Lenten Journal – Day 30: of whose applause?

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

John 5:44 – How could you possibly believe? You like to have your friends praise you, and you don’t care about praise that the only God can give!

I know by experience the feeling one gets when the limelight is on you, and you get all the applause and praise of the people because of the wonderful job you just did. You get acknowledged and affirmed of what you can do. Somehow it becomes your identity. It’s so easy to fall on the trap of pride and say to yourself, “yes, this is me. I’m awesome!” when you get so much recognition. Everybody becomes your friends. Then you want to have everything … and everything has to be perfect. You polish your image and would do almost anything to keep that perfect image of you and your life. Until everything begin to crumble.

It was by choice that I withdrew from the different ministries and activities in the church and other secular organizations. I secluded myself from everyone except from my family and a very few friends.  I’ve deactivated some of my profiles on social medias, and lessened my attendance on social gatherings. I chose to be alone.

Spending time alone taught me a lot of things; mostly about life and what are the things that are important in life. It has also taught me the value of friendship. I know a lot of people and they know me. We probably have shared meals and faced challenges together. But I can say that I only have a very few close friends. Friends who understand and accept me for who I am. Friends who will say their opinion regardless if I would like it or not. They are not afraid to hurt me; they tell the whole truth.

Spending time alone taught me to be silent inside. To hush down all the noises inside me and the desires that keep me from hearing the voice of God: to know Him and His will, so I can do the things that really matter in the eyes of God. He is the only one who really matters to me. And I know that I no longer need the praise of many others, because I know that I am loved and accepted by the few, and most of all, by the One who is Love.


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