What if we begin to invest in the lives of ordinary folks within our reach?
They say that in terms of being best of friends, dogs are to men while diamonds are to ladies. Though I am not a lady, I wouldn’t mind owning a piece of diamond! Who wouldn’t want one? This piece of jewelry is definitely a fortune. No wonder, if you adorn a lady with such a precious stone, she ends up beaming with pride.
I was reading a leadership book and I stumbled upon an interesting illustration about diamonds. It says:
“In a best-case scenario, in the world’s most diamond-rich mining locations, about one hundred tons of dirt must be removed per carat of diamonds. In the average diamond mining locations, 1,000 tons of dirt yield one carat of diamonds. That’s a lot of dirt to remove in order to discover a small number of diamonds.” (Murrel and Murrel, 2017)
I realized that in one way or another, we are all polished diamonds in the making. While some have been found out, polished and are already flaunting their sparkling beauty, some of us still lie beneath the surface, waiting to be removed from the dirt. We all have potential, we all have a purpose. However, we have different seasons. Some are being fleshed out from the dirt, some are awaiting discovery.
It’s easy for us to look at people with “sparkling” personality as if they’re the only real deal. We look up to them. We try to pattern our lives with them. But if we look around us, we will discover that a lot of people are waiting for us to lift them out of the dirt and help them to find their “beauty” within themselves. We look at the old cab driver and see him just as he is – an old cab driver trying to make both ends meet. We pass by “mommy” usher in the church and see her as she is – simply a married woman who tries not to miss her Sunday routine in spite of her marital problems. We try to ignore and not give much of a concern to that unruly teenage neighbor because we think we have more things to attend to than spend time with a “delinquent” juvenile.
Only those with glittery lives catch our attention.
But what if we begin to invest in the lives of ordinary folks within our reach? What if, while waiting for our complete transformation to become flawless diamonds ourselves, we try to unearth some people from the dirt, help them clean them up and speed up their “makeover” process? The concept may seem odd and vague but I think you know what I mean – let us add value to people, help them in their respective journeys and believe in what they are capable to do. Let’s give them hope, encourage them, and share our lives to them. Let’s begin to look at them as who they really are – a diamond!
In order for a diamond to be a sparkling diamond, it must be unearthed first.
“But only if we get our hands dirty can we find a diamond in a pile of dirt. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Are you willing to get dirty? ”
Unearthing is not easy. Unearthing means work. Unearthing looks messy and will get your hands dirty. But only if we get our hands dirty can we find a diamond in a pile of dirt. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Are you willing to get dirty? If one can find a diamond in a pile of dirt, I bet he’ll say “it’s worth it!”
I am once a resident of the dirt, wallowing in the filthiness of circumstances and personal view of live. But some people helped me up and encouraged me to see life the way God sees it. I began to see that I am not a product of my circumstances but I am a child of God. I began to see the beauty of life. I began to discover that I am not worthless because I am treasured by the Lord. This is because some people saw past through the dirt in me and saw me as a diamond.
I know you have a story to share too! Now share your story to other and begin investing in a life today. Do a good deed, an act of kindness. Look at people pass through their façade. You’ll never know, you might be living under the same roof with a precious diamond.
Brokenness. It was the overarching theme of the #NFYC2018, at least for me. All throughout the convention God has been telling me that I must be willing to be broken to be made whole again. But what does it mean? Am I not yet a Christian, already made whole by the saving grace of Jesus?
I tried to understand what God has been revealing to me for the past four days of convention. I intentionally had a lot of moments alone to process what is in store for me. My life has been in a hustle these past few months and the whole convention period is a spiritual and physical retreat for me. But receiving a message about being broken is not something I expected. Indeed, it was an unconventional convention.
Writing for the Lord
During one of the sessions, Ptr. Nolan Galido has spoken about embracing the breaking principle. Drawing inspiration from the story of the young boy with five loaves and two fishes, he shared that we must be broken so our resources will be multiplied for the needs of others. The loaves and the fishes were obviously not enough for a multitude of 5000 but when broken and offered to Jesus, a miracle happened right before their very eyes.
I asked myself then, what is it that I have that has be broken and multiplied? I don’t have much of a talent, not much of resources, not much of influence. All I have is my desire to write a book and draw people to the Lord with my writings. I felt a thud in my heart. I offered my dreams unto Jesus and surrendered my desire.
