Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hardships in life

Squeezing myself into the jam-packed MRT, sweating it out under the sun while waiting for a bus, elbowing other passengers to climb up into a moving jeepney, inhaling the poisonous exhaust fumes emitted by trikes. These awful occurrences I go through almost everyday of my life.

And these make me desire that my future kids would not go through these hardships. They would be safely cocooned inside air-conditioned private cars. They would arrive in their desired destinations safe and sound, not a drop of sweat upon their brows. They would be comfortable and would have clean lungs. In other words, I yearn to give them easy lives. Not only when it comes to riding the public transportation but in all aspects of their lives. I do not want them to have trials nor difficulties. No needs nor wants that are not acquired. No tears and no hurts. No mosquito bites or knee bruises. What protective parents usually consider when they see their children against a backdrop of a messy world.

I stop for a moment though. I realize that I too went through a lot of distress and pains as I grew up. Not only exposure to elements of nature that batter down my fragile body. More so the contact with people and experiences that brought marks and scars on my life.

While going through them, I may have grumbled and whined. I would still probably do the same if I once again encounter an objectionable situation. And I am sure I will. But if I look from outside the situation and review my life from afar, I must admit to the fact that I became a better person because of them and despite of them. I have learned that many of my experiences, the kind that may give one an upset stomach or at worst nightmares, have made me what I am today. They made me forgiving yet stronger, naive yet a little more careful, introvert yet slightly extrovert, guarded yet to some extent confiding, hesitant yet more assured, a follower yet a take charge person. A living life.

So whenever I would see a child hanging by her mother’s blouse, I would not wish on him a trouble-free life. I would not want it for my own child. Rather, I would try to make him ready to face life.

Bring it on.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I never want to be

Life. There are things that you don’t want. There are things that you want. You reach out after those that you desire and you find all means on earth to escape from those you dislike. Until it finds you.

Someone told me once that you could try to outrun something in your life but it will always come back to you, may be worse than before, until you have learned what it is meant to teach you. Until then, it will pursue you.

And it is happening to me. All over again. Is it the second time? Third? Nope. It’s the fourth. And truly, it has become harder.

I ask myself pointlessly why. Why sometimes God causes unwanted things to happen in our lives. But why ask? I know the answer. I just need to accept. Even if it is hard. For now it has doubled or tripled its force. It brought more lessons along. Battering down each stronghold. Assaulting hindrances. Going to the center of being.

I tell myself. You are being melodramatic. This is too much.

Convince myself. It is really simple. Just allow it to be.

Trying. Each day. Hoping that it will change. But I know that it won’t. I have to wait and learn.

And trust.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


A smile. A giggle. A laugh. These expressions of joy were only given to human beings. Can a cat smile? Have you ever heard a dog laugh? Try to imagine a giggling crocodile. Quite hard.

In my walk with God, I realized that a smile, a giggle, a laugh are windows to one’s soul. I formed the belief that only those who are truly close to God could do these things sincerely.

In the different worlds I live in, I encounter various kinds of people. Wherever I find myself, I try to find friends. I do not look for much. Not social standing. Not academic accomplishments. Not big fat bank accounts. Not physical attractiveness.

I search for a kindred soul. I look for similar interests. I consider beliefs. Also, I try to find sincere souls. For a sincere person will always be true to you. Not just showing one facet, but like a diamond, you can see all of its parts.

But how do I find this person? The first step? Through a simple sieve.

When they greet me, I look for their smiles. It must be a smile that starts from the lips and goes up to the eyes. From the window of their eyes, I get a glimpse of their heart.

I listen to the human sounds for joy. I love hearing the quiet confident chuckle or the suppressed joyful giggle of a person. I love hearing the all-out laughter.

I dislike the fake laugh. Or even the forced chuckle.

But sometimes, in order to protect ourselves and the people around us, we tend to do these things. Force a smile. Giggle nervously. Coerce oneself to laugh cheerfully.

My wish though is always to give and to receive sincerity.

Greet me sincerely. Please smile.

Chuckle. Giggle. Laugh. Truthfully.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Words. Are they enough to say what you mean? Are they adequate to express what is deep inside you? In my attempts to write, I begin to realize that I write best when I am fully happy, passionately angry, deeply emotional, totally hurt, or utterly sad. In my efforts to jot down my thoughts and to exercise the skill, sometimes I find myself totally blocked.

I hope one day that it will come naturally.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


A day or two before tonight, I was going through a sort of a crisis. I made plans and set my mind to do something but a certain hurdle came my way. I was beginning to wonder if I was taking the right steps to achieve a project. I cannot see the ending. I do not know even this late what is the purpose of this goal. A goal that I did not realize I have to achieve but now I must reach. And if I do accomplish my goal, what is the next step? What would this achievement bring to me? I felt deflated. I felt tired.

I have always been a finisher. Everything I do, everything I start, I make sure, with everything in me, to finish it. I do not want to rue the day that I gave up on something. I do not want to have not tried. Or to sound like a cliché, it is better to have tried and failed than to have not tried at all.

I have learned though in the past few years that sometimes there are things that you cannot finish. There are decisions that are taken from your hands. There are instances when you cannot do anything but give up because it is no longer the path that is being given to you. Sometimes, not finishing something is really its end.

Back to my little “crisis.” Doubts crowded my head. I came to the point of asking myself if it is time to let go and pursue other things that I feel are right. I said to myself, enough, I am ready to give up. Yet, I feel that if I do not go on, everything would be wasted.

And so I prayed. I asked if it is according to His purpose that I pursue this road? There would be less work. There would be less worries. There would be less challenge. It would be an easy way out. Yet, I think, there would be less of a life.

My prayer was answered early this morning. The hurdle was taken away. I was happy. Yet I know that a bigger hurdle has come my way. Finishing what I started would entail a lot of time, effort and money. Along the way I know that I would be so ready to give up. I would be too tired. I would be depressed. I might even think that maybe I mistook the signs. There would be misgivings.

When I was in high school and college and not having the luxury to repeat classes nor lengthen the years of my education, I have imbibed my own motto. I taught it to my brother who reminded it back to me. I remember telling him pointedly not to ask if he would finish something or not because he must finish it. Do not worry about the hurdles. Do not think about any options. There would be no ifs and buts. There is only one goal. Just finish.

God is teaching me to ask Him first whenever I pursue everything and anything. And at the same time reminding me that I need to reach after my goal with zeal. He is telling me to finish what I started. The hurdle that has caused me pain is now an eye-opener. I needed this.

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (