God over Google // 上帝勝過Google

0 person voted for this people voted for this |
Google1

Janice kept turning to the internet for help when she really should be asking God Himself.
Janice在應該向神求助的時候,卻不停地在互聯網上尋找答案。

Whenever something goes wrong or not according to plan in my life, the first thing I turn to is Google.

I’d type into search box:

“How to deal with stonewalling…”
“How to fix a broken window…”
“How to plant herbs at home…”
“How to treat sun burns…”

Now, the internet can definitely be a great thing. It can be a great resource, a place for those to share experiences and information. You think you’re an expert at something or have gone through experience of some kind… share it with the world in a forum, a blog article or even a Facebook post. Especially in recent years, my newsfeed as well as my daily reading materials seem to be inundated with lists made by this writer or that scientist gathering facts about how to live life and handle relationships with friends and loved ones.

I’m just scrolling through my newsfeed right now and here are a few articles that have popped up:

“15 Signs You’re With a Loser…”
“20 Signs You’re Succeeding in Life, Even if You Don’t Think You Are…”
“16 Things You Need to do to Live Life Without Regrets…”
“10 Habits Healthy Couples Have…”
“5 Things You Should Know About Introverts…”

Reading through these self-help articles can make one feel almost as though they have a handle on life and relationships. That if they just follow these things, everything will come out peachy and swell.

I especially turn to them when I am in need. When I don’t know how to tackle a problem, a relationship, an event, I seek Google to guide me on how to respond.

I was doing this very thing just the other day after I heard that a dear friend is grieving over a sudden death of a loved one. This friend is very special to me so I wanted to behave just right so that this friend will feel safe and comforted when chatting with me. So that this friend can open up if so desired but also can use me as a distraction to not think about the pain and hurt. I wanted to be the perfect friend to this hurting bereaved. So I went on Google and typed up “How To Support Someone Who is Grieving”. Many articles popped up.

One article told me to reach out and support them and to make sure they know you’re there if they need it.

After reading that, I sent my friend a text asking them out for an outing later on in the week. That friend didn’t respond so I panicked, worried that I may have pushed that friend to hang out too soon.

I read another article that told me to give the bereaved space to grieve alone.

So I sent another text telling this friend that there is no need to respond to my message and if space is what is needed, we don’t have to hang. My friend still didn’t respond so I panicked even more thinking I had done something wrong and now this friend is upset or annoyed with me.

I read a third article advising me to suggest taking up simple tasks and errands for the bereaved as a way to show you are there and you care without overburdening them.

So I called up my friend asking if I could help bring over some groceries. That was shut down with a prompt “no.”

Now by this time, I was starting to get very distressed. Thoughts flooding into my head about how I can’t navigate being a good friend in times of crisis and I was starting to get really confused and anxious.

It was then when God suddenly popped into my head and said, “Hey! Wait one second here, did you ever think to ask me what you need to do during this time?”

I realized no, I hadn’t.

I hadn’t asked God for His advice during this entire time I was stressing. All I wanted were concrete words written by my fellow men to help me behave or act a certain way during this period. A thought here or there flickered through my brain suggesting I should probably have a chat with Him seeing as after all, He is the Creator and the Lord of my life but those thoughts were quickly dismissed with excuses of how it would take too long or the answers I hear won’t be concrete enough. All in all, asking God for the answer seemed much harder than asking Google.

But since when has anyone ever said the Christian life would be easy?

In Matthew 16:24: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’”

In my current scenario, it means more than ever to forego the easy-to-search solutions from all these “How To” manifestos that I read and really delve deep into the character of Christ and of God to find out how to follow Him in the best way possible through my interactions with my friend. I really needed to ask how I should behave so that I can be the best representative of a follower of Christ in the eyes of my friend, other people, and more importantly Christ Himself.

 “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
- Galatians 1:10

God answered me, “Pray for your friend.”