As soon as the convention’s over, one of my writing platforms, my Facebook page, has been compromised. For one, I know I’ve been so gullible, and for another, I think God is teaching me a lesson. It has become a source of distraction for me, if not a source of social media ego food source. At first it was hard to admit that I have been so distracted, but little did I realize that I have been enjoying too much the likes and the comments and all the engagements my page brings. I have to be corrected, and be broken.
But I believe God has restored my passion to write more! And now with a clearer purpose! I now know that I am called to write and disciple the next generation with what I write. I am more energized and more determined to be directed by the Lord as He leads me to where He wants me to. Maybe my page will be restored, maybe not. But God has miraculously caused me not to fret because of what I lost, because He has multiplied my reasons to write.
Brokenness as a Bridge
During the session of house to house evangelism, I really can’t remember how I felt. Yes, there was excitement, there was an edgy feeling, but more than that, I can’t shrug off what Kuya Jomer Gallana said before we were commissioned to evangelize: “If Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to you, then sharing Jesus is the best thing you can do to others”. It was more than just a motivational instruction to share the gospel – it is plainly the truth.
A very receptive sister in Christ
Witnessing to construction workers
Is getting to know Jesus really the best thing that has ever happened to me? No doubt. Then by all means, sharing Jesus has to be the most exhilarating thing that I have to do. I felt that with the housewife we get to share the gospel with, same with the construction workers. My partner and I came to their homes as total strangers. There was in fact no common ground. But there’s one thing we talked about which every one of us had something to share – that is how broken we are because of sin.
Yes sin, the reason why we are all broken and the common ground of all men. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We have presented the gospel. They responded. All because of our brokenness, and we all need to be made whole. If I am not broken, they would not listen to me. But because I am a sinner just like everybody else, the message has been heard.
We are treasures in jars of clay. What makes up the façade is nothing compared to what we hold inside. People see us and they can identify with our mess, with our brokenness, but also they see what emanates from within – the radiating glory of Jesus Christ. We may be broken, but made whole. And we are called to minister to those who are broken around us.
Dying to Ourselves
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
As Ptr. Val Chaves speaks about the necessity of pruning as we abide in the Lord, I was reminded of that verse. Something has to “die”, something has to be given up, so that multiplication can take place. Yes, one can do things on his own and make a productive result, but exponential growth is only possible when we embrace the way God has designed how multiplication has to take place: that we are to die to ourselves and let Him live in us.
Again, another facet of being broken.
The Ascension: Team building act
Going out to the community
I am an overly sensitive person. I often think less of myself, I feel like unimportant. I envy people who can do more, give more, and still remain energized and satisfied. Unlike me who resolves to self-pity even for no apparent reason and often feels tired. While I know my identity in the Lord is secured, my melancholic-phlegmatic personality often takes the lead, which something I really hate. Ika nga, “para akong walang bait sa sarili”.
If I have to die to myself, this is the first thing that I want to bury badly. This dead branch in me has to be pruned, so that fruits will grow and leaves will flourish. Ptr. Val encouraged us to “sow the seed of His promises in the soil of your needs”. Honestly I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to start. I have been a Christian for years but still can’t get pass through my inhibitions. I want to die to my “fears and doubts and self-reliance” and live for God. And God just assured me that time, “let Me break you first”.
“Why the breaking, Lord?”
Broken to be Made Whole
I was very much expectant during the last night; expectant and in full abandon. God has been breaking me since the beginning and it would be foolishness on my part to let the moment pass. I want to be filled with the Spirit. No, I want the overflow of the Spirit.
Ptr. Asaph Shavindran is very anointed speaker. I say this not because many were slain and prophesied as he laid hands on them, but because it is very evident in his countenance and the Holy Spirit really came to those who sought after Him. But what struck me the most during his brief speaking was the fact that we have been neglecting the Person of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. He is a Person, He is God, but we fail to notice Him, much more remember Him.
Fun-filled hosting with Kedebon and Nathan
Not even a power outage can stop Acel Bisa-Van Omen in sharing God’s goodness
Break out: Pastoring with Ptr. Bong P.
Bonus: Wedding Proposal!
I sought after the Holy Spirit like I’ve never done before, and He did not let me down. It was the best moment of my life – not because of the experience, but because I know the Triune God is really in communion with a broken sinner like me, affirming His love and acceptance, His forgiveness and grace.
Maybe this is His answer to my question, “why the breaking, Lord?” He wants me to realize how broken I am without Him. He wants me to know how broken I am apart from Him. And ironically, my brokenness is what caused Him to die on the cross, because He wants to make me whole. As confusing this broken-made whole-broken to minister to the broken-thing, nothing could be clearer to me. That there is a God who loves me in spite of my brokenness, and wants to use me for His glory.
