Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Encounter

Three things I learned today after going to Luneta to see the Pope:
• Following God is tough. Sometimes you won't get what you worked hard for. But what matters most is that You encountered God wherever you are. I was not able to see the Pope upclose but I know in my heart that through his whole visit, I encountered the Lord.
• Faith is an adventure. You'll hit and miss. You'll feel pain and joy. You'll lose hope and find hope again. Just keep focused on where your destination is (heaven), and what your goal is (love God). Today, we walked from UN LRT station to Luneta, then Luneta to SM Manila, then SM Manila to Gil Puyat station. We got drenched in the rain. We had a glimpse of the Pope. We ate Chicken Joy. We bought new shirts and slippers. We laughed hard. We felt so tired. But I'm going home happy and fulfilled.
• Focus on the goodness that God placed in other people's hearts. We encountered a lot of selfish people today. however, I don't want to remember them. And so I thank God for those who showed kindness-the policemen who carried people over the barricade due emergency, the Kuyas who carried us in crossing barricades, the people who  accompanied us in the line, and the two persons who joined me in my dream to meet the Pope.

Thanks for being our sunshine, Pope Francis. Thanks for being our sun, God.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I Just Want to Feel This Moment

I slept late last night because I made a pair of wings as part of my angel costume for our Christmas party today. When I woke up, it was already 1pm. No!!! So many things went inside my head like: How could I miss our Christmas party? Sayang yung costume ko! Namiss ko na yung iPad raffle? Kawawa naman yung nabunot ko sa exchange gifts.

I could not believe it so I told myself I was just dreaming. I jumped up and down, and opened my eyes wide, just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I checked the clock and it was still 1pm. I slapped my face and did a cartwheel, and it was still 1pm. Then I heard the sound the alarm clock. And I woke up. It was just 6:30am. It was just a dream! And so I stood up right away and prepared for our party with much gusto.

With so many things happening around us, plus various thoughts in our heads, it is so easy to get away from the present. We'll just realize later on that we've missed a good chance to embrace a moment. And the painful thing is that we are not dreaming.

Can you imagine a happy person in your mind? In my imagination, a happy person is someone whistling while walking, feeling the breeze with a smile etching on his face from forehead to chin. This means that a happy person is not in a rush. A happy person feels the moment. And I want to be like that. When I am at work, I want to be productive so I can achieve my targets on time. When I'm with my family, I want us to hug, laugh, and have fun because we are feeling the moment of togetherness. When in traffic, I want to engage in a fruitful conversation with the person next to me, or grab a book and savour some alone time.

God never rushes. He can actually make anything in a snap of a finger, but He takes his own sweet time for His intricate plans. For instance, He forms a baby for 9 months inside the mother's womb. Then it takes about another year before the baby learns to walk, and two years to talk a bit clearly.

Whenever we feel find ourselves in a rush, pray the "Do Not Hurry Prayer" shared by Bill Gautiere of Soul Shepherding ministry:

Do not hurry…
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
Trust in him and he will do this: he will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
Do not hurry… Do not hurry.
Psalm 37:1-8*

Breathe in, breathe out. Feel this moment. God is embracing you now.


*NIV; Gautiere replaced "fret" with "hurry"

(Published in Feast Binan's Bulletin on December 20, 2014)