Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Where I'm At

I will write what I’ve been up to in snippets.

The Blind Leading the Blind

Sometimes I say yes to service and then later on realize how much God is teaching me in the particular areas where I’m supposed to lead.

I’m helping a sister with her discernment now and as we journey in prayer together, I find that I have to plow through my own heart and be discerning in major areas of my life for me to be able to pray with her. I’ve had to face my own ghosts, unknown to her, and I’ve gone back to my previous journals to see how God had led me and where He might be taking me. My own waiting had been brought to the fore of my prayer time once more. And we have a long way to go, God and I.

Another thing I said yes to was to serve in the bible study/sharing ministry for sisters. Although I would love to formally study Theology someday, all I had attended so far were short bible study courses. So when the women signed up, hungry to study God’s word and apply it in their lives, I felt some pressure and asked for help. Thankfully, priests came to the rescue. They gave me study materials and said they’re available for consultation anytime. They also said I’m not blind, that I could do this if I just kept things simple. This was something that I did for love – of God, His Word, and my Lingkod QC sisters. Now I’m reading up to prepare and thinking of our lesson plan. It’s a new and interesting ministry.

As the parish of St. Benedict is being formed, I was asked to serve there in a ministry. Being clueless about serving in a parish, yet unable to say no, I said yes but to put me in any ministry except finance. I have yet to find out where I’ll end up serving but I would like to think that building a parish with the Missionaries of God’s Love would be inspiring and exciting. At least in this area, I would be a follower and those who are leading me are not blind. Fr Steve, who would be installed as Parish Priest on August 27, and Fr. Geoffrey, who would become Assistant Parish Priest, certainly know what they are doing. And I would be happy to follow them as they in turn follow Jesus’ call for them to serve here in the Philippines.

Three Mountains

For three weeks (with one weekend’s interval) now, Lingkod QC has been singing praises to God on top of a mountain. It's a different mountain each time.

Last Aug 4-6, we were up in Antipolo serving in the RLTC. It was an exciting, albeit exhausting, weekend full of surprises. Our cup was filled to overflowing, so much so that last August 12-13, the Music Ministry decided to go up to Baguio to celebrate the many blessings in our service. There we went to all the major tourist spots and had the time of our lives in pure fellowship. Then on August 21, the RLTC service team went up to Tagaytay for a half-day of prayer at the Don Bosco Chapel on the Hill and for the requisite visits to Leslie’s and Bag of Beans. We were filled with the gift of joy all throughout that trip, discovering who among us were most knowledgeable about Philippine movies. We exchanged movie trivia and were delightfully surprised that shy and quiet Leah beat all of us in answering Doc Jun’s most trivial questions about movies and stars from way back the ‘70’s. Going home, we listened to Ted’s CD, the tribute to the Apo Hiking Society, over and over again. I particularly liked the remake of their famous song “Ewan”.

All of us were in high spirits as we went back to work today.

Rest in Various Forms

I was able to rest last Sunday too as my high school best friends and a particular family from there adopted me for a weekend getaway at Canyonwoods Resort. I was able to do the most basic fun things with them – eat, swim, drink, and sleep. The Jacuzzi and the spa also added to the restfulness of our short vacation. A bonus was that I was able to memorize the songs from “High School Musical” as the two girls, one of them my inaanak, repeatedly played the movie on their portable DVD inside the car. I couldn’t get the songs out of my head! Disney lyrics! When I listened to my own music later on, the Apo songs, they reminded me of my own childhood.

Happiness versus Joy

Rick Warren explains this better. Basta happiness is external while joy is internal. Happiness is based on happenings, while joy is based on the truth that the Lord is near no matter what happens.

A friend asked me if I’m happy with what I’m doing. She who remembers me from the time I was a driven student, acing Algebra and English, running for student council, joining the choir and the school paper, entering U.P. and all that. She had to ask if I was sure I was where I was supposed to be. I said I could not explain to her, just as I could not explain to my own mother, that true, I might not be happy all the time – due to my own weaknesses, or even other people's- but that does not mean I’m not joyful, just at the knowledge that I was called, and I followed, and I have faith that the One who called me would never let me down, even if His ways are not my ways and His time is not my time.

It’s so hard to make my loved ones understand this because they don’t want to see me struggle, and I know they worry for me. But when I myself am not sure of my plans, when I myself am not in control, and I’m ok with this as this is the only way God can truly take the lead and steer my life at this point, the contradiction is something I cannot explain yet. So I leave even this up to God to explain. It’s within His expertise anyway. Maybe someday the clouds will open up and reveal to me my future. Or maybe they will not. I have just enough light for the step I’m on.

I just came home from our Action Group (my support group) meeting, and there we discussed verses in the bible that speak of joy, to check our hearts on where we were in this area. I was reminded that Jesus wants our joy to be complete (John 15); that He could turn my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30); that I should rejoice in all circumstances and let my gladness be evident to all (Philippians 4). All these, because the Holy Spirit is in me already, and love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control is the fruit of the Spirit that is in me (Galatians 5:22-23).

I would like to bear that kind of fruit in my life, but sometimes I falter. So each time, I will go as Jesus did, up to the mountain to pray, to get some rest, and to be reminded of my joy and of who truly leads me: the Son of Man, who makes even the blind see.

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