We are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ”
I don’t know if you can identify with me, pero
parang mas tight ang Christmas na ito compared last year. Tight in a way na parang
mas maraming outflow kaysa inflow. Sa tingin ko lang naman, though aminado
naman ako that in one way or another, malaking factor ang mga unplanned
expenditures ko this year.
I missed blogging, really. Sa sobrang
dami kong ganap this last quarter, halos wala akong oras na harapin ang laptop
ko to jot down my thoughts. Marami akong blog ideas to write about kaso nanatili
na lang sila sa notes section ng cellphone ko, nalipasan na ng relevance ang majority.
Salamat sa holiday, kahit paano napahinga.
I read the first chapter of Ephesians the day before Christmas. I loved how alive and timely the word of God could be! As of that moment, two of my friends lost a loved one. I can’t imagine how totally different this Christmas will be for them. But the word of God is full of assuring words – that we are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). How loving can the Lord be that even in the darkest moments of our lives, we can still see the “silver lining”, as Catriona Gray nails it. I just pray for the Holy Spirit’s comforting embrace be upon them in this trying times.
Going back to Ephesians 1, I recognized how
easy it is for most of us to look for what’s lacking rather than appreciate the
things that we enjoy. Mas madali kasi ma-appreciate ang mga materyal na bagay
kaysa mga blessings na hindi mo naman nahahawakan. Yet the Apostle Paul’s
thanksgiving is not much of the material things that he has, but the spiritual
blessings every believer enjoys in Christ.
God has adopted us into His family. He
graciously purchased with the blood of Jesus and forgave our sins. He has showered
us with kindness, along with wisdom and understanding. He has included us in
his eternal redemptive plan of bringing everything together under the authority
of Christ. He has given us an inheritance through Jesus Christ. And if God’s
believability does not convince you, He has given us a seal – the promised Holy
Spirit – as a guarantee. Hindi ba sobrang blessed natin spiritually?
We may not have a lot of material things to count, but our fingers would not be enough to count the spiritual blessings we have in Christ Jesus.
If life is just about accumulation of material
things, siguro nga napaka-kawawa natin as Christians. Especially those who gave
up a lot for their faith. If life is about worldly wealth, malamang nasa dulo tayo
ng pila. Kasi naman our standards for living are counter-cultural, beyond
normal kung iisipin. We consider ourselves blessed when we give; instead of
getting even, we forgive; when insulted, we turn the other cheek; when we want
to be great, we serve; and when we want to live, we die to ourselves.
But life isn’t about wealth accumulation, and
material things do not mean the world to us. If the world considers us poor
based on its standards, it doesn’t matter. We know for ourselves that we are rich
beyond the riches this world has to offer. We may not have a lot of material
things to count, but our fingers would not be enough to count the spiritual
blessings we have in Christ Jesus.
Dun pa lang sa joy of salvation, panalo na tayo
Let me join the Apostle Paul in this prayer: “I
pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the
confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich
and glorious inheritance” (Ephesians 1:18).
This is how I try to describe what I have been feeling recently. Amidst all the victories and joyful testimonies of people around me, I find myself sulking over the seemingly “barrenness” of my life. I am on a plateau of emotions, of activity and of spirituality.
I am tempted to say that I am waiting for that next “emotional wind” to carry me to a place of joy but I am certain that life is not like that. Trends or any tangibles must not define us. Our happiness must not be dependent on the latest craze or any momentary reason. It must come from within us.
Are you in the same rut too?
If we share the same sentiments, join me in unraveling the painful reality of our situation.
A short story
There was a time when I found myself wading in the mud of depressing emotions. I confided to a friend and I was advised to thoroughly assess my situation in writing, but I have to do it with full honesty. This is because there are times we are not being honest with ourselves because we don’t want to face the ugliness of our situation. We’d rather feel sad and depressed than face our darkest realities.
So I wrote down on a journal all the things that are bothering me that time. At first I felt uneasy. I really don’t know how to begin. Yet, clinging to the “rule” that I must be honest, things started to unfold. As I write down all my angst and my pain, my fear and doubts and all my questions, slowly my pain subsides.
