June 23, 2011

Even without receiving my birthday gift, I still thank the Lord

I had been expecting much for my 57th  Birthday last month.  Having been under medication due to vulnerable health condition for more than a year, I had high hopes of receiving my long requested gift from God - full recovery on my birthday. Such expectation is not without basis. Conditions have been favorable for its realization. There is considerable progress no matter how slow.  I have been faithful to medication, except on occasional drained resources. Religiously I watch my diet, daily walking exercise and other health-related activities with few light lapses.

What more, my inner self was  subdued to wait patiently to the Lord. Negative thoughts are controllable,  other mental baggage and emotions unloaded, liberally forgiving even the seemingly unforgivable.    Like a student trying hard to maintain the passing grades until graduation, I have been expecting to get the reward on my birthday. For me, it is a fair deal.  But two weeks before the expected day, the progress was reversed.

First, my  computer bogged down, followed by my own body. Although not necessarily related (but who really knows?), both point to my vulnerability. The laptop which had been my partner through thick and thin for more than three years just turned off. Having no resources for immediate replacement of expensive part, I have to squeeze my schedule with the kids for family computer until my sister-in-law lends me her own for a particular time.  

But it did not bridge the gap, right away.  Having been attached to the previous laptop, adjustment was not easy for me.  All blogging drafts and ideas were stored in it. Despite the gradual transfer of necessary files to alternate computer, I cannot take off in blogging and idea generation.  I realized the old laptop ceased to be a mere static electronic device.  It has become a personal partner which assists me even in generating ideas and plans. It appears to have a mind of its own, hastening the formulation of plans and project completion.

For more than a year of bout with chronic ailment, aside from the bible, the laptop has been my constant companion especially when bedridden. No matter how they wished to be always at my side during those moments,   my wife and kids had to attend to work and studies related activities, respectively. But the bible and the laptop have been constant companions 24/7. Hence, the significant gap with its loss.

As if to make matters worse, when I was about to adjust with an alternative computer, my body bogged down. With limited time for computer, I found another interest – gardening and yard cleaning. Hence, after 30 minutes of morning walking exercises, I extend some minutes in cultivating a plot with spade and digging canals in preparation for rainy season. The new-found diversion enhances my sweat glands which I feel beneficial for my nerve disorder. However, one day, I might have overstretched my capacity. Subsequently, my blood pressure shot up. Thereafter, it was not stabilized until two weeks of rest.

Feeling bad about the situation, the temptation to shoot endless questions alluding to God or blame oneself   dominated my thoughts. Early morning, on my birthday, I was about to start argument with God. However,   flashbacks of past memories dominated my thoughts. The pictures of mother’s story concerning the circumstances of my birth played the scene, followed by my father’s image. Then my brothers and our only sister. Soon my wife, kids and significant people that have influenced my life.  Until my mind was flooded with beautiful memories of the past events, and people I have worked with in development work, pastoral ministry, my colleagues in social work profession. Even those people I hurt and those who have wronged me, sans the ill feelings.

Overwhelmed by the grace of God for making me survive any storm in life, I almost cried. Subdued, I lost my argument. The only words I uttered is "sorry for my unbelief, for my doubt, for complaining, for failing to fully appreciate what you have done to me. At times, blaming you. I am sorry dear God and thank you for everything. If complete healing pleases  you   as my birthday gift, you know very well how happy I will be. If not, I know you will give it to me in the fullness of time."

After my prayer,  the scenario has changed.  I found peace and assurance all things will work out for good in due time, although I don’t know when and how. But the story does not end right away.  In the afternoon of my birthday, my wife arrived from Bacolod City bringing with her   a new laptop. Her birthday  gift for me. I love it.  I did not get what I want.  Still, I thank God for giving me what I need:  my wife’s  gift to record and blog the faith journey.