The Journey 61: Transformation in my personal life
Read: Mathew 26: 31-36
Key Verse: “ Then he said to them all “ If anyone comes after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me [ Luke 9:23].
Cracking……. Under Pressure. This is the only term that came to my mind when I saw how the Philly 76ers lost their game against Oklahoma on Wednesday. What else can you say about that game when at one stage, the Sixers were having a seven point lead, with less than five minutes remaining for the game to end, and that is when the Sixers miss their next 10 shots thus allowing the Oklahoma city to take advantage. This was also the time and the game, when both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook played excellently to help Oklahoma City to win 92-88. This script was also repeated earlier in the week, when sixers played Houston Rockets, leading till the end, but allowing the opponents to win 93-87. Same was the case when they played both Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlers, loosing closely fought games. It was the case of choking at the very end, when they had to put in their extra best for victory. Thus other than their victory against Detroit Piston, the Phillies have lost five consecutive games. A game of missed opportunities but the truth is that when pressure builds up, sixers were cracking up. I think this is true not only for the Philly sixers but also for all of us. What elevates a person from being an ordinary individual to the realm of extraordinary is the ability of that person to cope up to the pressures that suddenly comes to ones life without cracking up. That is what the signs of a true transformed individual is and also a true witness of a transformed living.
We are meditating this week on the theme “ Transformation in our personal life” based on the life and ministry of Simon Peter. In today’s portion for meditation, we read the well know portion where Simon Peter denies Jesus Christ. Here is a disciple who affirms in the presence of Jesus Christ a few day back that “ Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you” [ Mathew 26: 35]. Now the scene shifts, Jesus is arrested and all the disciples are scattered. They do not know what is happening and what is their future, is it death or something else. Everyone is fearing his life. That is when Peter goes to the courtyard to warm himself and suddenly a servant girl recognizes Peter as one who was with Jesus Christ. Peter feigns ignorance but he is trapped again by another girl and also by another set of people. In all these occasions, more than the courage that he should have mustered, fear grips him, and all the valiant talk that he does in front of his Master, goes in vain, and sheepishly Peter denies Jesus, just the way Jesus had predicted. We need to remember that Christian life is not easy that is why Jesus said that if anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself and take up the cross[ Luke 9: 23]. Somehow in the world of today, there are many leaders and church’s that have diluted the message of the gospel whereby Christian life is turned into a life of profit making and prosperity, a life where all our dreams and desires bear fruit. When we follow Jesus Christ, there is a price to pay, we need to live this life , with our focus on the Lord and running with perseverance, the race that is marked for us. [ Hebrews 12: 1-2]. Transformation is a painful process, a process which entails a lot of pressure, lot of challenges in our quest to live authentic Christian life.
Let us ask ourselves whether we are like Peter, boasting about ourselves, before the Lord and to the world, but deep inside, denying Him whenever pressure and the pleasure of the world comes.
In the game of basketball, Phillies sixers seems to do just that.
What about in Christian life– Are you a Christian that cracks under pressure?
Let us Pray: Dear God we often boast about our intimacy with you, but at the opportune time when we face pressures from the world we tend to deny you. Forgive us of our sins of ungratefulness . Amen