It was not magical, but spiritual. God has been with me as I unload my emotions. It was more like a prayer sans the pretension and formalities. It was a heartbreaking moment with me and my Creator only that the heartbreaking part was also a healing session.
At first I was afraid to write down all my pain and questions, especially my angst, thinking that it is too unchristian to harbor such bitterness in the presence of the Almighty. But then I was reminded, God knows the depths of my heart whether or not I present my case before Him. He is not offended by our honesty. There is no amount of mess that can overwhelm Him.
The ugly reality
Now that I am on the same situation again, I tried to search within me. Why am I sad? Why am I too anxious over things I can’t even understand? Why am I constantly telling myself again that it is not my season? Here are the things that I have discovered. And perhaps, in one way or another, these are true to your situation too. Brace yourself!
I have been putting extra burden on myself with an unhealthy view of people around me. Instead of celebrating their victories, I tend to look on them with envy and bitterness. I hate to admit I often think of myself as ‘can-do-all’ person, and whenever I realize that I cannot and others step up for my incapacity, I sulk.
I try to catch up with other people’s pace. I want to prove myself. I still have episodes when I regret over my past mistakes and rehearse what should have happened if I pursued the path other than what I am taking right now. I think of my “what ifs” and wonder how it would be different from now.
I have also been harboring discouragement over what’s happening with my life and ministry lately. It seems that I no longer can deliver well compared before. My mind wanders; I am often worried about how time runs too fast and I can’t cope up. The weight of all the tasks I have carelessly accepted before are all dawning on me now.
I feel too incapacitated to help others, as I myself am drained of words to encourage them. Though before I felt like I was called to be an encourager to people who are in pain, now it seems like I am kicked off the encouragement department.
I know the importance of rest, but I often take rest days to catch up with things I cannot do when I am at work. This is no rest at all, but just a diversion from the usual routine, yet same amount of activity. No wonder I still feel tired even after weekends.
I lie to myself. I convince myself that I am still alright when in fact I am not just bruised but broken. And when people care less about me because they look at me as strong, I become upset. Sometimes, I feel pretentious, but I can’t help myself being such.
You may add your own self-assessment of your situation. Be brutally honest. It would be painful, but it would be great experience, promise!
You may believe me or not, but honestly as I am writing this, I felt a bit relieved. My problems did not magically disappear but at least, the heaviness somewhat wore off. This is actually different from how I write blogs before, but it pays to do something different once in a while.
Perhaps the period where we are right now, if you are emotionally wounded like me, is a testament that in a Christian’s life, not all the time is bliss. This is life telling us that as Jesus faced difficult times while on earth, we should not expect less. However, the encouragement at the end of the day is to “take heart, I [Jesus] have overcome the world”. While we may face day to day realities of anxiety and unexplainable sadness, Jesus got us covered with love and grace. We are not forgotten, we are not forsaken. At least this truth is more than a consolation and a soothing balm for our wounded soul. This truth is our hope.
If you are reading this and we happen to be on the same boat, join me in praying that joy may overtake us very soon. Keep the faith aflame!
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.
Break out: Pastoring with Ptr. Bong P.
Bonus: Wedding Proposal!
Not even a power outage can stop Acel Bisa-Van Omen in sharing God’s goodness
Fun-filled hosting with Kedebon and Nathan
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.
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.
“The institution is human, it is the identity that is divine”
Iba rin talaga ang nagagawa ng kawalan ng internet connection, much more cellphone signal. I recently attended a Pastors’ and Workers’ Retreat and I can attest to a very significant effect of internet connectivity (or the lack thereof) on human interactions. Mas authentic and tawanan, mas totoo ang kwentuhan, mas buhay ang hagalpakan. In this world digital connectivity, we need to establish more often the significance of genuine relational connections.
Isa pa sa major feat na naranasan ko while on that retreat ay nakatapos ako ng isang libro in one seating. Dahil wala akong cellphone na need constantly i-check during break periods, I really felt like I am one with nature that time, at parang kausap ko lang in person ang mga characters ni Kuya Rei Lemuel Crizaldo, ang author ng Bili na Kayo ng Church. Ang unusual ng title ano? Pero sa title pa lang, magkakaroon ka kaagad ng idea what the book is about – the emerging commercialization of the church.
