Is offering thanksgiving to God weird?
After being baptized in the Church of God a decade ago, some people opposed to my faith began to worry and picture in their minds that I am practicing some weird doctrine. My being grateful and thankful to God is one virtue they love to hate.
Take for instance my weekly sojourn to offer Thanksgiving to God in Apalit, Pampanga. It’s what continue to confound those who still don’t understand. They haven’t heard of Bro. Eli Soriano preach with all manifestations of sincerity and faithful leadership for a long time so I understand them. Paying attention, listening and listening is important to change the heart.
Only if these people could enter my heart and feel the heart of a thankful Christian. What they will feel inside me is a different sense of joy. The kind of joy that start every time the bus I am riding going to Apalit inches closer, closer and closer to the gates of the ADD Convention Center for this weekly service.
To these people, there’s nothing weirder than repeating, repeating and repeating week after week and then another week, then every quarter — for three straight days — my Thanksgiving pilgrim. If people only know, they will never contest that offering thanksgiving to God is an obligation that very human being is supposed to be doing regularly.
I just hope maybe they are misinformed. The perceptions against my faith are mostly negative borne out in the hearts and minds of people who did their lazy work of investigation from the channels of detractors.
They have to pay the price of listening to these mainstream hate factories. The cyclones of quizzical stares, whisperings and laughing behind the back, mud-slinging and fault-finding are the early berry fruits of being influenced.
I hope that they feel happy for me because I have peace of mind after finding what I am searching for in a very, very long time. Of course I did a careful research of all available faiths in my town and in every place where I stayed or lived in the past. When I finally decided my future with this faith, I didn’t consult anyone so I don’t have anyone to blame. Yet now it’s the despicable me after being honest with myself.
The more that my faith grows deeper and deeper, the more that I forget the word regret will ever apply to my situation. Still others feel they are obligated to feel that regret for me.
Thankfully to God, I was never moved nor swayed by the persecutions nor the criticisms. Some still don’t agree with my faith wholly but am thankful that I also earned some new respect, even friends. They are convinced we are not the kind who pay hate with hate. Now they know that in my religion, we are not taught to inflict harm to people just because they hate us.
Until today my only hope stays the same: for people to find and spend some time to listen to Bro. Eli and Bro Daniel preach. They can even inquire personally these preachers if we really are practicing weird or strange faith. Am sure they will be convinced we are not what others have perceived us like.
Cultivating the virtue of gratitude, especially for God, is spiritually sound as it is bible-based.
So on July 5 to 7, I will be joining thousands of Christians who will be offering thanksgiving to God for a blessed quarter. As early as this day, I am already looking forward to the celebratory mood, the vibrant smell of thankful souls, sincere expression of love, and some new biblical wisdom that will be served by MCGI leaders.
I have found the true faith and it’s like no other in the world today. Like my brethren, it is what I look forward to in thanking God and what makes me feel very proud.