Shooting Arrows

You can begin to be an arrow-crafter and a warrior kahit hindi ka pa ganap na parent.

Advertisements

Adulting.

Yung paggising mo na lang isang araw, the reality of responsibilities no longer seem distant but is already in front of you, slapping you in the face. Yung pagkatapos mong matulog nang mahimbing, gigisingin ka niya gently ng 6am, or 7am only to remind you – “you’re no longer a kid so wake up, stretch those muscles and be more responsible with your life”. Oo, parang bulong lang na “Resorts World Manilaaaah!”

Ohh, quarter-life crisis.

shooting-arrows

I was talking about sorta-parenting advice on my previous blog (link here, basahin mo na rin. Haha!). Again I’m not yet a parent kaya marami pa akong dapat matutunan at ma-experience bago ako maging credible sa topic na ito. What I write about are just my thoughts.

Isa sa mga pabirong sagot ko sa tanong kung ilan ang gusto kong anak, I answer nine – and I will name them based sa “fruits of the spirit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Yeah, self-control na pagdating sa huli. Pero syempre, joke lang yung nine 🙂

Sabi sa Psalms 127:3-5:

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

All along, I associate parenting with diapers and feeding bottles, of tuition fees and homeworks, of PTA meetings and grading cards. But the Bible shatters this stereotyping with an unconventional comparison, at least in our context. From diaper-wielding parents to fierce warriors – sino nga bang makakapagsabi that the Bible pictures parents with bow and arrows?

They have to hit a target. And what’s their target? I suppose they are shooting their arrows toward the future – to hit a mark, to make a difference, to claim a spot. But what kind of arrow are they shooting?

Being a warrior requires discipline. Kailangan bukod sa pagiging handa sa laban, dapat magaling ka din sa paggamit ng napili mong sandata. And if children are like arrows, ang mga parents ay parang mga archers. Steady ang pulso sa pag-aim ng arrow. May malinaw na vision sa target. Sabi pa nga ng verse, mapalad ang taong puno ang quiver, o ang sisidlan ng mga arrows. So justified na ba ang nine na anak? Hahaha!

Ano naman ang aim ng mga archers, este ng parents? Hindi naman siguro sila blindly titira lang ng arrow kung saan. They have to hit a target. And what’s their target? I suppose they are shooting their arrows toward the future – to hit a mark, to make a difference, to claim a spot. But what kind of arrow are they shooting? Yung arrow ba na ititira nila will really make a difference? It depends entirely on how they will craft their arrows. Child-rearing.

From this illustration alone, I believe that being a parent is indeed difficult – molding the child, training them to follow the godly path. How will you craft an arrow that will impact the next generation? Personally, anong mga preparations na dapat kong gawin para maging magaling na arrow-crafter and warrior? Challenging.

Parenting is effective when it is demonstrated; you gotta lead by example. Sabi nga, madali lang maging tatay, pero ang maging mabuting magulang

My personal conviction is that you can begin to be an arrow-crafter and a warrior kahit hindi ka pa ganap na parent. Develop skills. Hone your talents. Fill your mind with the Word. Train yourself to be godly. Remember that you cannot give what you don’t have. Parenting is effective when it is demonstrated; you gotta lead by example. Sabi nga, madali lang maging tatay, pero ang maging mabuting magulang – it will require you not just to get past through adulting phase and quarter-life crisis. It will require you to embrace the realization that you are wielding in your quiver the arrows that will change the future.

Ok. Ready na akong supalpalin ulit ng responsibilities bukas ng umaga. Oh, adulting.

Rated: SPG

Training up a child is not just about for the child himself – but for the future generation as well

Nakasakay ako sa jeep minsan nang sumagi sa isipan ko ang mga larong kinahumalingan ko noong bata pa ako: tumbang preso, luksong baka, pitik-bulag… napaisip ako, san kaya galing ang mga pangalan ng larong ito? Sino kaya ang nagpauso? Natawa ako sa imagination ko. Imagine, bulag na nga, pipitikin pa? Parang ang salbahe lang. Tapos ang baka na mas malaki pa sa bata, susubukang talunan? Mahirap yata yun. Pero yung presong itinutumba, mas Rated SPG na may temang karahasan.

rated-spg

Then yung opening lyrics ng “Langit-Lupa”:

Langit, lupa, impyerno… Im-im-impyerno/ saksak-puso, tulo ang dugo.

Tapos yung “Nanay-Tatay”:

Nanay, tatay gusto kong tinapay/ ate, kuya gusto kong kape.

Lahat ng gusto ko ay susundin niyo. Ang magkamali ay pipingutin ko.

