My Writer's Journey
"The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord, and you also will testify."
- John 15:26b, 27a -
- John 15:26b, 27a -
"Help me thank the Lord," I told my guardian angel.
"For what?" he asked.
I smiled and presented him the full draft of my manuscript, the first book of a trilogy.
"I wouldn't have made it this far. I know I have more distance to cover but there's no stopping now. I have come a long way—from the stressed-out, multi-tasking, work-from-home mom, to a disciplined writing disciple.”
“You've evolved,” he said.
"The power of three," I said. "I wouldn't have accomplished this much in my writing had I not heeded your call to discipline myself during the 40 days of Lent. Three things you required of me on those sorrowful days—PRAY, READ and RUN—led to this glory. I didn’t know how powerful those 40 days of mortification could be.”
"The power of forty," he said.
"Leitmotiv," I said and laughed.
“So have you done your homework?” he said.
“I did. I realized that the Bible had a lot of recurring themes, leitmotivs, but these two numbers tend to recur more— 40 and 3.”
“Forty years in the desert,” I said, “for the Israelites to journey and reach the Promised Land; but for Jesus, it was just forty days in the desert of temptation, and He was purified of all earthly motives before He started His ministry. That was my forty days of Lent, it purified my motives for my writing ministry. Forty days as well, from His Resurrection until His Ascension to heaven. And I am living and celebrating these glorious days of the Easter season until the Feast of the Ascension on May 28, 2017. The Power of Forty.”
“And the Power of Three?” he asked.
“The Trinity. The Mystery of the One God in Three Persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And using another leitmotiv,” I said, my eyes dilated with excitement, “WATER, which I discovered to be the one that would be mentioned from Genesis to Revelation in a recurring way—I discovered the mystery of the Trinity.”
“Water… H20,” I said. “One molecular structure, two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, yet can exist in three forms: liquid, solid and gas, and remains the same—just like God.”
My angel nodded. This spurred me to continue, encouraged. “All three existed in the beginning, the Wind, the Word but it was the Water that covered the earth. Water that would be essential—that would compose a huge part of our human body, 55-60%. Water that would flood the earth, water that would part into two to free the Israelites from Egypt and slavery, water that they would cross to go to the Promised Land, water that would baptize, wash away our sins and make things new, water that would give us rebirth— to be born again, because our first birth was with water and blood, out of our mother’s womb; so to be born again is to be baptized with water, water that would come out from the pierced wound of Jesus together with the blood. Liquid water.”
My angel nodded. “And the solid part?”
“The Son, who came in a solid form, who was touched by mankind, who touched mankind. He allowed Himself to be touched, held, embraced, kissed, cuddled. Who ate and drank with mankind. The one who came down and allowed Himself to be trapped in the same mortal shell that I am entrapped. To feel the weakness and temptations of the body, and showed me that it can be overcome. The one who pierced this same mortal shell with His light and broke out of it forever. The One who assumed a new body and showed us that it can be done, and opened the path and the way for mankind to do the same— in the same manner that He did, following His way, following His footsteps.”
“Very good,” he nodded. “And then gas?”
“The Holy Spirit, of course. The one who will bestow me with supernatural gifts, to remind me that though I am a Divine Being trapped in this temporary, mortal shell, the body, He can exercise His power and perform signs and wonders through me, that this mortal shell shall no longer be able to stifle my spirit. It’s the same Spirit that turned the coward apostles into fearless and courageous disciples, who would heal the sick, raise the dead, and shed their blood to spread this Good News—that Jesus, once and for all, has freed us from this slavery of the body, saved us from the slavery of the mind, and has the capacity to release the potentials of the spirit. It’s the Holy Spirit that I anticipate to reveal more and more of Himself in the Feast of the Pentecost.”
I sensed my angel's pleasure at my answers. My spirit lifted.
