Stephen Lau shares his reflections on life and living, health and wellness, faith and spirituality, self-help and self-learning--a blog on introspection in the art of living well for triple life makeover in health fitness, emotional centeredness, and spiritual connection.
Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered
Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Obedience and trust
obedience or disobedience to God?
example of disobedience is lining up for hours to get your Power Ball.
What if it is God who wants you to
win the lottery?
Well, in the first place, God did not create the Power Ball. It is your own
choice and decision to go and get the lottery ticket; it has everything to do
with your own greed and vanity.
lottery ticket is one of the many attachments to money and wealth. You may
want to change God’s mind about what
He has destined for you. Remember, if
God wants you to be super rich, He would have given you all the tools in the
form of God-inspired life passions.
Changing God’s mind for what He has already destined for
you is disobedience. Obedience to God is
graciously accepting and embracing any adversity and calamity in
life so that you may learn lessons from them, thereby enhancing your spiritual
wisdom to continue your pathway of trust and obedience.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
What is trust in God?
Trust in God means
believing in the veracity of His Word.
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I
desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent
(Isaiah 53: 11)
God Is letting go of your control
God is in absolute control
“He says, ‘Be
still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be
exalted in the earth.’”
Throughout ages, miracles
have happened around the world—a testament to the indisputable fact that God is
always in control of anything and everything, despite humans’ resistance to
letting go of their futile endeavors to control their own destinies.
There was the story of Norbert Gennep, born in AD 1080, who came
from a wealthy and influential family in Germany, with ties to the imperial
court. At that time in history, it was not uncommon for those seeking political
advancement to also acquire ecclesiastical offices. So, Norbert had himself
ordained a Sub-deacon and became a Canon, although he had no real piety or
religious inclination; his ultimate motive was to indulge himself in worldly
luxuries and pleasures.
Then, one day in AD 1112, while riding on horseback, he was struck by a
fierce lightning, thrown from his horse, and remained unconscious for a while.
On waking up, Norbert was completely transformed, and asked: “Lord, what do you
want me to do?” He heard God’s voice, saying: “Turn away from evil, and do
good.” Obediently, he gave up everything he ever owned, became a priest,
preached the Gospel, and lived the simple life of a wandering preacher in
barefoot. Norbert eventually became the Archbishop of Magdeburg in Germany, and
was subsequently made a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
You do not have to be struck by lightning and thrown off the horseback
before you would let go of your attachments to the material world, as well as
your futile attempt to control your destiny. God can work miracles in your life
if you are obedient, and if it is His will.
origin of control
Control is basic human
instinct. Humans are inherently controlling. Out of fear and insecurity, our
ancestors living as early as in the Stone Age strove to control their environment
in order to survive, and thus developing their fight-or-flight instinct.
Since time immemorial,
control has evolved, and most of us are controlling to a certain extent. We, as
parents, control our children’s destinies by striving to steer them clear of
the wrong pathways we might have previously treaded ourselves. Our cultures
tell us that we should be in control of everything around us at all times,
including our futures and destinies. Controlling, to many of us, is synonymous
with independence and power.
irony of control
Stress in everyday life
and living may make you want to control everyone and everything around you in
order to de-stress yourself. Ironically enough, in the process of controlling
stress, you may also have inadvertently created a vicious cycle of
The anticipation of stress
puts you on an alert system, producing stress hormones. Then You may have to
make some choices—choosing this and avoiding that. Choosing in itself is
stressful, especially when picking the wrong choices, leading to regret and
disappointment. In addition, your expectation of the anticipated result may
further intensify the stress, often making you do more than what is necessary
to guarantee the expected result. Over-doing is stressful.
The irony is that
controlling stress may only lead to getting more stress.
different ways of control
Control may come in many
different forms in life, and we are all susceptible to some forms of control.
Given that control is
basic human instinct, we all spontaneously want to control how people
If you ask a child “How
old are you?”, the child may answer: “Five years and four months”, while also
extending his or her four fingers to highlight the “four months.” The child
wants to control your perception of him or her—that he or she is “four
months” older than other five-year-old kids.
If you ask a teenager the
same question, that teenager may answer: “I am fifteen”—implying that “I’m nearly old enough to drive soon.”
If you ask someone in the
late twenties or early thirties the same question, that individual may answer
quite differently: “I won’t tell you; just guess!”—that individual may want to control
your perception of his or her real age in relation to his or her appearance.
If you ask an elderly
person the same question, that person may be more willing to let you know his
or her real age by saying: “I’ve just turned eighty.” That individual is, in
fact, also controlling your perception: “See, I’m eighty, but I look much
younger—probably like a sixty-year-old, don’t I?”
To a more or less degree,
we all want to control how people think of us. Do you like to
wear loose-fitting clothing to hide your belly fat? Do you use heavy makeup to
mask your facial lines? Do you dye your hair to make you look younger? Control
is about the perception of the ego-self by others.
In addition to controlling
how people perceive us, we may also want to control how people act and react
toward us by using emotions, such as anger, fear, and guilt, among other
negative emotions. Furthermore, we may also want to control the circumstances
we are living in, thereby controlling what is happening to and around us.
The bottom line: we are
all controlling to a certain extent due to our attachments to different things
in life that we think may define who and what we perceive ourselves to be.