On Patience…Patience… and Patience

manila-traffic
picture taken from http://www.thepoortraveler.net

Heavy traffic in EDSA, long queue in the MRT or LRT waiting for someone for almost an hour, processing important documents and papers in some gov’t offices, choleric co-workers, uncooperative colleagues, demanding husband or wife, stubborn, rebellious children, waiting for the one true love, and so on. These are some of the many examples that irritates us and test our patience. It’s really difficult to be patient nowadays, looking upon our situation that we are living; a complex world full of impulse, stress, and anxiety. However, why is it so important to be patient amidst these realities? Why patience is still consider as one of the significant Christian virtues despite the undeniable fact that we are living in a compulsive-kind of world?

In a world filled with discourteous and rude drivers in streets, selfishness, individual differences that cause conflicts with co- workers and the constant demands of children and family, we often need patience just to keep it together. But, how? Here are the three things that we should consider about patience as a Christian virtue; (1) Patience understands and trusts God’s perspective. How many times have we lost our patience in God because of the trials that we felt was so unfair? The tendency is, we put the blame on Him, we complain, and we walked away from Him when we can’t bear the struggle anymore. But, have you ever noticed that in bearing it and keeping control over the impulse of it, we recognize that He understands us and we put our trust in Him? Thus, when trials come, be patient and hold on to Him. He understands our needs far better than we do. As much as we know what we want, He knows what is truly best! It is good that we allow us to be guided by these words coming from the book of Lamentations; “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (Lamentations 3:25-26). (2) Patience loves and respects others. One of our biggest challenges in life is trying to exercise patience in our relationships with others. We easily become annoyed when we encounter ill-mannered and difficult individuals. However, being fretful will not be a good means to treat them with love and respect. Remember; Jesus shows his patience with love and respect even to the die-hard sinners of His time. It’s hard to live life in the fullest when impatience overrules our lives. It’s also hard to gain trust from others when we let ourselves be controlled by being impatient. Many serious quarrel starts with or short temper over little annoyances or inconveniences. Hence, we must really exercise patience in order that we may love and respect others. Having this kind of patience that pertains to love and respect others truly treasures them and revered them in spite of their shortcomings. Let’s consider 1 Corinthians 13:4; In 1 Corinthians 13:4 we are told that love “suffers long,” or is patient. The passage goes on to describe how love is not selfish, prideful or rude, because it is after the welfare of someone else. Love is the basis, and patience is part of that process. (3) Patience encourages us to stand up with optimism amidst trials. This is another important reason why we really need to practice it in facing our trials and difficulties in life. In order that we may be able to consider patience as an encouragement, we must really cope with our daily annoyances and hardships without complaint and with optimism, knowing that God’s providence does not really permit any trial that will not be a source of good for us if endured unwearyingly. Hence, let us be inspired and fortified by the words of the Letter of James; “Brethren, you will always have your trials but, when they come, try to treat them as a happy privilege; you understand that your faith is only put to the test to make you patient, but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become fully-developed, complete, with nothing wanting.” (James 1:2)

There is an old Dutch proverb that says, “A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.” We can’t deny the fact that in our experience it often shows that a patient person will always make better decisions and see more favorable and positive outcomes in life than a very intelligent person who doesn’t have the patience to wait for the right time and opportunity. However, how may we be able to attain better decisions and to be more positive in life despite the oppositions and hostilities that we encounter every day? Let’s always remember and consider three things why we really need to practice patience daily; (1) it understands and trusts God’s perspective, (2) it loves and respects others, and (3) it encourages us to stand up with optimism amidst trials. We ask the Lord who is very patience on us that He may grant us the grace to really practice patience as a very important Christian virtue for our lives wholeheartedly.

The Road of Uncertainty

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Life is like a road trip; exhausting, lengthy, time-consuming, and strenuous.  However, when you arrived at your destination or your journey’s end, what a great pleasure and joy.  In a road trip uncertainties are unavoidable to experience even though we know the direction of our desired destination.  Along a road trip we sometimes ask ourselves; am I able to arrive safe and sound at my desired destination?  Am I able to make it even though there are uncertainties, hesitations, worries, and fears inside my heart and head?  What will I encounter as my road trip goes on and on? Will I be meeting new co-journeyers along the road?  Hence, we cannot but ask a lot of questions as our lives goes on journeying in the midst of uncertainties.  Just like a road trip we cannot but place ourselves on a risk of continuing our journey for the sake of reaching our desired destination, i.e. the one thing necessary for our lives.

