Day 14 – The Lost Tie, A Lost Life




When we take gifts given to us from God and wander away from Him, we lose the tie and the relationship with the Giver. The gifts that come from God ought to be connected to Him, the Giver. A gift away from the Giver "loses" its meaning and power and ceases to be a gift. It is reduced to a mere possession. It loses its life! And this also happens to the person possessing it. Losing its life-giving quality, the gift, now a possession, ceases to satisfy. It dries up. Then we desire to go find satisfaction elsewhere, trying to get our hands on other things, and pursuing one satisfaction after another. This process never ends, repeating for as long as we are in our distant country.
One may ask, how would I know I am in my distant country? Besides being always wanting, we may feel isolated, lonely, that nobody understands us, restless, empty, and we may also suffer from big mood swings, between being super excited and extreme sadness and anger, a lack of inner peace, and the list goes on and on.

In this distant country, we will starve even though we are surrounded by pleasures and riches, fame and power. It seems that all the world cannot satisfy our thirst.

A thirst for something bigger that we do not comprehend. And even if we know that it is God we thirst for, we may lack the motivation and the drive to come to Him, or we simply cannot let go of what we currently possess. This is how it feels to be in our distant country.

The story of the Rich Young Man gives us a lot of insights into a person who is in his distant country wanting and thirsting. He wasn't content, even with all his possessions. He was thirsting for something bigger, and he knew he had to go to Jesus for a solution to his inner struggles. He made the right move, yet, the story ended with him going away sad, for he had many possessions. The story of the Rich Young Man invites us into a deeper reflection. (Matthew 19:16–30, Mark 10:17–31, Luke 18:18–30)

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him. "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

(Mark 10:21)

As we hold onto what we possess, we can easily miss the higher goals in life. God has given us the gifts to help us achieve higher goals. Every gift given has a purpose, and it has to be outwardly oriented. If we turn a gift inward for selfish motives, the gift will lose its purpose, leaving us sad like the rich young man.

On the other hand, in terms of finding God, instead of looking outward, we should look inward. God is not in the distant country, He is in our hearts. He is waiting for us, wanting to seek us out. He is the one who feels helpless witnessing us drifting away and wandering in our distant country, subjecting ourselves to the yoke and temptations of the Devil.

Just as Jesus looked at the rich young man and loved him, our Heavenly Father also looks at us and loves us, and He awaits us to respond to His call, "Come back to me."


We need to know, deep inside our hearts, what we are really thirsting for. Think deeper, what is your heart's desire?

In your life, are you hopping from one pursuit to the next, from one satisfaction to the next? Do you feel that you are in your distant country?

In what ways are you like the rich young man in the Bible?


Dear Heavenly Father, I feel that I am like the rich young man in the Bible. When you called me to go out to use the gifts You have given me to serve others, I ended up closing into myself serving my own interests. And when you called me to enter into my own heart to find You and be with You, I aimlessly went out to seek other things but You. My life is so filled with blindspots that I am not even aware of. Please grant me a new and clear vision. Set before me a new direction to go after You. Do not allow me to get lost in my own preoccupations and possessions. I believe that in my life nothing other than You is more worthy of my attention. I pray that I will fix my gaze on You from this day onward, and to never turn my back on You anymore! I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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Sincerely invite you to share the reflections that inspires you by this day's retreat.