What’s interesting about this book is that it is presented in a “he said, she said” format. Para kang nakikinig ng usapan ng magkaibigang sina Sef and Nivz habang nagbabatuhan sila ng mga arguments about the church – answering our questions that we dare not ask sa mga church leaders natin. Sabi nga sa blurb ng libro, “ang pagpili ba ng church ay parang pagsha-shopping lang para sa bagong gadget? Sa dami ng nagsusulputang churches, alin kaya ang dapat mong puntahan? Kung lahat sila ay mag-iinvite sa iyo, anong gimik kaya nila ang makakahatak sa iyo?”
Sef and Nivz presented our view of the church in opposing spectrums: one, that it must uphold and maintain its traditions despite the changing times and two, that it has to adapt to the cultural and preferential shifts of the churchgoers. Sa dalawang panig na pinakikinggan ko (err, binababasa), sa totoo lang nalito ako kung saan nga ba ang bias ko: I can identify with Sef and his frustrations with the institutionalized church, na hindi na tayo kinakikitaan ng mga pag-uugali na unang ipinakita ng early church fathers natin – pag-ibig, pagkakaisa, Christlikeness. I do also agree with Nivz, lalo na sa encouragement niya na huwag tayong mawalan ng pag-asa sa church dahil lang sa dungis ng mga taong bumubuo nito. If Jesus died for the church, why should we give up on her?
Nagpatikim din si Kuya Rei ng interesting facts about the church history in this book. Maging yung iba’t ibang mukha ng iglesia natin ngayon ay ipinakita rin niya: cell churches, house churches, community churches, traditional churches, mega churches, digital churches. May pros and cons. Ngunit kung ang tanong mo ay “should I stay or should I go?” at “if I stay, where do I stay?” ikaw na ang bahalang sumagot niyan based on your convictions. Ang masasabi ko lang, I appreciate how God sometimes lead us to questions unanswerable by either yes or no so we’ll learn to listen to Him intently, even in matters such as leaving or staying in a specific church family.
Before I end this post, I’d love to share this statement from Sef. Pertaining to church, he says “the institution is human, it is the identity that is divine”.
Actually habang binabasa ko ang libro, it’s as if my questions were being articulated and presented to me. Hindi lang pala ako ang may mga frustrations sa institutionalized church in general. Hindi lang pala ako ang nagtatanong, “why does it hurt to be in church?”. Pero through the years that I’ve stayed and served in the church, I began to love it not because of its flaws but in spite of it.
Grab a copy on Bili na Kayo ng Church available in all OMF and Philippine Christian Bookstores.
“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.
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!
Yung mas humuhugot pa tayo ng inspirasyon sa mga human relationships natin more than Him.
Gone are the days na ang mga kabataan ay nagbibitaw ng mga pick-up lines at mga cheesy jokes. A few years ago, uso ang mga “ways to win her heart” at mga “how to catch his attention”. Ngayon ang uso ay mga “hugot”, na sinusundan pa ng “walang forever” at “maghihiwalay rin kayo”. Bentang-benta sa atin ang mga negosyong may kaunting touch ng ka-bitteran at encouragement sa pagmo-move on. Nagbabago nga talaga ang panahon.
Being a hopeless romantic myself, samahan mo pa ng pagkahilig ko sa mga mabulaklak na salita, tuwang tuwa talaga ako dati sa mga pick-up lines. Those catchy little phrases were my attention catchers whenever I speak before a group of youth. Pero ngayong mga salitang pa-hugot na ang in sa panlasa ng mga kabataan, medyo kailangan ko na ring mag-upgrade ng artillery ko. This is my observation sa mga kabataan ngayon – most of the time you can win their attention with your wit. Kapag may pagka-smarty-smarty ka, malaki ang chance na makukuha mo ang kanilang atensyon necessary as you unload the gospel story.
Sa dami ng humuhugot ngayon, nagiging katatawanan na siya. Ako mismo, I find most of the hugot lines on the internet both as amusing and intellectual. Nakakatuwa ang katabaan ng utak ng mga nasa likod ng mga ito! It just proves how resilient we are as a nation – hindi lang tayo sa mga bagyo at baha matatag, maging sa anumang uri ng unos na dumarating sa ating mga puso. Ano naman kung mabroken-heart? Isang hugot lang yan!
