Learning Curve

Never stop yearning, never stop learning.

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Ang learning curve ay ang panahong kinakailangan upang matutunan ang isang bagay. Halimbawa, kung ikaw ay nasanay na gumamit ng isang android phone mula nang panahong nakahawak ka ng smartphone, tapos all of a sudden bigla kang gagamit ng iPhone, medyo maninibago ka muna. Ang panahon na ginugol mo upang matutunang i-navigate with ease ang bago mong gadget ay ang learning curve. Mas mabilis, mas magaling. Kung para sa mga kabataan ay hindi naman issue ang pagpapalit ng from android to iOS, para sa mga mahal nating tanders, it takes effort and a lot of adjustment.

The Learning CurveLike what my teacher did just recently, I would also like to quote Albert Einsten (though may mga discussions over the internet kung siya ba talaga ang nagsabi nito) on his definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This pierced my heart. I am on the look out to do greater things, to accomplish more – things I have never achieved since I began to exist. Pero looking back, parang hindi naman ako masyadong umuusad. I assessed myself spot on: anong pinaggagawa ko sa buhay ko? Steep ba talaga ang learning curve ko?

It seems like we don’t learn from our mistakes, we just look at it as if we have the luxury of time and emotions to go through it again. Masyadong steep ang learning curve.

How many of us learn things the hard way? Yung tipong sobrang tagal na nang panahon na ginugol mo sa isang challenge sa buhay mo, pero tuwing binabalikan ka nito, parang hindi ka na natuto. Na-scam ka na dati, tapos nagpa-scam ka ulit ngayon. Sinaktan ka na dati, you fell for the same tricks ulit. Na-sampolan ka na na mahirap magpa-exam ang professor, pero hindi ka pa rin nag-review the second time around. It’s a vicious cycle. It seems like we don’t learn from our mistakes, we just look at it as if we have the luxury of time and emotions to go through it again. Masyadong steep ang learning curve. Ganito ka rin ba?

LearningCurve2Image credits: https://mindprintlearning.com/blog/the-forgetting-curve/

We are all like the nation of Israel. They’ve been through a lot, literally. Binigyan ng promise, nag-fail. Bumangon, nag-fail. They went through slavery, oppression, captivity, famine, and defeat – consequences of the same mistake they have the inclination to enjoy: idolatry. Kapag nae-encounter ko sa Bible ang malungkot na cycle ng downfall and rising up nila, I usually ask the Lord, “bakit ang kulit nila”? Pero all along I know, I’m no different from them. Makulit din ako.

But the good news is that no matter how steep our learning curve is, God’s love is more stubborn than our worst stubbornness. And I’m saying this on a positive note! God is very patient with us no matter how slow we are to learn. Mabuti na lang! Otherwise, wala na tayong pag-asa. If God has been patient with the nation of Israel, He will also be patient with us. It doesn’t matter kahit makupad ka, as long as you’re aiming for improvement. Kung madalas kang madapa at matagal bago matuto, tuloy lang.

What defines us is not our mistakes kahit gaano kadalas, in the eyes of the Lord, He honors our commitment to learn from Him.

Mas profitable pa rin yun kaysa sumuko. Only the Lord can bring you out of the vicious cycle as long as you are willing to let Him. In the end, what defines us is not our mistakes kahit gaano kadalas, in the eyes of the Lord, He honors our commitment to learn from Him.

How steep is your learning curve? Matalas ka pa rin ba at madaling matuto? O like me, pumupurol nang medyo? Whatever the rate is, never stop yearning, never stop learning.

Pagod ka na ba?

“Napagtagumpayan ko na ito dati, ngayon pa ba ako susuko?”

We all have felt tired and downcast at times. Probably ngayon yung moment na yun para sayo. Season ito marahil na gusto mo nang isuko ang mga bagay na pinaghirapan mo mula noong una. Doubts may have crept upon and you begin to question your calling. Gusto mo nang umayaw.

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However there’s a voice telling you to remain strong, that help is on the way. Minsan pa, pinipilit mong kumapit sa pananampalatayang “napagtagumpayan ko na ito dati, ngayon pa ba ako susuko?” Totoo naman, kung babalikan mo naman ang naging spiritual walk mo, hindi naman nagkulang ang Panginoon; hindi ka naman iniwan o pinabayaan.