Yesterday we welcomed the year 2016 and we say our goodbyes to the year 2015.  For sure we have a lot of expectations and wishes as we welcome the New Year.  However, uncertainties, doubts, and hesitations disturb us when this question pops-up in our minds and hearts; what will be my 2016 as I go on in my life’s journey embracing the new chapter of my existence?  I myself also have this kind of mix feelings as I ponder upon the New Year.  Although I am assure that this New Year will bring a lot of good and unexpected surprises along my life’s journey, it’s also unavoidable on my part to have petty fears, hesitations, and doubts.

From this experience I realized the importance of placing our hope and trust in God.  He knows more what is deserving and better for us if and only if we start to believe in Him.  Though uncertainties make us tremble, placing our hope and trust in Him assure us encouragement and motivation to go on in life.  To whom shall we fear if we will place our hope and trust in Him?  Indeed, our life’s journey for this New Year will never be covered by uncertainties, doubts, and hesitations if we will place our hope and trust in God.

 

Dear Friend

broken-friendship-quote1I dedicate this write-up for those who abandoned by their friends and for those who continue to love and consider them as friends even though they’re already rejected and neglected by them.

 Dear Friend,

            In friendship, I believe in this philosophy which states; a friend is someone capable of perfecting my imperfections, fulfilling me, revealing to me who I am because you are my friend, because you love me, because you are my personal good and I am also your personal good, and because you make me conscious of loving and arouses within me a sense of wonder and admiration.  Hence, you are so important to me because you make my joy and my being complete.   This is how I consider you not just as a friend but a person who has capacities and uniqueness.  I trust you, I believe in you, and I respect you because you also did these to me.  Because of you everything has changed into my life.  You free me from my sorrows and sadness.  You help me to appreciate my uniqueness and also my weaknesses.  Indeed, you’re such a good friend to me and you’re always saying to me whenever we talk; when you feel down and troubled and you need a person to talk and to be your crying shoulder, just call out my name and I’ll be listening to you and I’ll be at your side as your crying shoulder.

Suddenly, as time goes by, I cannot but be amazed and surprised that these things will be just a part of happy memories inside my mind.  What happened?  Why things have changed in our friendship?  I thought everything will be okay and fine, but why there’s an abrupt amendment on our friendship?  Why you suddenly left me behind without any reason at all?  Have I hurt you that’s why you left me alone in my loneliness?  I cannot feel you anymore.  I cannot understand why all of a sudden you break my heart and confuse my mind into uncertainties.  Before, everything is overwhelming and wonderful when we are together as friends sharing our own insights about love and relationship; but now out of the blue you faded away without any manifestations.  This is a sad reality that unrecognizable and unacceptable.  I cannot but cry and ask the heavens why these things are happening to me?  Did I commit something wrong to you, my friend?

In this experience I realized that the most painful and hurting experience in the life of the person is to be left behind by a friend without any reason at all.  It’s more horrible than a break-up, and more horrifying and despairing than a simple rejection.  It’s like a slap on my innocence when you reject me and you left me suffering on my own grief and anxieties.  Why? This is the only question that my mind and my heart cried out when you now avoid me and consider me as nobody.

Even if you treat me as nobody or as an insignificant person I will still consider you and love you as a friend.  You’re still significant into my life.  Yes, I am in pain now, but I will never regret that you became an important part in my growth and in my existence.  You’ll always be in my heart no matter how excruciating the loneliness and sadness that you have given me.  You’ll always be a friend to me; capable  of perfecting my imperfections, fulfilling me, revealing to me who I am, my personal good, and a person who makes me conscious of loving and rouses within me a sense of wonder and admiration.  Though how many times you forget me and reject me as you friend, in my heart, I will always consider you as my friend; a special and unique friend to me.

Sincerely Yours,

 An Insignificant Friend of yours.

Like Facing a Blank Wall

empty-roomIn the past months until now I am experiencing the crisis that is very common, but an excruciating experience for all of us, i.e. Spiritual Dryness.

In my prayer it seems that God is not present and it’s like that I am facing a blank wall whenever I communicate to him.  I have a hard time now to recognize God and his presence in my life because it seems that he is hiding from these dark nights that I am encountering right now.  I feel so lonely and sad without any reason at all why I am lonely and sad.  I feel so down and troubled inside and the graces coming from the Lord, which for me a source of my strength and courage seem so ordinary and secondary.  I don’t understand why these things are happening to me.

I am doing my very best to love God and to be close to Him, but nothing happens and I can’t find any consolation coming from him when I strive to love him wholeheartedly and sincerely.  Where’s God in my life?  This is my question into myself as I struggle to find him in the dark and in the blank walls.  I feel so alone and cold as I am suffering this kind of grief which I don’t like really to experience and happen into my life.