Pero ano nga ba ang nasa likod ng ating mga pag-hugot?
Isa ka nang bitterana
Marahil ay naranasan mo nang masaktan, hindi lang nang isang beses kundi maraming beses na. Sa sobrang exposure mo sa sakit, naging hustler ka na. Alam na alam mo na ang pakiramdam at naging manhid ka na dito. Pero gayunman, kabilang ka pa rin sa mga umaasang darating din ang panahon na mapapalitan ng tamis ang bawat pait at lalabas din ang sweet tooth personality mo.
Lunod ka na sa luha ng iba
Sa araw-araw ka ba namang iyakan ng mga kaibigan mong akala mo kasama sa marathon kung maghabol sa jowa nilang ilang beses na silang iniwan, syempre mapapahugot ka talaga. You learn by experience ika nga, pero sa experience ng iba.
Reflective ka lang talaga
Ikaw yung tipo nang taong hugot nang hugot kahit wala namang lovelife; yung huhugot na lang bigla makakita lang ng maruming basahan, tuyong dahon o kahit gamit na tissue paper. Lahat na lang ng bagay kaya mong bigyan ng hustisya. Hindi ka man lunod sa luha ng iba, lunod naman ang iba sa kakahugot mo out of nowhere.
Add your personal reason
At walang makakapigil sayo.
Last year dahil sa That Thing Called Tadhana, naging pambansang destinasyon para mag-move on ang Sagada. Ngayon, salamat sa bagong commercial ng McDonalds, naging mas malapit at mas affordable na ang pagkalimot kay ex – no need na para umakyat nang bundok. Burger McDo lang, mapapakanta ka na ng “tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko”.
Magandang mai-release natin ang ating mga hinanakit at pait sa buhay. Malaking bagay na ang anumang nagpapasakit sa ating puso ay mailabas natin para tayo ay makarecover. May mga therapy pa nga na ginagawa ang iba na kailangang magbasag ng mga pinggan sa pader para makapagrelease. Unfortunately for some, mas pinipili naman nila ang maglaslas. Umibig – nasaktan – lumuha – nagselfie.
Kaya nga tinawag siya na moving on ay dahil kailangan mong pumunta from one place to another – from a place of hurting and pain to a place of recovery and freedom from bitterness. Ngunit hindi magiging madali ang proseso. Sa iba, ito ay mabagal at sa iba naman ito ay madali lang, no need na sumunod sa Popoy rule na three months. Ang pagmo-move on ay hindi isang karera na kailangan mong mauna sa iba – ito ay isang paglago tulad ng isang binhi. Sa paglipas ng panahon, mas yumayabong ka at nagiging mas matatag.
May mga instances sa Bible na kahit si Jesus ay napapa-hugot din from His surroundings to drive important points para mas maunawaan natin ang mga gusto Niyang sabihin. He’s the best teacher after all.
Nang minsang kumain siyang kasama ng mga tax collectors and “sinners”, mga social outcasts nang panahon nila, pinag-chismisan siya ng mga ruling religious men. Kaya’t nagsimulang humugot si Jesus:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” – Luke 15:4-7
Sa labis na pag-ibig din Niya sa atin, with deep emotions and compassion may isa pang hugot si Jesus:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” – Matthew 23:37
Sobrang mahal tayo ni Jesus and out of His great love for us, He wants us not just to know about it but to experience it as well. Ngunit maraming pagkakataon rin na nasasaktan lang natin Siya. Gustong-gusto niya tayong makausap at makasama ngunit hindi natin Siya pinapansin. Ang mas masakit pa, mas humuhugot pa tayo ng inspirasyon sa mga human relationships natin more than Him.
Maraming gustong sabihin si Jesus sa atin. Buksan mo lang ang Bible mo at mamangha sa napakaraming hugot ni Jesus – hugot nang pagmamahal at hindi ng bitterness, hugot upang tayo ay mag-move on towards Christ-likeness from a life of brokenness.
May mga hugot tayo sa buhay at kadalasan puno ito ng bitterness. I encourage you na in all of these hugot sentiments, mas humugot tayo ng lakas, inspirasyon at tunay na pag-ibig from Jesus Himself.