In times like these, we often run frantically searching for answers. Gusto natin madaliang solusyon sa kalungkutan, sa spiritual exhaustion and drought na nararanasan natin. Sa mga ganitong panahon na tayo’y nakakaramdam na tila pagod ka na at wala nang pag-asa, I would like to share a few insights on how to fight your battle kahit na wounded ka na. Hindi ito formula guaranteed to get you through but it might help you greatly just as it helped me and many others.

Be silent before the Lord.

To be silent means to not speak. Pero minsan, this may mean to just free your mind from all your worries. Hindi ka nga nagsasalita pero sa isip mo ang daming mga alalahanin ang naglalaro. What if ganito, what if ganyan? Yung tipong kapag binigyan ng microphone ang isip mo hindi ito matatapos nang kakasalita. Start with silence. Oftentimes, much of our worries come from the unnecessary noise around us, at dun tayo napapagod. So begin with shutting your mouth and your mind for a moment and let the noise of the world just die within your thoughts. Forget about your deadlines for a while. Kalimutan mo muna lahat ng problema mo nang sandali. You will be amazed how relaxing this will be.

Wait upon the Lord.

Ayaw natin na naghihintay. We want quick-fixes sa ating mga problema. Kung kulang, we want to be filled agad-agad. Waiting is a waste of time para sa atin. We selfishly thrive on instant gratification. Pero si Lord, hindi lang ang “bunga” ang concern Niya, He cares as well sa process. May mga pagkakataon na maaari namang tugunin ni Lord ang mga panalangin natin agad in His power pero He waits for the “kairos” time para sa lahat. Waiting is a virtue that develops our faith. Our faith is tested and strengthened when we have to wait for something for a longer time. Kaya we need to wait upon Him. As you remain silent before Him, wait upon Him. Wag kang mainip kung pakiramdam mo napakatagal – while you are waiting patiently upon Him, He is actually intently looking after you.

Listen unto the Lord.

Madalas kapag nananalangin tayo, we do much of the talking ‘di ba? Lord, pahingi po ng ganito, sana po ganyan… This time practice the lost art of listening. Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within you. However, you can only listen intently kapag silent ka before the Lord. Sabi nga ng librong nabasa ko, we can hardly hold on to what we never hear. So paano mo maiintindihan ang sinasabi ng Panginoon kung hindi ka naman talaga makikinig? Listen, and let Him do the talking.

God has already laid down His message to us in the Bible and yet God is never limited in His ways to communicate with His children, only we need to intently listen.

God speaks. Masyado lang kasi tayong masalita kaya hindi natin Siya madalas naririnig. You will be amazed sa mga paraan Niya kung paanong sumagot: through nature, through a song, through a memory na pinaalala Niya sayo, through a verse na nabasa mo sa Bible, or even through a person who just uttered something na naka-encourage sayo. This is of course not to be mistaken as over-spiritualizing things. God has already laid down His message to us in the Bible and yet God is never limited in His ways to communicate with His children, only we need to intently listen. Always confirm whatever you hear from Him in the context of His written Word.

Take rest in the Lord.

Nakakita ka na ba ng isang baby na natutulog? Di ba ang peaceful niyang tignan? Lalo na kung pinaghehele siya ng kanyang ama o ina, sobrang relaxing ng scenario. Imagine yourself to be a baby, at ang Panginoon ang iyong Ama na naghehele sayo. Will you be need anything, knowing that the Creator of heavens and earth carries you in His arms? Whatever message you have received in the Lord as you wait upon Him, take rest in that message. Panghawakan mo. Make it THE source of your strength. Ang sabi nga sa Psalms, God is an ever-present help in times of trouble. Kahit kapaguran man yan o pag-aalala, He is always present to give help. Find rest in Him and let Him fight your battles.

I would like to share a very familiar passage which has strengthened me just recently:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

Find strength in the Lord. He is waiting for you, and is always ready to receive you. May you find rest and strength for your soul now, dear reader!

Gleanings: Off to Moab

What if God has allowed all such blessings to be taken away from His people? Magtitiwala pa rin ba tayo sa Kanya?

