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Sunday, October 18, 2009

STOP THAT STORM!







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(click here to download the podcast)






Powered by Podbean.com

(click here to download the podcast)

Warning: this might be along post to others, thus you also have the option of just listening to the podcast.

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Ondoy, then Pepeng, practically left us all Filipinos at a standstill… crops all drenched, fish all washed away to the shores, houses submerged, cars overturned.

But then the standstill went on over to a "rampage". A rampage of what we Filipinos often times call… Bayanihan.

Could all these disasters be man made? Caused by our own inequities and disregard towards the laws of nature? A very possible fact.

Could all these have been allowed by God to teach us a very valuable lesson? A most daunting reason for if so, we must be doing something really wrong.

I’ve embedded above what our pastor has to say to all of these. Some of which are funny facts, but they speak much truth. This is also one of the few instances that we hear him bring up the facet of politics in all of these.

I’ve transcribed some of the highlights, but I do implore you all, please do listen to the podcast. I usually write posts for myself and care not if these are being read, but this time, I find real importance in sharing this all to you. Kindly share these as well to others.

Now, let us juxtapose our recent storm with that underwent by Jonah (please take note that below is not the exact transcript of the podcast above but is a mixture of the blogger’s own thoughts and that of the podcast minus some of the political insights).

THE STORM

Jonah was called by God to go to the great city of Nineveh to preach, but instead, Jonah headed on the opposite direction and tried to flee from God. (Read Jonah 1: 1-3)




Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent
storm arose that the ship threatened to break up… Jonah 1: 4.




Can this storm be described as a godly call, caused by human disobedience, and perhaps be man made (or at least induced)?

I think so.

With such a storm, the most natural reaction of anyone, would be fear… and the most likely action after is to pray.

Sometimes these are often wake up calls for us all who have forgotten how to call on His name. “Storms” can make people remember God. “Storms” can make people realise what’s truly important.

Also, in other instances, the most insensitive reaction or rather (in?)non-action, would be to sleep on the situation.

Most of us would actually do this in times of our own “storms” and Jonah is no exception.




…But Jonah had gone down below deck, where he lay down and fell
into a deep sleep. Jonah 1:5




And what did the other men in the boat do? As accustomed to being faced with a problem, they had to find out the cause and the most likely solution. And all sorts of investigation pointed towards Jonah.

But what to do? Jonah then gave them the most obvious answer. Jonah fled from God’s grace and disobeyed His commands. The most obvious solution is to bring Jonah back to God’s mercy.




Pick me up and throw me into the sea. He replied. And it will
become calm, I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.
Jonah 1: 12





But the kind sailors instead did their best to row to land instead of heading to Jonah’s request. It was, after all, a brutal thing to do throwing someone out to sea. And with how they treated a problem, they remind me so much of Filipinos. Ready to tread sorts of hardship… “magtiis” becomes like air we breathe. And in times of disasters, we hold on to ourselves, not even to our politicians, but to private citizens willing to help out in their own private ways.

But since the storm was after all, allowed by God, who are they to combat its wrath. Left with no more choice, they then resorted to throwing Jonah off the boat.




They then took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea
gre calm. Jonah 1: 15





And as we all know of the story, God provided one big fish to house Jonah for three days and three nights till the fish was ready to spit him out to shore.

The fish was an instrument of divine restoration for Jonah. In it was made “Jonah’s Prayer” which I bid you all to look at (Jonah 2: 1-10).

And to those who does not know, the story did not end with Jonah on the shore. Jonah then went out to the original plan of God to go to Nineveh and preach his word.

HOW IS THIS RELATED TO OUR PRESENT STORM?

Each of us may as well be symbols of Jonah who in times of “storms” sleeps off solving problems we ourselves have caused.

Or the Jonah who had treaded out of God’s laid out path, politicians who have neglected their duties, bystanders who have been incessantly and unmindfully throwing trash just anywhere.
But in the same manner, we can also be the Jonah who have repented, faced all consequences, mended faults and finally was able to appease the cause of the storm. Change is after all, what we need, and it comes and start from within.

The storm can be a symbol of our ACTUAL/ LITERAL storms, or they can also be SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL or even POLITICAL. Each of us has their own storms.

Storms that have led to the flooding of streets with clogged drains out of our own trashes; overflowing of our rivers due to the lack of original water/ river paths which we have “reclaimed” to be new lands.

And sometimes we forget why our ancestors built their houses on stilts such as our bahay kubo. Aside from the heat, the elevation protects them from water rising, Tagalog after all means Taga-ilog (which manila originally had plenty of).

And my most favourite character in the story is the Fish.

Notice the use of the fish. It was used as a vessel to isolate, teach, be humbled, guide, navigate and deliver Jonah to his “Nineveh.”

Three days and three nights were spent on self restoration.

And notice that it was when they threw Jonah out that the storm suddenly stopped.

And I firmly believe that with the recent storm that we went through, we were somehow able to throw out our own Jonah’s.

And along with this reason, I believe that the second storm that was supposed to hit Manila again didn’t push through also because MANY HAVE PRAYED.

It’s funny how recent events, wether the death of a democratic icon, the destruction of homes by a storm has brought out the best in all of us.

And as we continuously throw out the “bad Jonah” in us, we are continuously placed in our own “Fish” for our own correction, restoration and redirection.

And whether or not there’s truth to outrageous rumors of having the “end” being near, I think God is still good, making us ready for that day.

So, what “Jonah” have you thrown out recently?

Or shall we throw out the Jonah in the Malacanang palace? (sorry my own attempt to humor).

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Special thanks to:

Day by Day Christian Ministries Techie stuff divisision for the cd copy. And since I don't have much time in my hands, thanks to friends who have helped me out in splicing, file convertions.. techie things that I really wouldn't know anything about and for uploading in podbean. Now... back to work, back to work... see you next weekend! But I do have some autoposts for you in the coming days. hehe.

4 mga umutot:

jonathan said...

When the tsunami hit the South of Thailand some years ago, religious people had been saying that the place was inhabited by bad people especially those of sexual in nature. I fought with someone because five of our students died in that disaster ages 3 to 7. There was a reason for their death and for the tsunami, not about washing the sinners.

God is good, and this entry shows us that we should not lose hope, and that we should accept responsibility and take action. We do not need a tsunami or a storm to wash away the sinners. Do good and God bless!

Toilet Thoughts said...

Storms serving as reminders for those who forget doing good is just once facet of it all. Yes, I do believe that things happen for a reason. And it's not all about punishment or anything.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Phi Jon. And yes, I do hope we do not need another disaster for each to act accordingly for each other or for mother nature for that matter. But this recent event proved to me the wonders of humanity, telling me that yes, there is indeed hope.

Cheers!

Toilet Thoughts said...

hehe ang dami kong "yes" sa sarili kong comment... positivity daw tawag dun. haha.

jonathan said...

Seems to me you'll be good giving out speeches. there is something in the way you put words and the way you deliver it, as I read it. God bless!

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