Oh Lord, I am ready for more. Let me multiply for Your glory.
Doing the ministry of the Lord is not about ability. It is about a heart of servanthood, which is evidenced by availability.
When we talk of ministry, you will find out that availability counts more than the ability. In fact, even Jesus, the greatest leader and influencer of all time, chose people not because of what they can do but on their willingness to submit to God’s agenda and schedule. He could have chosen the Pharisees, the spiritual leaders of the time, to mobilize the Good News. They have the influence, prominence and the eloquence to carry out His divine mission. But Jesus turned the world upside down with his ragtag team of ill-tempered, proud, doubtful and cunning disciples. Again, ability counts less, availability matters.
Yet the world looks after people with obvious gifts and prominent influence. We often follow those whose star shines the brightest. We admire them from a distance. We want them on our team. We think we can do more when we get the best and the brightest turn our steering wheel. While there’s nothing wrong with this, often this leads to frustration and defeat. We can’t always have the best people work for us. They are often busy in their own domain that they might not have time the capacity to give you their full attention and own wholeheartedly your vision. They might not always be available.
But we have around us those whose star flickers unnoticeable. They may not stand out but they are there. We just fail to notice them, but they are waiting for their turn to take part in something worthwhile, something great. These “average-gifted” individuals fuel the team’s productivity, and bring the most contribution to the table. They are present most of the time, and are willing to sacrifice for your vision. They have nothing to lose but everything to gain.
There is wisdom when Paul said “God chooses the weak to shame the strong”. The famous, the influential, the strong, the intelligent – the best out there, are busy being the best in their respective domains that they don’t have time to work with others, to work for others, to be there for others. But invest in people who are always around you, no matter how “weak” they seem, and see how God do some wonders through their efforts. These people, like the disciples of old, have the potential to turn the world upside down.
Doing the ministry of the Lord is not about ability. It is about a heart of servanthood, which is evidenced by availability.
We all have a choice whether to push through with our dreams or stay where we are
Natutunan natin sa klase natin sa Economics nung high school na dahil sa scarcity of resources, kailangan natin ng matalinong pagpapasya kung paano ia-allocate ang limited resources natin sa mga wants and needs natin, gaya nang tanong na kung ang baon ba ay para ba sa lunch at pamasahe o para sa DotA (Ragnarok nung higs chool days ko) at barkada.
Natutunan din natin sa makabagbag-damdaming kanta ni KZ Tandingan kung gaano kahirap mamili between mahal mo o mahal ka. Hindi naman kasi tinuro sa school na may mga ganyan palang choices sa buhay.
Sa pagharap din natin sa buhay empleyado, palagi rin tayong humaharap sa choice na gigising ka ba sa higaan para pumasok o mag-extend nang another five minutes sa pagtulog (na alam naman nating kasinungalingan kasi umaabot hanggang 15 minutes minimum extension). Hitting either the stop alarm and snooze button is a hard decision to make. Alam kong alam mo yan.
Life is a series of choices. May mga choices na mahirap pag-isipan, may mga choices din na pine-present sa ating harapan pero parang wala rin naman tayong choice. May mga choices na kapag nagkamali ka, it’s a matter of life and death, of happiness or heartache, of winning someone or losing them away. Ang hirap ano?
Yet of all the choices na hinaharap natin, isa na yata sa pinakamahirap ay kapag may option ka na to be complacent. Yung pwede kang pumili kung gagawin mo na siya ngayon o some other time na lang. Alam mo kung bakit mahirap? Kasi minsan we have this tendency to delay the hard work at the expense of delaying the fruits of our hard work. Yes, may mga taong output-oriented, sobrang productive, yung tipong tatapusin na ngayon yung task na para sa susunod na dalawang araw. Nandyan lang sila sa tabi-tabi, lurking beneath the shadows. Pero kung hindi ka task-and-output person, siguradong nandun ka category ng mga taong ang motto ay “bakit ko tatapusin ngayon, kung pwede ko namang gawin bukas?”
One Day or Day One, Mamili Ka!
Pero ikaw, kung may gusto kang mangyari sa buhay mo, kung may pangarap kang gustong makamit, what are you doing now? We all have a choice whether to push through with our dreams or stay where we are. Either we will continue dreaming about that “one day” or begin with our “day one” towards the accomplishment of our goals. Meron kang choices at hand and your choices reveal much about your priorities, life values and how much you believe in the beauty of your dreams.
