Thursday, March 20, 2008

Doubt in the Midst of Waiting

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?  (John 13:12)

Do I realize what Jesus has done for me?  I am not sure if I ever will.  My mind cannot comprehend it.  My eyes cannot see it.  My heart cannot believe it.

I attended a Bible class last year where the book of Romans was dissected by Fr Steve Tynan, our parish priest, and where he explained the significance of Christ's sacrifice, of our sanctification and redemption.  The revelation was too much that I finished the course still in awe of what Jesus had done.  If I were asked to explain it now, I doubt if I could.

There it is. There lies the problem:  doubt.

I never thought it would happen to me.  I thought I was immune to it - doubt, fear, backsliding, hardening of heart against the Lord - but in the past few months, I have been guilty of all these, and more.  It started with a drying up of prayer time, which seemed at first to be just that, a drying up of the well.  It was something even the saints went through in their journey with the Lord. I thought in due time the water would come gushing.  If only I had  waited a little longer.

But inch by inch, I let my impatience take over me.  From sunrise to sundown, I declared my war on waiting.  I drummed my fingers whenever I was stuck in traffic, and caught an accident as a result.  I could have listened to Christian music or prayed the rosary, but no, I resorted to inane text messages.  I was impatient at home, and impatient at work.  I was impatient with myself, and underneath it all, impatient with God.

I did not plan to rebel against God, whom I professed to follow all the days of my life.  It just happened.  I let my guard down.  My foot slipped.  I ignored all the warnings.  I shut out the voices of reason.  I even felt entitled to "a little break".  

This Holy Week, I learned the difference of being "on a break", and having a "breakup".  I realized that I did not want to break up with Jesus.  I merely wanted to be on a break from the routine I had lost myself into for the past several years.  My confessor and spiritual director said it was okay, that I should be patient in times of transition in my prayer life.  

And what a transition I was in!  Prayer took on a new form.  What used to work did not work anymore.  The people I ran to for help suddenly became busy.  Service became harder and harder because I doubted God's love for me.  I needed a very long, restful break.

It could not have been rest as I was doing it on my own.  I had cut down on activities but still felt restless.  So I went to two celebrations of the Lord's Supper today, just like last year - first in the parish, and then with Ligaya.  I did not want to choose between them so I attended both.  

I needed to hear God.  I needed to hear Him again.  I realized, however, that none of the emotions I used to associate with Holy Thursday were coming.  During meditation, I wasn't Peter in the Gospel anymore, having that important conversation with Jesus, but just a spectator, who did not want her feet to be washed by Jesus, and who was hoping not to be asked to wash other people's feet.  

But what was I so afraid of?  This was Jesus who was inviting me to love, just as He was inviting me to serve.  How could I forget what He had done for me?  Just looking at the earthly miracles, I got my job because last year, during the same Holy Thursday service, Lou Sitaca asked me to try CD Asia, after years of conversations about the company and inviting me to be a part of it.  I was also asked to serve as Lingkod QC BWM by God during Holy Thursday. In fact, this was the start of my fiscal year.  I had  experienced many other miracles and received many healing words on Holy Thursdays.

I had been running a good race, and then lost my way out of stubbornness and impatience.  I do hope that there is a chance for me to go back to being in-love with God alone, and of being Jesus' faithful servant, and of living in the power of the Holy Spirit.  

Like a runner, I look forward every year to  Holy Thursday as it starts the Easter Triduum, and with it, Easter - the finish line.  This Lent is coming to a glorious end whether I feel it or not.  A spark of hope is rising within me tonight.  

Let me then go back to a life of waiting for the fulfillment of that Hope that I had almost forgotten. And that hope, that reward, is not of this world.  It is simply and clearly to see God face to face, and to worship Him forever.

To think I almost lost forever, for the passing fancies of today.  I will not think about what might have been.

I will just keep waiting. 

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