“In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.” – Ruth 1:1, ESV

Elimelech wants to spare his family from famine. Tulad ng isang mapagmahal na ama, gusto lang naman niya ang best para sa kanyang asawa at mga anak. Sino ba naman ang ayaw na mapaayos ang sitwasyon ng kanyang pamilya?

Off to Moab

During the time of famine, life was hard for the Israelites. Remember Jacob’s family during famine? They even went as far as Egypt para lang makahanap ng pagkain. During this period in Elimelech’s life, even Bethlehem, also called as the “house of bread”, ay nawalan na rin ng supply. Kaya naman napilitan si Elimelech na dalhin ang kanyang pamilya somewhere na may maibibigay siyang pagkain.

Elimelech, whose name means “my God is king”, have forgotten his God and King when he faced a time of great need. Instead of trusting the Lord, he relied on his own wisdom to carry himself and his family through. May sarili siyang diskarte. Sabi ko nga, he just want to spare his family from famine.

OK lang sana kaso the problem is he will be moving from the land of promise to an “idolatrous” land. He will be moving out his family from under the hem of God’s protection to a place of temptation and idol worship. He will be exposing his family into a compromising environment. Their law even says not to give their children to the ungodly people for intermarriage. He’s putting his family in danger.

Maybe on his mind he’s thinking: “pansamantala lang ito. We’ll go back to Bethlehem when the famine ceased”. So off they went. They left their own country, trying to escape the famine, and headed to a land of uncertainty.

Elimelech went with his family: his wife, Naomi, which means “sweet, pleasant”, and his two sons, Mahlon, which means “sickly”, and Chilion, which means “wasting”. Ang weird di ba? Papangalanan mo ang mga anak mo na sakitin, at nanghihina, worse naghihingalo.

“But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years”. – Ruth 1:3-4

Unfortunate of Elimelech’s family, after they have settled in Moab, their place of refuge sana, they have lost the head of their family. So without their supposedly spiritual, financial and emotional leader, ang magkapatid ay naghanap ng kanilang mapapangasawa sa mga kababaihan ng Moab – a direct disobedience to their law. Along with the death of the father is the prolonging of their stint in Moab na umabot hanggang sampung taon, na dapat sana ay pansamantala lang.

“and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband”. Ruth 1:5

To top all the misfortunes Elimelech’s family has experienced in Moab, Mahlon and Chilion both died, giving justice to their names. Iniwan nila ang kanilang mga batang biyuda – Ruth and Orpah, both childless. #Sadlyf.

***

What I have gleaned from the account first few chapters of the book of Ruth is that we have the tendency to veer away from challenges na dumadating sa buhay natin. It was not mentioned in the Bible kung sila lang ba ang umalis at nagpunta sa Moab to find comfort, but it doesn’t matter. Looking into the life of Elimelech, he may have good intentions for his family’s welfare, pero he failed to trust how the Lord works on the welfare of His people.

God cares for us more than we care for ourselves.

Eh bakit may famine?

In the same way that there are sicknesses and trials and pains and challenges in our lives, famine represents a hurdle we must overcome for us to be strong spiritually. Bethlehem is a very blessed place, kaya nga siya “house of bread”. Ang lahat ay provided. Pero what if God has allowed all such blessings to be taken away from His people? Magtitiwala pa rin kaya sila sa Kanya? Unfortunately for Elimelech, he failed the test.

  • Tumatakbo din ba tayo kapag may mga challenges sa harapan natin?
  • Umiiwas rin ba tayo sa mga pagkakataon kung saan sinusubok ang pagtitiwala natin kay Lord?
  • When all His provisions went low, can we still trust in His love?

O baka naman instead of waiting upon the Lord, we begin charting our own plans and off we go to our own version of Moab. Isang lugar, isang sitwasyon na nako-kompromiso na ang ating sarili.

Saan nga ba ang ating Moab?

