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Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Can't Be It

There are times in your life when you seem to have arrived at a dead end – and instead of seeing light at the end of a tunnel, you see darkness. It’s as if you took the wrong road, looked at the wrong map, or overlooked road signs. Then the only thing you could say is, “This can’t be it!”

You look around and try to find your way back – but you hear a whisper in your heart saying that you’re on the right path. You sense little signs as God’s way of telling you that you really are (and you sometimes hate it). Subconsciously (or consciously) thinking that He might have mistaken, you start to divert the blame on Him for dumping you in a point of no return. You may not verbalize it, nor do you blatantly recognize your resentment against your present state but often, actions speak louder than words as your angst against God’s will manifests itself in your words, in your reactions to situations and certain people, eventually seen in your prayer life and service to Him.

This dead-end feeling often happens when you relocate, switch jobs, break relationships, start new ones, establish a new business – generally, journey into a new phase/route in life that is out of your comfort zone, you conclude how cruel life could be.

I lived in a big city for seven years, had a great time enjoying my studies in a university I was sure God was leading me to. I was also a leader of a Christian group that gave me the belongingness I needed. We were committed to help changing the society by sharing Christ to young people and helping them grow spiritually. I had various circles of friends – mentors of different views, peers I laughed and cried with and young girls who I helped grow spiritually and whose lives changed before my very eyes. I didn’t have the best of everything but God’s grace allowed me to see and enjoy the best of my portion. Then He led me to come home.

To come home is sometimes to leave home – the familiar world you have become used to – to face that which is now unfamiliar and sometimes even strange.

Yes, I followed God but there were many times I lived on the notion that “there is a better life out there!” and the life I’m living now is inferior to what I had idealized in the past. “This can’t be it!”

I also saw how my high school friends one-by-one left the ranks of singles – looked at myself and thought perhaps marriage would make me feel better – and make life become more promising. I could forget about my “ideal man” and just settle for whoever shows interest. This could make me forget about my passion for change in the society, my dream of going to another country to share Christ or be an advocate of healthy-living that altogether require much of my time and energy.

But God would not let me settle for such a life. He always has a way of not only directing it but making me accept His will wholeheartedly.

The day before the licensure examination for teachers – one of the biggest tests of my life (And I do mean a real test), I decided to have a positive attitude. I chose to smile at snobbish SM salesladies and be kind even to grumbling jeepney drivers. I did not even fret having realized there was a shortage of Mongol 2 pencils and that I had failed to anticipate such a circumstance. That night, I could not sleep. Zero hour of sleep. The next day, I decided to remain positive – to tell my body especially my brain to function well despite the lack of energy. Indeed, the two tuna sandwiches, the rice, tuna flakes, cucumber and banana I had prepared at 4 A.M. that day sufficed for the 10-hour examination - plus a lot of positive thinking.

Feeling like a zombie, I went home, went straight to bed and had one of the deepest sleeps of my life.

The next day, I appreciated the power of decision. If I could decide for such a thing as that, I could also decide for other things in my life. With this experience plus the help of a book I was reading and the preaching of the pastor that Sunday, I decided to change the way I viewed my present life – my life back home. I chose to overlook differences I had with family members and try to live peacefully with them and hopefully believe that God is in control of us. I chose to honour my mother (as per the preaching of the pastor that Sunday). I also decided to have a more positive attitude about my job as a teacher. I began to cling to the belief that God has a perfect will for me and my role is to be willing to discover it and be patient in the process – that while I can’t understand things, I need to trust that He is doing what is best – that while I can’t make sense of random events, I must do what I deem right all the time and not fret as if I am a better planner than Him. In short, I chose to stop playing God.

I realized that I decide for things which take on meanings as I see them and my feelings along the way are just offshoot of my attitudes and choices. It is true that God is good but to make this truth real in my life, I must choose to not only believe it but make it influence my circumstance. Otherwise, it is just another quote.

My life is totally different now. I have just begun a career path as an educator. I am 26 years old, single – in search of God’s will for my life every day. I liked my life in the city. But where I am now is not inferior to whatever stage I have been in or will ever be. God cannot be confined to my idea of where I should be. After all, He is too big and powerful, it is not only embarrassing to tell him what to do; it is foolish. I need to shut up the voice inside me that says, “This can’t be it!” and yell back and say, “THIS IS IT!” I need to believe God when He says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

1 comment:

  1. So true.. When things tend not to go as we expect, we thought it cant be for us... That's where our faith really gets tested... :)