The Sheep Know the Voice of their Shepherd

I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me… The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. …He goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:14, 3-4

So why the title of my blog, Quality Time With You?

I once had a talk with a friend. At that time, I was stressed dealing with different personalities at our law office and their work styles, which are different from my own that I blurted out, “Kapag pagod nako, saka ko sinusuko kay Lord.” (Only when I get tired do I surrender it to the Lord.)

But then my friend wisely said,
“Bakit ganon? Kapag binigay mo Kay Lord kapag pagod ka na, wala ka na time para makinig sa kanya. May sasabihin pa Siya sayo e. Dapat sa umpisa pa lang, ibigay mo na kay Lord para pag naging madali na, may time ka na para makinig sa sasabihin niya sayo.” (Why is it like that? If you surrender it to the Lord only after you get worn out, you no longer have time to listen to Him. He still has something to say to you. It should be – from the start, surrender it to the Lord so that when things become easier, you would have time to listen to what He has to say to you.)

I was dumbstruck. How old was I now yet this was the first time I heard of such concept. I guess I tried that before – asking for God’s help – but only when the problem has become too big for me to handle. If the task is easy – I shouldn’t need to bother anyone else, right?

I forgot our Lord is the God of big and small things. He wants us to go to Him for whether what we worry about is big or small. He is delighted when we bring to Him not just our giant trials but also our smallest worry – even asking for His help in picking cool jeans for OOTD at a price within the budget (based on another friend’s true story!).

In one homily of Fr. Patrick Calimlim at our office building, he asked, “Why do we pray when we are about to travel far, but not when we just have to cross the street? Why do we pray when a loved one’s health fails, but not when he simply has a minor fever? We no longer pray when we deal with minor matters. But even in the smallest details, He cares. Fr. Pat hoped that we become close to the Lord that even the small details we tell and pray to the Lord about them.

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Matthew 10:30

The following days, I started each task with a prayer. I call on Him and thank Him every time I recognize Him and His works in my day. Even in moments when I am down, I know the Lord is with me because those were the moments I cling to Him more – those instances when I remember – that though people may fail me, the Lord never will because He is faithful and His love is constant.

But there was a second message from my friend that was even more awe-inspiring: there is a purpose why I needed to surrender everything to the Lord from the start ~ so I would have time to listen to what He has to say to me.

Huwaaat? God has something to say to me? And He is just waiting for me to ask Him what that is?

I have got to try this out!! It was a new game plan and I was excited with this takeaway.

It was not until after a few days later that I remembered to try it out.

At one time I got to do a 3 am prayer time, I did my usual prayers and prayer intentions. When I was about to end my prayer, I remembered my friend’s suggestion ~ to take the time to listen to God’s message for me!

And so I prayed,
“Hello Lord, this is the first time I’m gonna do this so it is sort of weird but anyway, do you have any message for me now? Your servant is listening.”

And then silence.

Without expecting anything specific, a thought suddenly popped in my head. I don’t know how or why? But suddenly there was this whole thought in my mind. Not word for word, or sentence per sentence, but a whole paragraph! I felt the Lord telling me,

Sabi mo quality time love language mo. Sabi mo pag may moments of quality time ka, feeling mo ni-hu-hug ka. E bakit ganun ang konti ng quality time natin, e gusto pa kita i-hug… (You said quality time is your love language. You said if you get to have moments of quality time (with others), you feel you are being hugged by them. Why is it then that we have little quality time when I want to hug you mor?

I cried. Buckets. I felt enveloped with His love.

It didn’t feel like someone making me feel guilty for not spending as much time with Him. It felt more like the Lord was trying to get my attention and requesting for more time with me!

How could this be? The Lord asking more time to spend with me? I know I’m busy but shouldn’t He be busier dealing with other’s people’s problems than spend the time with me? And yet here He is saying, nay, requesting, nay, wanting – to spend more time with me!

Right then and there I promised we would have more quality time – to simply spend time with Him, set dates with Him, even “waste” time with Him, every day. And trust that while doing so, He would take care of everything. I promised to defend this time with Him.

“Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
A third time the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.
1 Samuel 3: 1-11

Of course, I am far from being a Samuel. But I feel so fortunate for Samuel to teach me to ask the Lord for his message and pray,

“Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Thank you Samuel! Life has never been the same.

Last December 30, 2015 before I took on the challenge of having my own blog – knowing that is my gift and offering to the Lord last Christmas for His greater glory – I prayed before I started working on it.

It took me almost the whole day to think of a fitting title to my very own blog – something catchy yet unique to me and the message it will send to people. At morning, I asked the Lord to brainstorm with me and inspire me with what He wanted me to call our blog. Around 6 in the evening, I suddenly thought what better name to call our very own blog than “Quality Time With You”. That is what we have been doing – spending quality and even quantity time with each other, just getting to know each other more and more.

Writing the first article entitled “Quality Time With You: A Tribute To Outreach People” took a shorter time to finish – three-fourths of the night because I still had dinner and watched a bit of TV that night while on Christmas break then. Yup, I didn’t sleep that night and I got to finish it with the help of the Lord! It was one of those things I just have to do.

It must be noted that my quality time with the Lord that I wrote about in my first blog article, was not the first time I listened to the Lord’s message.  This story behind the title “Quality Time With You” was the first, thus, the most memorable to me thus far.

I end this article with a song from a mini-concert that I attended. Please take the time to listen to it online or better yet buy the CD para feel na feel ninyo message ni Lord. Hehehe! It was apt then as it is now –

image

This Time With You

Music, lyrics & arrangement: Paulo K. Tirol
Piano: Paulo K. Tirol
Guitars: Mark Casquero & Royd Andalis
Bass: Julius Lopez
Drums: Gabby Abes

I take a breath and close my eyes,
And slow my world down for just a while,
And in the stillness, I see You before me.
I let myself go, and open my heart to You

Pre-chorus:
In this special time.
With you, in this secret time.
With you, in this sacred time.
I can’t help but fall in love
In this time with You

Refrain:
I love this time with You.
Only You,
Cause no one else could know me better,
No one else’s heart is closer,
No one’s whispers wake such wonder as Yours do.
And nothing else can make me stronger,
Nothing fills my heart with fire.
Nothing but our time together, me and You.
How I love this secret, sacred time with You.

Your arms so strong, are my strength too,
Your tight embrace, says “I’m with you.”
Your touch so gentle says through all that’s changing.
Through whens, wheres and whys,
The one thing that’s sure is You

(Pre-chorus and refrain)

Your heart to mine, we converse in the silence
Where so much is said wordlessly.
Lost in Your rapture, I gladly surrender,
Letting Your love move in me
With this time with You

(Refrain)

How I love this secret, sacred time
How I love this secret, sacred time
How I love this secret, sacred time with You

Oh and advance happy bday friend! Thank you for challenging and teaching me ~ I know now how to listen better and got to hear the Lord’s first message for me! 🙂

Time to shine!

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