I often remind myself, “believe that God has placed your dream in your heart for His greater purpose”. Oo English yun kapag pinapaalala ko sa sarili ko. Haha! Kaya naman kapag gusto ko nang sumuko sa mga pangarap ko, kailangan kong ipaunawa sa sarili ko din na everything will be worth it. Lahat ng pagod, lahat ng sacrifices, lahat ng hard work.
I believe God honors the dreams of His people. He anoints the dreams of His people. He blesses them, lalo na kung para sa glory ni Lord ang lahat ng mga pangarap natin. Pero mas naniniwala ako na God is very much willing to bless those who don’t just dream dreams, but who works towards the fulfillment of their dreams. Yung mga taong nagsimula na sa “Day One”, kaysa naman sa mga taong “One Day” ang mentality.
Borrowing from the line of Heneral Luna, “mamili ka!”
Are you caught up in the web of stressful circumstances? Yung tipong lahat na lang yata ng mga kapaguran na available sa mundo sinasalo mo? Yung di ka na makaahon sa dami ng trabaho, yung pressure ng overlapping commitments sinasakal ka na masyado, o kaya naman yung mga polo mo naghuhumiyaw na sa sobrang sikip na nila para sayo? Nakaka-stress ano?
As stated in my previous post, may mga outlets ako to release stress and tension. Kapag di ko na kaya ang bigat, kapag pakiramdam ko lunod na lunod na ako, may mga go-to places and people ako para maging “shock absorber” (sorry na, peeps!). Dahil lahat naman tayo kailangang mag-unload from time to time para hindi sumabog di ba?
Here are some of my stress-relievers.
What I love about biking is that you can go places as far as your legs can handle. Kapag masakit na at parang hindi na kaya, uwian na. Haha! It is cheap and healthy activity, pinawisan ka na, nag-enjoy ka pa! Since I am from Marikina, common destinations namin ng mga friends ko pag nagbi-bike ay sa Rizal (Binangonan-Morong-Tanay or San Mateo-Rodriguez), UP or even within Marikina loop, bilang napaka-bike friendly ng bayan kong sinta.
When schedule allows me to, I join hiking activities para naman medyo malayo sa stressful work. Iba rin kasi ang yung feeling na nasa summit ka ng bundok, dinadama ang masarap na simoy ng hangin tapos nakaharap ka either sa dagat or sa mga pamayanan. It changes perspective. Yung sobra kang naka-focus sa sarili mong mga problema, tapos mare-realize mo na mas malaki pa rin si Lord talaga si Lord kaysa mga problema mo.
Again, when schedule allows me to, masaya din na magpunta sa tabing dagat para magtampisaw, o kahit na pakiramdaman mo lang ang simoy ng maalat na hangin habang kinakausap ang sarili na kunwari gumagawa ka ng music video. Aminin mo, kakaibang ligaya ang dulot ng paglalakad sa tabing-dagat, binabalik ang lahat ng masasayang ala-ala ng buhay mo na para kang bida sa telenovela habang panandalian mong nakakalimutan na may babalikan ka pang ga-bundok na trabaho sa opisina. Pero at least, di ba. Masaya ka.
Medyo may kaunting gastos pero masaya. Try mong pumunta sa Barkin’ Blends near Sta. Lucia or sa Bengal Brew + Wolf and Bear sa Cubao. If you are a pet lover, surely mae-enjoy mo itong trip na to. Makipaglaro ka sa mga aso. Kumustahin mo sila. Amuyin mo sila. Ikwento mo sa kanila ang mga officemates mong chini-chismis ka, ang boss mo na mahilig magbigay ng trabaho kapag pauwi ka na, o kaya naman yung ex mo na sa sobrang pagka-pet lover, ipinagpalit ka na lang sa pet. May therapeutic effect din kasi ang pakikipaglaro sa mga hayop, pero word of caution, wag makikipag-relasyon sa hayop kasi may damaging effect sa emotions. Hahaha! Sorry na, ang bad ko dun. 🙂
Just like now, kaya ako nagsulat ng post na ito kasi alam mo na, stressed ako. Isulat mo ang anumang nararamdaman mo. Isulat mo ang gusto mong sabihin. Type lang nang type. Nakakatulong mag-release ng tension kapag hinahayaan mong ang mga daliri mo ay tumitipa ng keyboard. Mas madiin at mas malakas ang hampas sa keyboard, mas satisfying! Haha! It doesn’t matter kung may magbabasa man ng post mo o wala, may magco-comment man o wala. Basta naisulat mo ang gusto mong sabihin. Pero be careful sa anumang isusulat mo, be a responsible blogger. Wag mag-spread ng fake news. Lagot ka kay Mocha.
