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 tracks.
You will observe that as the water trickles from the rock, it gets around. Or should I say, it 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 seem to be fewer and fewer opportunities for them to succeed due to stumbling blocks along the way. It appears 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 the flame of the zeal of divine love and service is opposed by people who feel they own their parish.
Some people say we can't seem to see the end of the tunnel. They forget that the end of the tunnel is only insight 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 service.
Right from the time of New Testament times 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.
For example, read Acts of the Apostles 13:44-46. The jealousy, backbiting, and opposition against Paul and Barnabas during their first missionary journey warranted them to reroute and channel their mission to the gentiles. Also, the Lord told the disciples, when they persecute you in one place, move to another (Mt 10:23). Refocus.
You may have heard the saying that when one door closes, another opens. For the believer, there are no closed doors. Instead, 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 held hostage in the roadblocks of naysayers.
Hear the apostles speak about the change of plan: "The word of God needed to 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 merely 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. Instead, they dare them, look them straight in the eye and walk past them. True believers overcome roadblocks. Roadblocks don't deter 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 lament 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 Saturday Week 4: Act 13:44-52; John 14:7-14]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.