My Pentecost moment

On the second last day of my personal retreat earlier this year, my retreat director suggested that I spend the whole of that day anticipating the gift and presence of the Holy Spirit, just as it happened on the day of Pentecost.

May 26, 2023

Word Made Fresh - Nicholas Lye

On the second last day of my personal retreat earlier this year, my retreat director suggested that I spend the whole of that day anticipating the gift and presence of the Holy Spirit, just as it happened on the day of Pentecost. This was meant to equip and empower me for the personal mission that God had placed in my heart.

After reflecting on some of the Scripture passages offered by my retreat director, I went about my day anticipating a significant Pentecost moment for myself. In the afternoon, I read three chapters of a book that inspired me greatly in the earlier days of my retreat. But for some disappointing reason, nothing stirred on that particular day.

I then decided to make another Labyrinth walk in the compounds of the retreat centre, which had previously offered me very deep insights about my life. Yet halfway through my prayer walk, when nothing seemed to inspire me, I felt the Lord hinting to me that I really did not require any ‘special’ method or place of prayer to encounter the Spirit in a deep and profound way. It was then that I realised how I might have been trying too hard to orchestrate a dramatic Pentecost moment for myself.

What did eventually surprise me after dinner, after I gave up trying so hard and simply decided to go for a nice, casual walk around the retreat centre, was when I felt invited by God to talk about my thoughts and feelings towards a particular incident that happened last year. At first, it felt like a ‘bad’ time to be doing so, considering there were many unpleasant and frustrating emotions accompanying that incident, and I certainty did not want to end my retreat with a ‘bad’ aftertaste. Still, I trusted in the Lord and proceeded to rant and rave about how hurt and angry I felt during that incident, airing out all my pent-up feelings and thoughts that had been kept buried deep within me after all these months.

I soon found myself walking towards the adoration room in one of the retreat buildings, and eventually sat in front of the Blessed Sacrament, feeling so heard and held by the Lord after expressing all that I was feeling. It actually felt good to have been able to offload all my burdens to God, which at the same time, also gave me a better understanding of what was really upsetting me, and what was not giving me life during that incident. Through this, I was also able to realise and acknowledge for myself that what is important for me is to be given sufficient autonomy and trust to do things in the unique way that I was created for, and that not every environment or type of work may allow me to do so. This realisation and acknowledgement suddenly gave me such a comforting sense of release, along with a greater freedom and joy to want to start choosing the kind of environment or work that best allows me to be my authentic self, without needing to please others or meeting the expectations of others.

Finally, God asked me, “What do you really want?” as if it were my birthday, coinciding with the birthday of the Church at Pentecost. I gave some thought to His question and finally answered: “I want to be free to be me, to find places and people with whom I can be free to be myself, and build God’s kingdom in the unique way I was created to be. I also want to be able to help others to do the same.”

As the above words left my heart and mouth, I not only felt this deep connection and joy of being able to articulate one of my deepest desires to God and myself, I was also so moved that God would even ask me what I wanted; that He loved and honoured me so much that He cared about my deepest desires (which on hindsight, were placed there by Him in the first place). This proved to be such a Pentecostal moment for me, for it felt like God was speaking my language in such a way that truly connected to the depths of my heart. It gave me renewed inspiration and encouragement to live out the personal mission I was meant for, in the way that is most authentically me.

Through this, I now realise that a Pentecost moment can take place in the simplest of ways, when I get to be most honest with myself and God, and when it leads me to a better understanding of who I truly am. This allows me to become more fully alive as myself, and bring life to others in the unique way I was created to , and to speak the unique language that is meant for particular individuals who would be able to hear God speak through me. All the Spirit really desires to do in and for us, is to set us free to become the person God created us to be, and this, according to St Catherine of Sienna, is what allows us to set the world on fire.

(Nicholas Lye personal mission is to bring hope, healing and a taste of heaven on earth to others, particularly through the gift of creativity and authenticity. He also hopes to encourage, enable and empower others to become who they are uniquely created to be.)

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