"If you did not push me to discipline myself,” I added, “I wouldn't have been able to do it. Yes, during that Lenten season, you showed me how to enforce discipline on myself to nurture my body, mind and spirit. To change my habits.”
“Another three— body, mind and spirit,” he said.
“It was hard… to nurture my spirit,” I continued, “to wake up early in the morning to pray. I had to drag this mortal shell out of bed and pry open my droopy eyes. Yet these became my antidote to the viral symptom of spiritual amnesia. It’s like I had to remind myself each day of who I am, of my divine nature. The spiritual amnesia seemed to reboot my system when I sleep, so I had to reload the program at the start of the day, to remind me of my identity, where I came from, what’s my purpose and where I'm going. And I have to do it through prayer, at the start of the day, with the Word—to ponder on it and let it soak my spirit.”
“So now you know why Jesus had to wake up at dawn to pray to the Father,” my angel said. “Shackled with the same mortal shell, He was fully human, trapped with your human weaknesses. He was not born with the full knowledge that He was God. Just like you, He had to discover His identity and learn from His parents who were bestowed with the gift through the Angelic Revelation, nurtured by reading the scriptures and learned from men, and when the time came, confirmed by the Father and the Spirit at His baptism at the Jordan River."
I was silenced. God, in the form of a human, the God-Man, the Son of God and Son of Man… what a divine mystery. Unfathomable.
“Go on,” my angel interrupted my reverie.
I jolted back to my reality. Where was I? Oh… the mind.
“It was hard… to nurture my mind,” I continued. “To give up social media and blogging. Yet, these became my antidote to the viral symptom of distraction, lack of focus and noise. And I recovered a significant chunk of time for reading and learned so much from spiritual books, books on writing and editing; learned from those who've made it—the spiritual giants and the experts on writing.”
“And you realized how far still you had to go, and that you needed endurance and perseverance, which required the discipline of the body,” my angel prompted.
“Yes.” I sighed and grimaced. “It was hard… to nurture my body.”
“Was it more like... to torture your body?” my angel joked and I laughed.
“Yes,” I said, “hard to run everyday for 30 minutes. Perhaps this was the most difficult exercise of all. I realized it was my body that needed a lot of beating and mortification. It was prone to eating unhealthy food and prone to laziness, which made it hard to drag it to move and run. Yes, this mortal shell, my shackle. I had to trim down the excess weight, the flab that bears it down, trim it down with abstinence and fasting.”
“Yet, as you learned to tame it, you realized something,” he reminded me.
I smiled. That was true. “I soon realized it became my ally as it grew stronger. Nurtured by my spirit and mind at first, it eventually nurtured my mind and spirit. For when I ran, there I found silence, solitude, serenity, calm, focus, creativity, and inspiration. Much so that it would now complain and become painful when I don't push it to exercise… when I don't run. It seemed, even the body which I thought was my enemy, my shackle, had become my friend—the temple of my spirit, and the Holy Spirit.”
“Don’t forget the perks you got from the torture.”
I smiled. Perks, indeed. I’d rather call it unexpected and welcome side effects—trimmed belly, less flabby abs, and stronger core that warded off my chronic back pain.
“Now you know why you needed to undergo the 40 days of Lent.”
“Yes, I realized that Lent would prepare my body, mind, and spirit for His next spiritual gift—the gift of the Holy Spirit—the Pentecost. Now, I look forward to this most glorious event. Even with the gifts He had bestowed upon me, He still wants to give me more. Oh, how generous is my Lord. I only have to do my part, to make sure that my house is in order, ready and prepared for His coming.”
My angel nodded. “Like a thief in the night, like the bridegroom who arrived at dawn, He can come anytime to visit you. Your house, that is, your body, mind, and spirit must always be prepared and ready.”
I bowed in thanksgiving.
"That is how you can thank the Lord. Make sure His abode is always in order. So He will come to you and dwell in you. And you shall experience the mystery of the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of the Father and the Son in you."
The Power of Three in me.
It sounded heavenly.
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