Grace to you and Happy Easter!
Have you observed how trickles of water from the rocks flow in the creeks? The water follows different paths but merges into a spring, a lake, a river or an ocean. For the most part, the water flows through rough and twisted paths.
You will observe that as the water trickles from the rock, it gets around or should I say, bypasses the stumbling blocks—those rocks or woods that stand in the way. Though the rocks or the woods remain stationary, they do not stop the stream from flowing. Instead, the stream’s navigation is made even more colorful and scenic as it plies its way through the stumbling blocks.
One may learn from the navigations of the streams, the secret of thriving amidst stumbling blocks. Many times, people are concerned that there seems to be less and less opportunities for them to thrive due to stumbling blocks along the way. It seems in living God’s Word, in particular, there are many stumbling blocks. Some wonder how to deal with this reality.
A man complained that in his parish there is no sense of spiritual direction; and anyone who tries to help fan into flame the fervor of divine love and service is vehemently opposed by people who feel they own the church.
Some say we can’t seem to see the end of the tunnel. They forget that the end of the tunnel is only in sight when we are close to it. Otherwise, it seems way too unattainable.
How about seeing the stumbling blocks as pieces of wood on the path of the flowing water? Fortunately, those stumbling blocks are opportunities for the beautiful scenic path to fruitfulness in evangelization.
Right from the time of Jesus Christ until now, no work of evangelization, work of charity or act of faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been without stumbling blocks.
Read Acts of the Apostles 13:44-46. The jealousy, reviling and opposition against Paul and Barnabas during their first missionary journey warranted them to reroute and channel their mission to the gentiles. Refocus.
You may have heard the saying that when one door closes, another opens. For the believer., there are no closed doors. Rather, there are paths to better doors. There are many doors out there for you to find peace and joy. There are many doors out there beckoning for your service. Do not be stuck or allow yourself to be stuck in the roadblocks of naysayers.
Hear the apostles speak about the change of plan: “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:44-46).
Don’t you realize that a stumbling block on your path to doing God’s will doesn’t mean the end of the road? It simply means there are many other alternatives; even better, alternatives you wouldn’t have known.
Great evangelizers love stumbling blocks. Not that they seek them out. Rather, they dare them, look them straight in the eye and walk past them. True believers overcome roadblocks. They aren’t deterred by them. The saints cherish roadblocks, because through them the limits of their courage and vision to be the best God has called them to be are expanded.
Therefore, do not bemoan an unsuccessful attempt. Do not lie down and throw a pity party. Do not act the victim. Look and see: God is calling you to reroute to the path you are most needed now. Refocus. See the road. Follow it.
May God’s grace lead you all the way through. Amen.
God Love you. God Bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Easter Week 4: Act 13:44-52; John 14:7-14]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.