May 25, 2013

Bogged down but not blogged out

The blogging lull in the couple of weeks in May was caused by systems bogged down. First the computer, 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 shoot 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. More so, that I had set my mind walking down the road to full recovery. Believing to have passed the painful test of times and circumstances, I religiously watched my steps and movements throughout the gradual healing process. Still, this vulnerability which almost put all things together to naught. In that context, one can understand my frustration.

Yet, the feeling was just temporary. Looking back to my past experiences, particularly on how God sustained me all through the pain and sufferings, I immediately discard any negative thought and entrust to Him everything. Then 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.

With such realization, I resumed blogging, First, posting my open letters to pastors and revising some contributions earlier published in other sites. Bear with me. I have been bogged down twice but not blogged out.

The article was posted two years ago on my PADAYON blog. I found the article as I reviewed  God's grace in my faith journey which led me to higher ground.

May 5, 2013

Experience is not the best teacher

This is a repost of  my article which was published on this site two years ago.

Since time immemorial, experience has been acclaimed as the best teacher. Nobody dares argue. Not until somebody claims, it is the worst. I don't want to join the debate because I already found the best teacher ,i.e. life itself. A timeless, tireless, relentless and irresistible teacher, as well. Giving me lessons, despite my unwillingness to learn.

The year 2009 will long be forgotten by my family as it marks my 55th year. At the peak of my career, I felt relatively stable and fulfilled in my achievements. The ups and downs of life's experiences have increased my knowledge and honed my skills in living and serving. Unsophisticated, my direction was to receive less and give more. Beaming with confidence I have learned much, my motivation was to teach and share more.

At that time, I was about to wrap up my successful leadership as national president of the Baptist pastors affiliated with the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches. Five years earlier, I was awarded as one of the ten outstanding social workers of the Philippines. Nothing more to ask except for longer life to continue my service. And to consolidate my experiences as registered social worker and ordained minister into books/publications . So that I can teach others also.

All of the sudden, the ecstasy was shattered by a chronic heart ailment, compounded with unusual nerve disorder in the last quarter of the aforementioned year. Three months away from our national assembly to cap my six years of service and leadership. It was a devastating experience for me and my family. The worst we ever encountered so far. Such condition has constrained my active life of service. Adding pain was the realization that we have given all in service without saving for ourselves in times of crisis.

Most of my time is spent at home due to limited mobility, making me vulnerable to discouragement and depression. This condition has been going on  for more than a year. A  wrestle  with the nagging issues of pain and suffering and search for the meaning of all these experiences in life. In solitude, I have discovered the best teacher. That is LIFE itself.