  • Rather than trusting in the Lord’s provision, nagpapa-rescue na tayo agad sa mga usurers kapag medyo na-challenge ang ating mga pitaka
  • Tumatakbo tayo sa anumang nakagawiang bisyo para humanap ng kapayapaan ng loob at solusyon sa problema
  • Ginagawa nating escape plan ang pagiging magagalitin at pala-away upang ilayo ang ating sarili sa mga tao
  • Eto worse, pero baka naman kapag may away kayo ng ka-relasyon mo e may “sidechick” ka na pinupuntahan
  • Sinusubo na natin ang ating integridad sa pamamagitan ng pangungupit, pandaraya o pangingikil ng iba pang ilegal na paraan para lang mapunan ang anumang kakulangan

Big or small, subtle or obvious, when we choose to run to other things as source of salvation and comfort other than the Lord, that’s the time we leave our “house of bread” for an idolatrous Moab. And like what happened to Elimelech, bad choice produces bad results. Mas may chance pa sana siya if he chose to stay.

God wants to make you strong in the face of difficulties. Don’t run from it – face it! It’s safer to be in the eye of the storm with the Lord on your side than in a stronghold where the Lord does not guide.

***

I am writing this at the eve of my father’s birthday. Well, he may not be a perfect father but I know that he loves us perfectly. We may have had arguments in the past, I may not approve of some of his opinions and principles in life, but still no one could ever take away his place in my heart.

We all have Elimelech tendencies within us. Kagaya ko, kagaya ng tatay ko, kagaya nating lahat. Yet the grace of God allows us to run back to Him when our Elimelech-ness urges us to sojourn to Moab. At kung napadpad ka na sa Moab, balik ka lang. Wag mo nang hayaan na mahuli pa ang lahat.

A Single’s Journey to Family & Finance Conference 2017

The whole idea of investing emanates from you being a good steward.

I love going to seminars about biblical stewardship and financial management. Partly because yun ang naging course ko noong college, pero mas compelling reason din siguro na kailangan ko ng matinding motivation para maging mas matipid, masinop at enterprising. Kaya nga when I learned about CCF’s Family and Finance Conference on Facebook, I immediately clicked “interested”, without even checking the registration details. 🙂

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Yet when I was notified na malapit na yung event, and I learned that it will cost me P850-1k/tix (P1.5k-2k couple’s rate), medyo napaisip ako. I wanted to give it a go kaso I have bills waiting for me. Kailangan ko ulit I-spell ang P.R.I.O.R.I.T.I.E.S. Sa huli, I decided to give it up (pero narealize ko rin na I really need to learn how to manage my resources para sa mga susunod, hindi na mahirap mag-decide. Haha!).

Eh mabait si Lord. I read from Joei and Me’s Facebook page that she’s giving away free tickets for the event. I messaged her, and she told me to wait until 3pm for the announcement of winners. Since I seldom win in any kind of raffle draws, medyo chill lang. Until I received a personal message from Ms. Joei telling me that I won a pair of tickets! Wooh! Thanks for hosting the giveaway Ms. Joei! God bless you more! 🙂

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So ang medyo inalala ko na lang after ay since couple ticket and napanalunan ko, saying naman ang blessing kung mag-isa lang ako. Syempre meron na ako on top of my mind na iimbitahan, hehe. Kaso, hindi siya available (aww, sad). Then I thought, maybe a college friend? Time to catch up and apply the Pray-Care-Share lesson namin sa church. Kaso I didn’t get any response. Then pag-uwi ko, I realized, bakit hindi si mama? Siya na lang ang ide-date ko! Besides, tamang-tama rin ang seminar na ito as the CFO ng aming munting pamilya. So, ayun na. 🙂

Learning from the gurus

Yung first session pa lang, medyo mahirap na i-swallow. We were asked to conduct a personal financial health check by identifying what we own and what we owe. As an accounting major, at dahil nasa financial management din ang trabaho ko, medyo familiar naman na ako kahit paano sa mga financial concepts being discussed, pero iba ang kabog kapag sarili mong pera ang inaanalyze mo. Pero mas mahirap lalo kung wala ka naman talagang iaanalyze. Haha!

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Then came budgeting. Ang saya! I was encouraged to set financial goal, both for short term, medium term and long term. Ang daling maglista ng mga financial goals natin sa buhay – this age, dapat may ganito na… this age dapat meron na ako nito… this year ganito na dapat…. But setting goals is just the beginning of achieving such goals. It doesn’t end there. Malayong lakbayin pa!