Duh. Probably a great majority of God’s responses to our life’s conundrums is this. Even though it’s an oldie, it’s also a goodie.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
- Philippians 4:6

Praying boldly to God has always been something that I’ve been hesitant about doing. It’s always my first instinct to think that God probably wouldn’t want to be burdened with these problems of mine. And I think even deeper down, it reflects my lack of faith that God won’t answer my prayers or may give me a solution that is too abstract to understand right away. But how else can I test my faith and trust in God if I can’t even pray to Him about things like this?

So I’ve been praying for my friend and I shall continue to pray.

“Father God, I lift my friend and the family up to You. May You comfort them in this time of grief and soothe their aching hearts. May Your Holy Spirit dwell in them and give them the answers and the peace that they seek. May You take away lies of the enemy that may blame, accuse or tell them there were more things they could have done to love the deceased.  May they speak openly and honestly with You, sharing their anger, hurt, frustration, sadness and confusion with You. We trust and know that You are God, You are Lord and You can and will carry all our burdens and feelings. We pray that this will be a time they can be closer to You in relationship than ever before, walking and fully trusting in You to speak to them. May You most importantly just love on this family. Overwhelm them with your indescribable love and comfort and soften their hearts so they can receive Your love to the fullest. If there is anything You would like me to be or do in this person’s life, please reveal that to me and share with me. Thank You for being You, Almighty and Holy and Good forever more.”

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
-       Romans 12:15

每當遇到不順心意的事,或者事情發展沒有根據我的人生計劃發生,我第一件總會立刻到Google網站。

我會在搜尋欄中輸入:

“如何處理難關……”
“如何修復一個破碎的窗口……”
“如何在家裡種植香草……”
“如何處理太陽曬傷……”

互聯網絕對是一項偉大的發明,是一個很好的資源,一個分享經驗和資訊的地方。要是你認為你在某一方面是一個專家,或者你認為你有某一種豐富經驗,你可以到網上論壇、博客,甚至在Facebook,與世界一同分享。特別是近幾年,我的Facebook動態消息以及日常的閱讀材料,似乎被淹沒在某些作家或科學家的資訊當中,而那訊息大多關於如何生活,或如何處理好與朋友和親人的關係。

我剛剛瀏覽動態消息時,又冒出了幾篇文章:

“15個你和失敗者在一起的跡象……”
“20個成功人生的條件,即使你不認為你會成功……”
“16件你人生必需做的事……”
“10個健康情侶應有的習慣……”
“5件有關內向性格的人和事……”

閱讀這些自我幫助的文章,幾乎讓我們覺得已掌握了對生活和關係上的許多處理方法,讓我們覺得如果一直遵循這些文章所說的,一切就會變得順利無比。

尤其是當我不知道如何解決一個問題、一段關係、一件事件的時候, 我也會特別依賴Google來指導我如何應對。

前陣子, 當我聽到一位朋友悼念他突然過世的親人後,我又做了同樣的事情。這個朋友對我很重要, 所以我想在這時候好好處理,使他與我聊天時感到安全和自在,好讓他能打開心窗、與我傾訴心事。或者,若果他不想觸景傷情,我也可以跟他聊聊天以示安慰。在他經歷失去親人的時候, 我想成為他完美的朋友。於是我就在Google鍵入了“如何支持悼念親人的朋友”,便有許多文章彈了出來。

一篇文章告訴我,伸出手去支持他們,以確保他們需要你的時候,你就在那裡。

看完這文章後,我發了一條短訊給我的朋友,邀請他過幾天出來見面。他沒有回應,我就慌了,擔心我可能太早發出邀請。

然後我又讀到另一篇文章,告訴我要給失去親人的朋友空間、獨自悼念。

於是我又發了另一條短訊告訴他, 如果他需要空間,他不用回應我的短訊,我們也不一定要見面。我的朋友還是沒有回應,所以我就更慌了!甚至懷疑我是否做錯,惹來他不高興或生氣…