In fairness, innocently nung bata pa lang ako naenjoy ang mga larong yan. Malaking bahagi ng pagkatao ko ang mga larong kalye nung bata pa ako. Actually thankful ako at naranasan ko ang maging bata sa panahong hindi pa natake-over ng technology ang mundo.

Pero again, medyo natawa ako at napaisip na rin, hindi pala child-friendly ang mga naging laro natin nung mga bata pa tayo. Base sa mga lyrics at pangalan ng laro, ang bayolente rin pala kung iisipin.

Natakot ako bigla. Habang sinusulat ko ito, naisip ko yung magiging anak ko in the future. While people might say na nasa pagpapalaki yan, nasa pagtuturo yan ng magulang, nasa upbringing, it’s a daunting reality pa rin na isipin na may malaki ring bahagi ang environment sa development ng isipan ng tao.

Lalo na sa panahon ngayon. Kung dati ang mga video games ay mga cartoonish characters na may mga disproportionate na mga ulo at mata, ngayon mas nagiging realistic na ang itsura ng mga characters. Kung dati mga matinis na “eeeey eeeey eeeey” ni Rockman lang sa Marvel vs Capcom lang masaya na tayo, ngayon mas makatotohanang tunog na ng baril at patayan na ang kayang ibigay ng mga video games natin. Mas bloody, mas violent, mas may gore. At mas naeenjoy ng mga bata yan ngayon.

Natakot ako bigla. Habang sinusulat ko ito, naisip ko yung magiging anak ko in the future. While people might say na nasa pagpapalaki yan, nasa pagtuturo yan ng magulang, nasa upbringing, it’s a daunting reality pa rin na isipin na may malaki ring bahagi ang environment sa development ng isipan ng tao. Technology offers a lot of help para maging mas maayos ang buhay natin. Pero it also opens door and windows para maexpose din tayo sa worldliness and unhealthy influences.

Kaya pala may instruction to train up a child in the way he should go. It is not just about good behaviour, I believe. More than just having good manners, training up a child in the ways of the Lord will keep him from obsessing himself with things na maaaring makasama sa kanya. Training up a child is not just about for the child himself – but for the future generation na kabibilangan niya. It is sending a message na someone in the past cares for their well being.

train-up-a-child

I’m wondering, ano na nga kaya ang kahihinatnan ng future ng mga kabataan natin at ng mga susunod pa? Mawawala at mawawala ang mga larong kinagisnan natin ngunit one thing for sure, the influences that will try to veer them away from the truth will always be around, that is why we need to train them in the way they should go.

Training up a child is not just about for the child himself – but for the future generation na kabibilangan niya. It is sending a message na someone in the past cares for their well being.

I am not yet a parent. Ngunit habang wala pa ang mga future “arrows” ko, mas mainam na paghandaan ko muna kung paanong maging “skilled warrior” ngayon. Until then, magiging mas capable ako to influence those next in line…

And for my next blog, I’m thinking of expanding my thoughts on this arrow-warrior illustration. Pero bakit parang pang-parenting na ang tone ng sinusulat ko? Haha!

 

Add Life to your Years

To age is way different from being mature.

Guess what? Tatanda na naman tayo ng isang taon pa. Oo isang taon ulit. Ang bilis ano? Dati ang umo-occupy lang ng isipan natin ay kung paano gagawin ang mga homework ng terror nating high school teacher, o kung kagaya kitang mabait, iniisip online game na lalaruin pagkatapos ng uwian. O di kaya naman ang itsura ng crush mo na dino-drowing mo pa sa likod ng notebook na may mukha ng mayor niyo sa cover.

Add Life to your YearsNgayon, ang dami-dami na nating iniisip. Sa sobrang dami, mahirap na ngang isakatuparan ang iba e. Naaalala ko pa na ang mga topics namin ng mga kaibigan ko few years back ay umiikot lang halos sa adolescence stage na pinagdadaanan namin. Ngayon pati ang inflation, politika at showbiz, bukod pa sa mga trabaho namin at planong bumuo ng sariling pamilya ay napag-uusapan na rin. Idagdag mo pa ang walang kamatayang ice breaker tuwing magkakasama ang dating magkakaklase: sino-sino na ang mga nabuntis sa batch natin?

Yet to age is way different from being mature. Age deals with the years in our life; maturity is the life in our years. Yet they have to coincide at some point. They have to meet along the way.

Tumatanda na nga tayo. At kung sasabihin mo sa aking kalabaw lang ang tumatanda, ano ka exempted? We age, whether obvious sa itsura o pigura, o kung mapalad ka’t nabiyayaan ng baby face, still we really cannot deny the fact that we age. And with age come tons of responsibilities we need to embrace and carry through.

Yet to age is way different from being mature. Age deals with the years in our life; maturity is the life in our years. Yet they have to coincide at some point. They have to meet along the way.

