When I was young, I grew up to the sight of Reader’s Digest magazines laying around the house. My parents have a monthly subscription to it and when I was in grade school and high school, it became one of the favorite books I wanted to read.
This is probably where my inkling on feature stories especially those that are inspirational originated. However, there are other sections in the magazine that caught my attention too: Laughter Is The Best Medicine and Life’s Like That. For the latter, I enjoyed reading the “matter-of-fact” wisdom shared by contributors. I was young back then I didn’t know the exact name for it but contextually, I do get the point.
It was only during my college days that I realized that the “nuggets of wisdom” shared at Life’s Like That can actually be classified as a figure of speech – irony. Just to review our Literature 101 about what “irony” is:
“Irony (from Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία (eirōneía), meaning “dissimulation, feigned ignorance”), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event in which what appears, on the surface, to be the case, differs radically from what is actually the case. Irony may be divided into categories such as verbal, dramatic, and situational.” – Wikipedia
Then I reflected about everything. Life is actually a well-celebrated mockery game – it is so full of ironies. If you’d ask me how, I’d give just a few instances I know which were shared to me and I have observed through time as well.
I have come to know of a parent who is an overachiever but with an underachiever child. Or that very religious person whose son/daughter grew up committing all sins the bible has. A wealthy expat, dignified and well-respected with a child who breaks the law often. A prominent family but conflicted relationships. The list can go on and on.
I do not judge them for who they are for these are their own battles of faith, endurance and character building as well and we can all learn from their struggles too and yet I can only ask why the opposite of what was originally intended?
Before I got saved, I was a downright cynic – sarcasm was my favorite wordplay. When I go for the kill, my best weapon was the vilest and meanest words you could think of even without a curse. These words go straight to the heart and the worst kill is towards the ego. That is because I knew nothing back then about this:
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18:21
Yet through it all, I don’t see this as a reason to be regretful, to be stuck in the past and to feel all forlorn even if I have suffered greatly of its consequences. No, it is actually a thing to be celebrated given the guidance of the Spirit. Yes, because looking at it in a Godly perspective, these ironies are what bring us to a position of humility. It taught me how to reflect and carefully choose the proper word in addressing every issue and every single person. It taught me to pause and assess first. It taught me self-control and to wait for the right time. It taught me to be sensitive and gentle. It taught me to be humble enough to accept my mistake and the mistake of others.
This wordplay of sarcasm which I used to love have been turned by God into words that give encouragement, light and hope which made this blog alive. 🙂
There are still times now wherein if I am not conscious and I am not putting up my guard, some of the wrong choice of words or improper delivery of my sentences i.e. tone, etc. still come out even if I intentionally did not mean it. But then, when the Spirit is in you, the rebuke will always be there – through your guilt, your conscience and your heart. That is because my eyes have been opened to the Truth and to what is right.
My husband can attest to the number of times I have almost or even crushed his spirit completely because of the words I have uttered towards him. I only realize it when he would tell me that what I told him made him realize about his weaknesses, mistakes and that I was right. But hearing him say these, I can feel the pain and see it in his eyes.
Now this struck me to the core. Oh dear Lord, I have hurt him with my words. When I sense the pain in his tone, I immediately apologize and hug him tight and assure him that I don’t mean it. But as we all know, we can never take back the words we have spoken.
Moreover, whichever words we hear that elicited a strong emotion in us usually have the greatest impact and will be retained in the memory. If it is in the memory, it will be easily remembered – we are forever reminded. Not to mention that mean words also fuel anger and dissension which lead to conflicts, violence and eventually chaos.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1
Thus, in my pursuit towards humble repentance, I prayed to God to shield any person from any hurt that can be derived from any vile word that I unknowingly or have intentionally blurted out. I prayed even more for maximum restraint and discernment. I prayed that forgiveness will rule in our hearts and heal all wounds inflicted – the humble acceptance of mistakes.
Humility is the very core of Christianity. I don’t think I can ever define faith without it. Grace teaches us that. The Cross symbolized nothing more but Grace through humility – submission and acceptance even if undeserving. For how can God subject Himself to a lowly form here on Earth in the image of a man, devoid of any distinct title or position in the society, free from material wealth or possessions and suffered a great deal which no one else have experienced and YET did not sin even once so we could all be free from the bondage of sin?
God is God – the Alpha and the Omega, Omnipotent and Supreme. He is in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ symbolizes nothing more but humility and acceptance out of obedience and love for His Father, His creator.
We all can never submit, accept and obey if there is no humility. It is actually humility that makes repentance possible which leads on to SALVATION. Again, it all goes back to the Cross.
So why should life be so ironic? Simply because Life’s Like That – full of ironies so we could all learn humility. Humility is God’s way of saving us from the perils of pride and other sins which bring much of this world’s chaos and complications in relationships.
Yes, Life’s Like That. 🙂