我再讀第三篇文章, 它建議我去做簡單的差事,以此來表明你在他身邊,以及你會在沒有壓力的情況下關心他們 。

於是我打電話給我的朋友,問他我可否為他送上一些日用品。朋友的回答竟是堅決的一句:“不需要”。

這個時候,我開始變得心疼、困惑和焦慮,許多思緒湧入我的腦海,我無法在他遇上問題時充當一個好朋友。

就在這刻,神在我腦海裡出現,並說:「嘿!等一下,你有沒有想過要問我,你在這段時間需要什麼? 」

我才意識到沒有,我沒有…

我沒有在憂心煩惱的時候,請求神的指引和建議。我之前只想過,要在別人的文章裡找到幫助,或一些具體的行為和方法。曾經有一刻,我腦海內閃過一個要跟祂聊一聊的念頭,因衪是造物主也是我生命的主,但這些想法很快被許多藉口蓋過去了,例如:會不會要等很久?祂的答案會不會不夠具體等?總結而言,祈求神給予答案似乎比問Google要難得多。

但誰說基督徒的生活是容易的?

馬太福音16:24 – 「耶穌對他的門徒說: 「誰願意做我的門徒必須捨己,背起自己的十字架來跟從我。」」

在我這個情況下,最重要的是放下網上搜索解決方案的習慣,不再依賴那些“如何”的文章,反而要探究神和基督的樣式,透過跟我朋友的互動,來尋找跟隨祂的的最佳方式。與其研究如何成爲最好的朋友,不如問自己應該如何表現,才能在朋友、其他人和基督的眼中,成為一個跟隨基督的優秀代表 。

「我現在是要得人的心呢,還是要得神的心呢?我豈是討人的喜歡嗎?若仍舊討人的喜歡,我就不是基督的僕人了。」
- 加拉太書1:10

神回應了我:「為你的朋友祈禱吧。」

當然,大概絕大多數神回應我們的生活難題都是這樣的。不過,儘管是相同的回應,這也是個好的回應。

「不要擔心什麼,但在任何情況下,藉著禱告,祈求,和感謝,將你們所要的神。」
- 腓立比書 4:6

憑信心向神禱告是我一直猶豫的事情。我的直覺總是認為神大概不願意為我處理這些問題,而且我心底裡更覺得,它實際上反映了我的小信,覺得神大概不會回應我的禱告,或會給我一些很抽象、不能馬上明白的回應。但是,如果我不能為了這些事情向祂祈禱,我又如何測試我對祂的信心和信任呢?

所以我繼續為我的朋友祈禱,我會一直祈禱。

「阿爸父,我將我的朋友和他的家人交托給袮。願袮在他們悼念親人的時候,安慰他們悲痛的心。願袮的聖靈降臨到他們當中,給他們答案和他們所尋求的平安。願袮帶走敵人種下的謊言、那些叫他們責備自己的謊言,指責他們在生前給這位親人的愛,或為這位親人所做的不足夠。願他們打開心扉地跟袮説話,與袮分享他們的憤怒、傷害、沮喪、悲傷和困惑。我們相信並且知道袮是神,袮是主,袮可以擔起我們所有的負擔和感受。我們禱告,祈求這次,將會是我朋友比以往任何時候都更能夠與袮貼近、與你同行,並完全信靠袮的說話。最重要的,就是願袮用袮的愛祝福這個家庭。願他們被袮那不能用筆墨形容的愛和安慰充滿,願袮軟化他們的心,使他們能夠完完全全的得到袮的愛。如果袮想我為這個朋友做些什麼,或在他生命裡充當一個什麼樣的角色,請容我知道並差遣我。感謝袮,全能、神聖和永在的神。」

「與喜樂的人要同樂,與哀哭的人要同哭。」
- 羅馬書12:15

Comments

comments

  • Find Us on Facebook // 在Facebook關注我們

  • Archives // 見證重溫

  • Readers Reporters