that made it difficult for them to endure. Whenever our strength fails, God promises to act on our behalf if we wait for Him.(Isaiah 64:4)

God promises,”I will strengthen you with My own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, instead You will be patient.” (Colossians 1:11)

In life it is not enough to remain optimistic —it matters more why we choose to be one. We hope because God has good plans for us, not plans to hurt us. He will give us hope when we become weary and a good future when we trust Him (Jeremiah 29:11). We endure because when we search for Him with all our hearts, we will find Him.(Jeremiah 29:13)

On my own, my dreams are unrealistic; with God, all things are possible. I only need to lift my hands to Him.