While Joy Mendoza is speaking, alongside her husband Edric Mendoza, about her husband being so in love with spreadsheets, I uttered a silly prayer: Lord, help me to love spreadsheets too. I can’t believe na my whole career revolves around using spreadsheets and yet hindi ganun katindi ang pagmamahal ko dito. Hahaha!IMG_1145

Makailang ulit din tinanong kung ilan ang single sa crowd. Madami rin, considering that the event is a Family and Finance seminar. Magandang pagkakataon to learn the value of finances in the context of the family. The fact that most of the speakers did their talk as couple is something that I really appreciate. #RelationshipGoals indeed.

Ptr. Joby Soriano shared that 2/3 of couples fail to talk about money matters before they say ‘I Do’. No wonder why finances remain as the most argued concern for couples. Contentment is key, he emphasized. We are mere stewards, God is the owner, controller and provider of all things.

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After all the talk, I am convinced that there is really no great divide between the secular and the spiritual. Sabi nga ni Mr. Randell Tiongon, “the whole idea of investing emanates from you being a good steward” and in Proverbs 13:22a, which Mr. Tiongson emphasized as well, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children”.

 

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Syempre, Mama and I discussed about what we’ve learned from the conference. Medyo inexplain ko yung ilang concepts na hindi niya masyadong naintindihan, but nevertheless I am glad that like me, she’s encouraged to be more enterprising, to save and on top of that to be a good steward of God’s entrusted resources.

On my part naman, mamahalin ko na si MS Excel.

Tsaka parang rewarding din sigurong maging RFP 🙂

 

April Fools!

Yung akala mo ay smooth ang lahat sa buhay mo – all is well and good, only to find out that you are missing out on the most important thing in life.

Marami na naman ang mga posts na maglalabasan na obvious naman na hindi totoo pero pinaniniwalaan pa rin. Marami na namang mga pranks na ibibida sa atin. Masaya, nakakatuwa rin na may mga bagay tayong ginagawang kasiya-siya sa kabila ng ating mga problema sa buhay – sa pinansiyal, sa pamilya, maging sa ekonomiya at sa politika. Hindi naman masama ang mabiktima ng mga birong nakakatawa paminsan-minsan. Kaya kung maging subject ka ng isang prank – wag naman masyadong KJ.

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Ok lang naman ang mabiro lalo na at di naman fatal. Pero kailan ba nagiging fatal ang isang biro?

Yung akala mo ay smooth ang lahat sa buhay mo – all is well and good, only to find out that you are missing out on the most important thing in life. Yung akala mo na you have it all together, that you are getting the most out of life, but at the end of the day you’ll realize that you have not pursued what matters most. Ito ang klase ng biro na mahirap sakyan – ang biro, ang deception ng ating sariling comfort zone.

There are times when we get too comfortable with our lives that we fail to see the world around us. We have been too preoccupied with our needs that we become apathetic to the needs of others. Our life’s purpose is reduced to getting the comfort that we think we solely deserve. Wala namang mali – Jesus wants the best for us. In fact the Apostle Paul claims that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

Note that God is willing to grant us our needs. We are more valuable than the lilies in the field or the sparrows in the skies so we need not worry about anything (Matthew 6:25-34). Yet it doesn’t have to end with us. God blesses us and He expects us to bless others as well.

We are blessed by the Lord to be a blessing to others. God showers us with gifts so we can shower others with gifts as well. This is God’s way of opening more doors of opportunity to bless us and make us a blessing. The cycle doesn’t have to stop.

We are blessed by the Lord to be a blessing to others. God showers us with gifts so we can shower others with gifts as well. This is God’s way of opening more doors of opportunity to bless us and make us a blessing. The cycle doesn’t have to stop. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).

Kaya naman wala nang mas sasakit pa kung bibiruin tayo ng ating sarili na “ok ka na, kaya na nila”, kung ang nakikita ng iyong mga mata ay hirap o kawalan ng pag-asa, sakit o kumakalam na sikmura, kung dinadaya ka ng sarili mong comfort zone at nabubulag ka o nabibingi sa mga hinaing ng iba – wala nang mas sasakit pang biro. Ito ang fatal na klase ng biro. Fatal sa ating buhay-kristiyano.

Sabi nga ni Apostle James, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17). Ang sakit lang di ba? Ang maparatangan ka na may pananampalatayang patay.

