And Abraham went out, not knowing whither he went. (Heb.11:8)

Brent again opened the discussion, by saying We have been talking about how the Church, Christians, ought to be involved in social issues. We should be concerned enough about matters like bus drivers driving way too long each day, and sometimes falling asleep at the wheel, passengers getting killed because of a lack of a law governing this. (By the way, I talked to a prosecutor who told me that such a law could easily be enforced.) The fact that you keep coming to these meetings shows me that you indeed are concerned about such things, and you are challenging the mental and spiritual laziness which infects so many of us Filipinos.

As you know, for years I was working overseas, to the detriment of my family, and even our son was starting to get into trouble. Pastor Cortez’ counseling really helped me think creatively, both in terms of my role as Leader and Head of the house, and in my own life. Now my son and I are working together on a project that uses my engineering training, and his enthusiasm and creativity, to build some tools for gardeners and farmers. And we are all so much happier!

Pastor Cortez says, Something has just dawned on me, about temptations. To be sure, many temptations are about wrongly thinking outside the box, for instance, Eve, and Adam’s temptation to disobey God, and thus be like him, knowing good and evil, experientially. On the other hand, many temptations involve being stuck inside the box! Take Jesus in the desert: Inside the box thinking would lead him to think “I am hungry, and as the Son of God I have the right and power to turn a stone into bread!” That would be to give into an impulse, and many temptations are like that—giving into conventional thinking, like, “If someone is rude to or insults me, I deserve to get angry and hit back, somehow.” But Jesus says things like, “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, give him the other also. If someone (a soldier) tells you to go one mile with him, go an extra mile.” If you think this way, what will your brain be doing? By the way, Jesus went way beyond that—all the way to Calvary!

Now your in-the-box, impulsive, thinking would be a temptation to hit back, or take on a nasty attitude. Jesus’ teaching stretches us out of our ordinary boxes, as seen in the story of a bishop who had taken a teenage orphan under his wing, but who one night stole some money from the house and ran away. The police brought him to the bishop, who exclaimed, “Oh Johnny, good to see you. Last night I didn’t have a chance to give you something, this old watch which I seldom wear, and you’ll need it more than I will.” Imagine the effect on the boy?!


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