When Tradition Gets in the Way

I was watching an episode of Sofia the First last night as I lull my son to sleep (perks of motherhood, this is now my favorite show) and a mother-daughter scene caught my attention. It was Sofia's witch friend, Lucinda and her mom. The mother and daughter tandem are wicked witches. As part of their mother's day celebration, they flew on to their brooms and hex the whole day. However, Lucinda did not want to be a wicked witch anymore. She wanted to cast good spells instead. Her mom, furious, reminded her that they came from a family of wicked witches--her grandma, her mom and now her. 

Lucinda and her mom, bewitching all day. Photos are from Google Images 
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Even if it was just an animation, my heart went out for Lucinda. All she wanted was to be the good witch, but because everyone in her family was not raised that way, the word "good witch" became a forbidden word. All because of preserving their tradition.

Just like Lucinda, I also grew up practicing a lot of traditions. Tradition, while it is not totally bad, it's also not good all the time. I believe, it becomes detrimental when it stops us from seeing the truth, when it forbids us to do what is suppose to be done. A yearly traditional family vacation is awesome and is exempted to the "unfavorable tradition". 

When I was planning my wedding years ago, Bryan and I decided to have a black and white reception. A lot of people reacted negatively to that idea. Some even criticized. I guess a black and white wedding reminded them of Halloween. It turned out like we were transported back in the 40's. It looked classy, just the way I envisioned it. Black and white wedding is not traditional, so I understand why some people reacted that way. If Bryan and I shook away that idea and stuck with the conventional, we wouldn't have seen how beautiful a black and white set-up was.
Our wedding venue in 2010! 
What now?

Growing up, I thought everything was about religion. I grew up religious, feeling guilty at times when I fail to do certain religious activities and feeling so good when I ace one. I thought I was doing well. I thought I secured my eternal future because of all these good deeds. Until one day, I got tired of doing the same routine and was seeking for something else. I wasn't even sure what I was looking for. All I know is, something's missing.

During that time when I regarded religion as the most important thing in my life, Jesus came and offered relationship to me. I cannot even describe how beautiful that encounter was with Him. 


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. - Romans 8:1


When all my life I was told to do things to sacrifice, Jesus said, I died for you. 

When I feel ashamed of all my shortcomings, Jesus said, I love you just the same. 

When I find no time for him, Jesus said, I will always pursue you.

When I experience persecutions, Jesus said, "I am the truth."

When I was held with chains, Jesus said, "I set you free." 

When my ways go otherwise, Jesus said, "I am the way. Come, follow me"

He said, "Follow me." Follow Jesus. Just Him. When all my life I was following some set of rules and traditions, this man offered himself. All the while, he was just waiting patiently for me with open arms, so ready for that warmest, cuddliest embrace. Little by little, as I got to know him better each day, I also learned to give up the conventional things I embraced before him. Why? Because apart from him, everything else is rubbish. And in him, there is freedom, there is victory. This man did everything for me (and for you, too!). Isn't that the most amazing thing? Whatever imperfections I (you) have, his love still overflows--as vast as the ocean.

"The kingdom of heaven is like a man looking for fine pearls. When he found a very valuable pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it. - Matthew 13:45-46 NCV

....and when I found him, I chose to follow him; not for what I did for him, but for what he has done for me. 

I am still a work in progress, but I'm just really grateful that I am no longer the person who I used to be. 

embracing grace,
Ethel









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