Pumunta ka sa mga book fairs, sa mga book sale mga bookstores, even sa mga libraries. If you are a reader, you’ll agree with me na sobrang satisfying ang makaamoy ng libro. Yung halimuyak na nakakapagpa-kalma sa pagod mong isipan. Tapos damhin mo yung bawat page, yung texture ng papel, ganun. Pero syempre basahin mo rin. Hahaha! Highlight words na nakapagbigay ng impact sayo. It’s always fun to learn and discover new things.
Given na to. Kapag lunod na lunod ka na sa trabaho, it’s not a bad thing kung gusto mong manood ng movie. Lalo na for me who loves superhero movies, nakaka-alis ng stress ang panonood ng movie. Pero dahil common na nga siya, lagyan mo na lang ng kaunting challenge ang panonood mo: minsan kong sinubukan na manood nang mag-isa, manood ng sad movie tapos pigilan ang sarili mo na umiyak, at manood ng movie tapos magbaon ng pandesal at palaman. Sa susunod nga, gusto kong i-try magbaon ng kanin at ulam. Hahaha!
Di ako gamer pero effective na pang-divert ng attention ang mobile games. I installed Wordscapes para naman kapag pagod na ako kakaisip ng numbers, letters and words naman. Ang saya di ba. Nag-install din ako ng Idle Poring. Since hindi na kaya ng schedule ko ang maglaro pa ng Ragnarok, which I really loved playing nung bata pa ako, dun na lang ako sa Idle Poring. Pareho din naman ng sounds and ng characters, iba nga lang ng gameplay at interface. Pero pwede na rin, perfect game for busy person like me. Sabi nga ng kapatid ko enjoy na enjoy akong pinapanood yung character ko na tumatakbo all throughout the game. Kanya-kanyang trip yan!
Run to your accountability partners
It’s always good to have friends to watch your back. Yung sasaluhin ka nila sa panahong bigat na bigat ka na. I am blessed to have friends from church, from PSA and from MYA na alam kong nasasandalan ko for encouragement and prayers. Appreciate your circle of friends. Isama na rin natin ang family natin. After a tiring day, it’s relaxing to know that we have friends and family na uuwian natin. Yung hindi tayo ico-condemn. Yung hindi tayo ipagpapalit sa 30 pieces of silver. Yung ililibre tayo ng burger o kaya ng pizza o kaya ng BFF fries.
Go to Prayer Mountain
Kapag talaga hindi ko na kaya, I go to Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain. Di kalayuan sa Marikina pero safe haven ko siya. I pour out to the Lord all my burdens, my concerns pati lahat ng kapaguran ko sa buhay. Para siyang isang electrical outlet for me to plug myself into, para di ako tuluyang ma-drain. Nakakagaan kapag alam mong iniyak mo na ang lahat sa Lord, isinigaw mo lahat ng prayers mo at kahit mapagod ka kakaiyak at kakasumbong sa Kanya, alam mong nakikinig Siya. Wag ka lang matutulog sa loob ng prayer cell. Kasi naman parang sobrang sarap matulog sa loob. Haha!
When you feel like sobrang nakakapagod na at di mo na kaya, don’t lose hope. Kapit lang. It takes a clear mind and a fresh perspective para hindi ka ma-overwhelm ng mga challenges mo sa buhay, ahem, I am speaking to myself. Haha! Mabuti na lang may provision si Lord ng mga outlets for me, para hindi na lang ako basta mag-collapse sa kalsada.
And I also thank God kasi He is always available to hear my prayers and my cries. Hindi ko naman kailangan umakyat pa ng Prayer Mountain just for the Lord to hear me. He hears me even when I am in bed, shedding tears kasi… huhuhu, “Lord, pagod na po ako, payakap naman po”. Try niyo, it is comforting, and it develops an intimate relationship with your Creator.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
I was reminded by the words of Director Phil Coulson of Marvel’s Agents of Shield. In one episode, Season 1 yata ng AoS, sabi niya:
“The world is full of evil and lies and pain and death, and you can’t hide from it. You can only face it. The question is, when you do, how do you respond? Who do you become?”