At bilang pangwakas, ang sabi pa ni Apostle John, “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17). Ouch! #NoteToSelf

Ngayong April Fools, maraming maglalabasang mga pranks, mga biro. Pero higit na kailangan kong bantayan ay kung nabibiktima na rin ba ako ng biro ng aking sariling comfort zone.

The Dream

Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady.

 

It was bit amusing yet chivalrous, bizarre yet encouraging, finding myself in a dream fighting to win someone’s heart. I know, it is imperative not to over-spiritualize things, especially dreams which are most of the time product of our ‘subconscious’ personality, but I believe my dream speaks of every man’s journey to search for his ‘better half’ and upon finding her, to serve and protect her with all his might. After all, God sometimes speaks through dreams. And while I do not claim any direct, divine explanation for my story, allow me to just sprinkle some thoughts I pondered as soon as consciousness hit me on my bed that day.

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The story unfolds inside a mansion with many rooms; contemporary in design yet the expanse so big it is comparable to an ancient castle. Some of the rooms are breathtaking in design and intricacies; some are so plain and dull. A fine, attractive lady is escorting me in my trip inside the mansion, bringing me from room to room boasting of its beauty. Her facial expression goes along with the design of the room – plain and mediocre when inside the plain rooms, radiant and spirited when inside the beautiful rooms.

As we progress in our journey that day, I noticed that the rooms are depreciating in splendor. The surrounding becomes damp and crowded; cobwebs begin to be visible and there emanates a stinking smell. Then I also noticed the embarrassment in her face. Our pace reduced and I can see the hesitancy in her eyes. It’s as if all the pain and doubts and worries and fears in life came upon her that moment. But I admired her for being strong. We moved slowly and she led me to the rooms with the worst condition compared to the first ones. She cries as she was telling me the stories behind the rooms. For some rooms, she can cite reasons, for others, she just returned blank stares, suggesting her lack of idea. I joined her in tears until we reached the terrace, which is also the end of my journey with her inside the mansion.

[I joined my friends outside the mansion. There we talked about our respective journeys in life. We poured out ourselves to each other as a band of brothers, ready to protect one another.] But when I gazed at the terrace, there I find visions of men and women contributing to the ugliness of the rooms I have witnessed inside the mansion. Some are even attempting to create new ugly rooms. Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady. I need to rescue her from people who try to add tears from her eyes by building ugly rooms in her mansion.

But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up.

With friends alongside, we fought the forces. We fought our different battles. They had their own motivations. Mine is to rescue the lady. But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up. Ultimately, we won. We ended up victorious. And a celebration awaits us.

I gazed again at the terrace. There she is, surrounded still by the horrors of the ugly rooms behind her. With her as well are the people who love her and care for her welfare. But now I can see her welcoming countenance. Without hesitation, I asked her to come down from the terrace. She turned around and bade farewell to the people behind her, as if asking for their approval, which they gave. And with just a glimpse, she joined me at the celebration below; with the happiest face I can ever imagine, ready to build beautiful rooms in our own mansion.

Seeing Through Things

What if we can read the mind of God?

Minsan ba nasabi mo na sa sarili mo na sana nababasa mo ang iniisip ng ibang tao? Malamang sa mga lalaki, they can relate with me when I say, “sana naiiintindihan ko ang takbo ng isip ng mga babae”. It doesn’t matter kung sino ba siya sa buhay mo, as long as babae siya, marahil hinangad mo na maintindihan kung gaano nga ba kabilis tumakbo ang ‘train of thoughts’ nila. Ok sige, pagdating sa mga babae madali niyong mahuhuli ang mga lalaki kung sincere ba o hindi sa mga sinasabi namin, though alam naman namin may intuition naman talaga kayo sa kung ano ang totoo sa hindi.

seeing through thingsIf we can read minds, most probably we’d think that we can minimize misunderstandings sa mundo. Paano ba naman, alam mo na agad kung sarcasm lang ba ang totoo na ang sinasabi ng isang tao. Madali lang din malaman kung gusto ba nila tayo o hindi. Ang dali-dali siguro magdesisyon kasi we will no longer be left in the hands of presumptions. Imagine how things will go between couples. Ang saya di ba?