Medyo may kaunting panghihinayang lang ako sa tinakbo ng karera ko sa buhay a few seasons back and I reaped the consequences of my decisions then. Yet I know that in God’s panoramic perspective, there are really no accidents. I am part of something bigger, sabi nga ni Nick Fury. “That it’s brave to ask ‘what if,’ [that] I think it’s braver to ask ‘what is’” sabi naman ni pareng Popoy. Until now, I am picking myself up, but I am learning in the process.

Di pa huli ang lahat para sa atin, at least yan ang sabi ng imaginary friend ko. It doesn’t matter kung nasa kalendaryo pa ang edad mo o wala na, at least nasa bingo card pa rin. And that’s what matters – may bilang ka, at pwede pang pagbuhulin ang iyong edad at ang iyong pinagkatandaan.

Quote 2Discover your purpose, live your passion, find your niche.

And this is what makes the New Year more exciting! It gives us a glimmer of motivation to add life to our years! Gusto mong umakyat ng bundok? Then go! Nauuso na ang mga mountain hiking groups. You want to travel the world, or the country at least? Madami nang promo fares. If you want to be an advocate of financial literacy, or responsible parenting, or you just want to have a voice in the world of internet, then blogosphere is readily available. At kung maisipan mong maging ganap na blogger at single, unattached ka, you might as well consider joining our P.S.A. group – ibang kalidad!

Let’s add life to our years. Lagyan natin ng konting palabok ang buhay by escaping the usual routine we are so familiar with. Ako nga gusto kong mas maging active pa sa pagbibisikleta ko. Gusto ko ding umakyat sa bundok with friends. Mas maraming books ang gusto kong mabasa this year. And the weirdest thing na bina-bargain ko pa sa kunsensya ko ay ang sumakay sa bus papunta sa isang malayong lugar na unfamiliar para lang maglagalag pagkatapos ay uuwi na ulit. Bottom line is, let us all age gracefully!

Pagbigyan niyo na rin ako. Dala lang din marahil nang nasa Quarter-life crisis na ako. 🙂 Promise, makaka-move on din ako sa pagtatanong kung sino-sino pa ba sa mga ka-batch ko ang nanay at tatay na.

A Father’s Heart

A father with a vulnerable heart towards God, his heavenly Father.

10-13 David blessed God in full view of the entire congregation:

Blessed are you, God of Israel, our father
from of old and forever.
To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might,
the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor;
Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth;
the kingdom all yours! You’ve raised yourself high over all.
Riches and glory come from you,
you’re ruler over all;
You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand
to build up and strengthen all.
And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you,
praising your splendid Name.

14-19 “But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand. As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God that you care nothing for the surface — you want us, our true selves— and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you. And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided.” – 1 Chronicles 29:10-19 (Msg)

A Father's Heart

I was caught off-guard while reading this portion of the Scripture. Emotions welled-up inside me and I cannot help but take a break from reading and praise God for His greatness. I felt humbled and little in comparison to His glory; filthy in comparison to His holiness and righteousness; weak and dumb in comparison to His might and wisdom. Indeed, God, in His infinity, is beyond comprehension. That moment is truly remarkable.

Yet beyond the overwhelming message of His Word, what overcame me was the peace that followed. I have been through a difficult emotional turmoil days prior my encounter with the Word, and during that incident, I found myself seemingly receiving a pat on the back from God Himself. I felt like a little child crying because of fear and insecurity and right when I need it, I was comforted by a hug from my Father.

Living in the times when fatherhood is becoming more of an idea than a responsibility, King David’s example is something to imitate. He displayed how to be vulnerable in front of His heavenly Father so he can be a strong earthly father to his son.

I admired King David praying and committing his successor-king son Solomon to the Lord. I was moved by the earnestness and passion of His fatherly prayer. I was moved by his desire to ensure that Solomon will choose to do the right things. I believe that if He was given a chance to guide Solomon’s actions in their whole father-son lifetime just to make sure everything’s working out fine, He will do so. Yet, King David, and every godly father know that their lifetime is brief and in different time frame. Soon his father role to Solomon will cease because of his finiteness. That’s why he entrusts his son to God – the infinite Father. He acknowledges that God is a Father who will care and protect, and will never cease to do so, because He is infinite.

I am not yet a father myself and I desire to be one soon. Living in the times when fatherhood is becoming more of an idea than a responsibility, King David’s example is something to imitate. He displayed how to be vulnerable in front of His heavenly Father so he can be a strong earthly father to his son. He acknowledged that the ultimate Source is not, and will never be him. He knew who the real Authority is, submits to that Authority and encourages others to do so. He demonstrates the godly values of honesty, gratitude, and generosity in worship, among others. When I become a father someday, I want to be like of King David, a father with a vulnerable heart towards God, his heavenly Father.