Ikaw, in the face of your challenges and stress, who do you become?
PS. Baka naman may iba ka pang stress-relieving activities, share mo naman with me 🙂
Have you ever felt like there’s no one who listens? No one who pays attention? Have you ever felt like there’s no one who cares? Maybe you’ve been calling on a busy line. Maybe you’ve been looking after someone who isn’t really there.
I bet you know the feeling na binagsakan ka ng telepono. Nakakasama ng loob, sa totoo lang. Yung feeling na lahat ng self-confidence na binuo mo sa kabuuan ng existence mo, biglang babagsak kasabay ng pagbagsak niya ng handle ng telepono… ang sakit kaya! Nakakabingi, nakakaiyak, nakakapanghina.
Ok, ang OA ko. Haha! Bilang isang taong may pusong mamon, hindi ko lang kasi gusto yung pakiramdam na parang hindi interesado sayo ang kausap mo. Equally painful din yung alam mo na kaya naman niyang sagutin ang linya pero hindi niya pini-pick up ang telepono. Kumbaga sa social media lingo, hindi ka lang na-seenzone, na-mark-as-read-zone ka, ni hindi man lang siya nag-bother na pansinin ang nais mong sabihin. #sadlayp
There was a passage in 1 Kings 18 na pumukaw ng attention ko. It was actually a familiar story- the contest on Mt. Carmel between prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal. You may read the whole account through this link.
Balik tayo sa attention-grabbing verse na sinasabi ko:
29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
The priests of Baal went on to call upon their god for a display of power, but they received none. Wala silang narinig ni kaluskos mula sa kanilang dios-diosan. Walang sagot, walang Baal na pumansin sa kanila. They even went as far as hurting themselves to receive attention from their non-existent god, and then again, no response. Busy much, perhaps?, taunts Elijah.
Ang hirap kung hindi ka pinapansin ng diyos na binigyan mo ng devotion ano? I wonder how painful it was for the priests of Baal na mapahiya sa harapan ng mga Israelites. Sa isang tao nga lang na mapahiya ka ang sakit-sakit na 😦
In contrast, when it was Elijah’s turn to call upon his God, it went like this:
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
There was, obviously a contrasting response between Baal and the God of Elijah. It was a contrast of power and powerlessness, of existence and nonexistence, of attentiveness and inattentiveness, of divinity and the lack thereof. There is no more need to ask who is the true and living God – the Lord already drew the line. Tapos ang laban. May nanalo na.
Total dependence on these Baals will blind you to your need of the One true source of satisfaction. Baals keep us preoccupied and takes our attention away from God
Have you ever been dependent onto something, say a job, a dream, a relationship, or some material possession*, thinking that it will keep you full and satisfied, but at the end of the day you just end up still feeling empty? Maybe it has become a Baal to you. And like the Baals of the Old Testament times, kahit anong tawag mo sa kanila for comfort and refuge, it will always disappoint you. Total dependence on these Baals will blind you to your need of the One true source of satisfaction. Baals keep us preoccupied and takes our attention away from God.
* Don’t get me wrong. These things are necessary for our daily sustenance. These things are not bad in itself. But when it becomes a Baal to us – something that we depend on too much more than the Lord, then it becomes a distraction, a heavy burden for us to bear.
Have you ever felt like there’s no one who listens? No one who pays attention? Have you ever felt like there’s no one who cares? Maybe you’ve been calling on a busy line. Maybe you’ve been looking after someone who isn’t really there. Subukan mong tumawag kay Lord. Wala namang tumatawag sa Kanya na hindi Niya sinagot. Hindi naman busy ang linya Niya. Hindi naman Siya namimili ng mga kakausapin Niya. Tawag ka lang sa Kanya. He’s waiting, in fact. And like what He did when Elijah called Him, He will respond to you. Bakit ko nasabi? Kasi ipinangako Niya yun.
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ – Jeremiah 33:3
You may have friends who deserted you, family members who don’t treat you well, or people dear to your heart who failed you. You may have tried to catch the attention of people around you but no one seems to take notice. People may fail us from time to time but the Lord will not. Call upon Him. His lines are not busy. He has great things in store for you.
Peeking through God’s glory and power is like looking through a telescope. We can see a glimpse, but not the whole picture. We can take a peek, but we can never comprehend Him in whole.