Pero when we see through things, malaki din ang mawawala sa atin. Sa context ulit ng mga couples, mahirap nang i-qualify ang effort kung ‘effort’ pa nga ba na matatawag kung hindi naman talaga diniscover ang gusto mo at ayaw mo. Everything’s just plainly revealed. The element of surprise will no longer be ‘surprising’ but rather mapapalitan ng ‘expected ko na yan’. Yung raw emotions nang pagkamangha, pagka-gulat, pagkatuwa at iba pa ay mababawasan, o di kaya’y tuluyang maglalaho.

Eh paano kung hindi mo magustuhan ang iniisip sayo ng ibang tao? Ang sakit sa puso nun di ba? Posibleng makaramdam ka ng galit sa taong yun, at malamang ay iiwasan mo na siya sa susunod. Maraming relasyon ang masisira. Hindi mag-ooperate ang tunay na pag-ibig kung lahat ng ating iniisip ay nakalantad sa madla.

Maraming mga panahon na naging laman ito ng panalangin ko:

  • “Lord, baka naman po pwedeng malaman ko po kung ano yung plano Niyo para sa akin.”
  • “Ano po ba yung gusto Niyong gawin ko, Lord?”
  • “Lord, I don’t know which way to go and what to do, tulungan Niyo naman po ako.”

What if we can read the mind of God? Yung mga tanong at panalangin natin na kagaya ng nabanggit ko ay mabibigyan agad ng tugon. We will be spared from lots of heartaches and pain dulot ng ating mga mistakes and missed priorities. Di ba ayaw din naman ni Lord na nasasaktan tayo? Generally, sino ba namang ama ang nagnanais na masaktan ang kanyang mga anak?

Yet things don’t operate the way we want it. It takes an intimate relationship with the Lord to comprehend His plans in our life. At hindi pa nga natin totally mababasa ang Kanyang isipan dahil syempre, He is an infinite, eternal, omnipotent God, as opposed to our finiteness.

It takes faith on our part to trust God na kahit hindi natin nababasa ang kanyang isipan, alam natin na maaari Siyang pagkatiwalaan. It takes faith on our part to understand na His ways are higher and dependable than ours.

Yet He is gracious enough to lead us to His perfect will through His written Word, the Bible. Pero to give us specific, to the detail, and black and white instructions on which way to go, which option to choose or the specific words to say, unfortunately hindi ganun ang paraan ni Lord. It takes faith on our part to trust God na kahit hindi natin nababasa ang kanyang isipan, alam natin na maaari Siyang pagkatiwalaan. It takes faith on our part to understand na His ways are higher and dependable than ours.

Actually it’s a blessing din nga for us not to know the details of His plans sa buhay natin. Mas nae-excite tayo how things will unfold for us. Mas nagiging dependent tayo at mas lumalalim ang ugnayan natin sa Kanya. The moment He reveals His plans, mas nauunawaan natin at naaappreciate how He operates in His divine schedule. Mas naiintindihan natin kung bakit tayo nasaktan, kung bakit tayo iniwan, kung bakit tayo nawalan, kung bakit kailangan marami muna tayong maranasan. At the end of the day, as Christians we “walk by faith and not by sight”.

Isa pa, hindi Niya rin tayo hinayaang masaktan kagaya ng sakit na nararamdaman Niya sa tuwing binabalewala natin Siya. He can see through us clearly, dahil omniscient Siya. Everytime we reject Him, ignore or make fun of Him, He sees it, hears it and feels it. Alam Niya ang lahat ng iyon pero He is gracious and merciful enough to forgive us and bear with us. Imagine kung alam natin how people think about us – life will be a never-ending pursuit of trying to win people’s affection and escaping their judgment on us. Ang hirap nun! Ang bait ng Diyos ano?

John Piper, in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, quoted C.S. Lewis and it reads:

You can’t go on “seeing through” things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to “see through” first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To “see through” all things is the same as not to see.

Makes sense, right? Hindi rin maganda na ang lahat ay plain and bare sa ating harapan. Not being able to see through things makes life more exciting and rewarding. Mas maganda pa ring makita ang ‘raw’ emotions ng mga mahal natin sa buhay through our ‘efforts’.

The best thing is, we may not be able to see through things but let’s thank the Lord that He sees us through. Dun pa lang panalo na tayo e.