Much like the rest of the world, I also was very eager to witness the historic super blue blood moon that happened January 31. I even brought with me two orders of Spam fries courtesy of BFF Diner’s Felipe’s Chicken Fillet to munch while waiting for the spectacular celestial show (unfortunately, it didn’t last that long. Mabilis lang naubos haha!). I wished I should have brought chips and drinks din, as I never thought it would take us until almost 11pm. Buti na lang we decided to take a dinner first before embarking to a long night of “tayuan and tingalaan”.
I was with Laarni and her two training mates, Facs and Mercs (yes that’s how they each other). Luckily, the moon and the skies did not disappoint us. The sky was very clear and I can’t remember any sight of clouds the whole duration. I am also fascinated how many people, mostly students, gathered in the grounds of PAGASA Astronomical Observatory in UP Diliman. May media presence pa! Nainggit pa nga ako sa mga may dalang panglatag sa damo, parang ang sarap maki-higa. Hahaha!
I tried to capture the moon with the puny phone camera, but what could I expect? It was like trying to eat a soup with a fork. Hindi kaya e. Mabuti na lang pwedeng maki-silip sa mga telescopes na naka-set up sa venue. At least may clearer view sa bloody red moon. Indeed, it was a sight to behold! Ni hindi ako nakaramdam ng pagkangalay sa for almost 2 hours! It was an amazing experience!
While I am staring at the moon that time, I can’t help but be amazed how great and awesome the works of the Lord is. Imagine, with just a word, things such as the light, the heavens and the moon came to existence! With just a word, all things, seen and unseen, living and non-living, came into being. Kung may ipinamamalas pang nakakamangha yung buwan na madalas na nating nakikita, how much more yung mga bagay na hindi pa naaabot ng ating mga mata?
My few seconds from the PAGASA telescope triggered my reflective mood, again.
The telescope and microscope basically has the same function: to magnify things which are barely noticeable with our naked eye. Yung mga bagay na masyado nang maliit para makita natin ang detalye, pinalalaki ng microscope and telescope for our sake. Para mas maappreciate natin, para mas mapag-aralan, para mas mamangha tayo.
But their major difference is that, microscope magnifies things that are too small for us to see, the telescope magnifies things that are too far for us to appreciate.
When it comes to our problems, we end up getting afraid and lost and exhausted whenever we look at it as though it is too big for us to handle, as if it is larger than life. Yes, problems and difficulties may sometimes seem insurmountable and overwhelming. I’ve been through that. Yung tipong hindi ka na makaahon sa dami ng trabaho, sa bigat ng pasanin, sa hirap ng pagsubok. But like anything placed under a microscope, problems, when magnified become more scary and unsolvable.
Simply put, parang sa microscope, may mga pagkakataong pinapalaki natin ang mga bagay na maliliit, and then we convince ourselves na, oo nga, mahirap to, nakakatakot to. Then we end up feeling defeated and hopeless. Have you ever seen a specimen under a microscope? Ang hirap intindihin di ba? Yung ibang image pa nga, nakakatakot (I have on my mind images of bacteria na may mga cilia, cilia pa. Haha). Likewise, a problem magnified takes away the courage in us.
Punta naman tayo sa telescope. Telescopes are used to have a sight of things that are too far for us to see, like the moon and the stars. Maliit man tignan ang buwan at ang mga bituin sa gabi, pero alam naman natin na hindi siya isang bagay na maaari mong sungkitin. The moon and the stars are enormous in size. Only distance makes them look small. We use telescopes to appreciate them in a distance. To see how do they look. Unfortunately, we can only do so much with our telescopes. Hindi lahat ay kayang ibigay at ipakita sa atin ng telescopic lens. We can only have a glimpse of their glory.
Peeking through God’s glory and power is like looking through a telescope. We can see a glimpse, but not the whole picture. We can take a peek, but we can never comprehend Him in whole. Kakapiraso, kakapinranggot lang ang kaya nating makita sa enormity ng glory ni Lord. And the best part? Everytime we try to have a glimpse of God, we get more and more amazed, na ayaw na nating tumigil! I remember parang ayaw ko nang umalis sa telescope that night sa UP Observatory, kung hindi lang sa mga nakapila sa likod ko haha! God’s majesty can never be captured even by the best and largest telescope the man has created. Imagine, hanggang ngayon dini-discover pa rin ang mga planets within and outside the solar system. Yet God has created the whole universe just with the power of His words!
May dalawang uri ng tao sa mundo base sa uri ng lens na madalas niyang tignan: ang microscopic or telescopic lens. People who view life through the microscope often look at problems too and ends up exhausted. Nauubusan ng lakas, napapagod kakahanap ng solusyon, nasasaid ang pananampalataya. Moreover, people who view life through the telescope often gets excited with the Lord and receives strength and encouragement from the enormity of God. The problem doesn’t go away instantly but he knows that God is bigger than any problem he may encounter.
Habang nasa UP Observatory ako, I felt reminded: “dear son, no matter how enormous your problems are, no matter how insurmountable your tasks may seem, always remember that I am bigger than any of your worries. I am greater than all of your concerns. If you need encouragement and reminder that I am just here beside you and you are not forgotten, just look at the sky. I am the One who created the sun, moon and the stars. I will carry you through.”
Thank you Lord. You are amazing! Salamat din po sa libreng pasilip sa telescope ng mga taga-PAGASA. Na-appreciate ko ang #SuperBlueBloodMoon.
Ikaw, how do you view life? Through a microscope, or through a telescope?
PS. Di ko lang talaga type ang Chemistry kahit nung highschool ako.
PPS. Pinangarap ko din kasing maging astronaut dati, hence my bias. Hahaha!
A task may demand for your time but a discerning person knows that not every task has to be accommodated.
Last year, with the overwhelming amount of tasks and projects that almost blew me away, I could not believe I was able to make it out completely sane to continue another year. Haha! I had to work with people in facilitating camps, conferences and other programs. I had to make reports and attend to a lot of meetings within and outside of my usual work. If not for the grace and sustenance of the Lord, I am not sure how things will work out for me. But God is good! He strengthens me and continues to do so!
Come 2018, and TADAA! Tasks seem to double and expectations turned gargantuan. If you are like me who finds it more difficult to say NO to people than the actual task itself, this is nothing but normal. Also, if you are like me who never backs out of challenges, this just fuels creativity, passion, and foresight within. But honestly, some challenges really take the best of me.
Speaking of foresight, one thing that concerns me for the rest of the year is how will I manage my limited time when commitments REALLY overlap. Before, whichever is written first on my calendar has the priority over my schedule. If a ministry meeting is announced on a certain day but I already have a prior commitment with my college friends for a catch-up session, I will choose the latter and excuse myself for the ministry meeting. This is because I value commitments. However, I think this should not always be the case. A task may demand for your time but a discerning person knows that not every task has to be accommodated. With this in mind, I drafted a simple scheme to help me decide which task or project takes priority.
DISCLAIMER: After seeing my decision-making guide, you may think that I am too fickle-minded and incompetent to decide for myself. Please don’t judge me. I just want to put my life in order. Haha!
FIRST: Identify your commitments and group them accordingly.
Since my day usually revolves around spreadsheets, I jot down my commitments and tasks using color coded-schematic.
I wrote these tasks and commitments in random. Other things are sure to be added as I remember them. But take note that I grouped my major activities into four areas: Ministry, Work, Relationships and Outlets. Since I am working in a church organization, sometimes Work and Ministry overlap, which is both a pro- and a con- because they often have shared schedule. Nevertheless, I have to define which is which.
* Outlets are activities that help me de-stress when toxicity level escalates.
SECOND: Decide which of your major commitments takes priority over the other.
Inasmuch as I would like to have it as: Relationships – Ministry – Work – Outlets, this is not always the case. Often, Work comes first because it is my primary source of income and usually demands most of my time, followed by Ministry. Relationships come third because they are the most capable of understanding your schedule. Outlets come last because obviously, rest and relaxation comes after all the work has been exhausted, not during and definitely not prior.
* No, I am not trying to rank which is more important and significant than the other, I’m just trying to assess my commitments based on practicality of scheduling. You may have a different view regarding this.
THIRD: Group your specific tasks into HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW
HIGH – meaning this really has to be prioritized because not doing so will compromise your schedule.
MEDIUM – this can be postponed to a later time but must be given attention to afterwards, otherwise will compromise your schedule.
LOW – you can excuse yourself out of these without any drastic effect on your schedule, but can be attended to when the luxury of time permits.
* I intentionally left some tasks covered so I won’t offend some people because they just ranked medium or low on my priorities. I devised this to help me in decision making, and to spare myself from entangled commitments.
With this scheme, it will be much easier for me to decide which tasks must be attended to first because I have already decided their order of priority. Also, this is a reminder that things has to be done promptly so commitments will not stack, hence a disaster schedule.
Anyway, ang dami kong time at di halatang busy. Hahaha!
If you think this might help you, you may download one through this link: Commitments Diagram. ‘Til next post!