As I reflect on the gospel today my attention was caught by these words; “Why are you troubled?  And why do questions arise in your hearts?  Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.  Touch me and see…” (Luke 24:38-39).  As I let these words speaks into my awareness, I cannot but feel emotional and suddenly asked these questions; how am I may able to look at your hands and feet if I cannot feel your presence?  How am I may able to touch you and see in the midst of darkness and confusions that surrounds my faith in you?  The only thing that I responded on his words coming from the gospel for today is trust.  Despite the fact that I am suffering from this kind of despair inside my heart, I am still blest that he understands and forgives me as a friend.

  I inflicted Him so many scars because of my sins and weaknesses, yet He treats me as a friend.  From the past days I am longing for someone who will be my crying shoulder in my deep sadness and loneliness.  Unfortunately, I cannot reach them because they are unreachable and busy in their own worlds.  I really feel so alone and minding at my own crisis.

The only thing that that I do is just to surrender everything to God who is like now a blank wall to me.  It’s painful, but I need to trust Him still even though he is unperceivable for me now.

Instead to enjoy the summer breeze that really makes feel someone fine, I’m battling at my own loneliness and sadness.  “Do not be afraid…Trust”; these are the words that God challenges me as I reflect the gospel for today.  In spite of the trials and difficulties that I am experiencing right now and the pain that I am trying my best to endure, I still trust the Lord and believe on Him no matter how agonizing the pain inflicting inside me.

It’s tiring and I cannot anymore endure it.  The only thing that passed to my mind on how I may be able to face this reality is to surrender and trust.  Something ordinary for me, yet I know it will help me as of now.  I believe I may be able to conquer these things.  Maybe, it’s not yet the right time to see the light amidst the darkness and the struggles that I face.

LOVE > FEAR

Love-Greater-Than-Fear-mailer-frontLove casts out all fear.  Whenever we are afraid to continue our journey because of the different circumstances that pull us down and shaken our faith let us not panic.  Put on the armor of love into our lives.  We are loved by the One who is above us, merciful, and compassionate, so do not let our hearts be tremble.  These are the words of encouragement that I always entertain into my mind whenever I am being overcast by fear.  Fear really hinders me to see love as a protection and a consolation for my shortcomings and brokenness in life.  It’s really hard to move on in life when there’s fear.  To be true in your self is something burdensome when fear overwhelms you.  From this so called “horrifying conquerors” of life, I realized the significant value of love.  Love may be demanding for some, but it is always the best remedy for a fearful heart.  Love recognizes the beauty of courage and uplifts the brokenness inside of our hearts.  When love seems too hard to find and reach, I cannot but not to give up finding and reaching it because I believe love saves.  When there’s love, there’s nothing to be feared of.  Everything will be alright when we consider love as the sole reason of our daily struggles in life.  Why let our hearts be troubled when love is greater than fear?  Hence, life is full of goodness and glad tidings when love is the cause of our perseverance and courage here on earth.

“It’s Going to be Alright!”

b2ap3_thumbnail_hand-on-shoulder-fbOptimism is one of the most essential elements in the life of a person.  We cannot attain inner peace and serenity unless we allow ourselves to be swayed by it.  But I have just noticed why only few people abide on its effects.  Today, it’s obvious that complexities in our world are evident and real.  It’s hard to determine nowadays some aspects that will make our lives better and livelier.  Who is going to be alright and contended in life if you are bombarded with so many complicating principles, insights, and ideas of the world which declare about the quest for a better life but in the end it does not suffice you to be contended, happy, and at peace with yourself and with your life.  Also, the saddest part of being overturned by the complicating principles, insights, and ideas of this world is that you will end up incomplete and pessimistic.

It is really so sad to know that only few people recognize the beauty and significance of optimism in life.  Every time that I am reflecting upon this phenomena that is happening today, I cannot but ask myself why is it that the world is so filled with negativities?  Why is it hard to move on in life positively when pessimistic mentality does not guarantee it?  As I was deeply reflecting upon these questions which bothered my mind, one of my friends tap my shoulder and said, “It’s going to be alright! It’s going to be alright!”

Indeed, even though life today is full of pessimisms, disapprovals, and viciousness there’s still light that will still make our existence evocative cheerfully and positively.  Though only few recognize it, it does not expire.  It exists continuously and outshines brightly so as to be more convincing for those who are living in darkness.  However, it will only be more convincing if and only if we show and express it by means of sharing.  Hence, optimism is gift that is meant to be shared to those who long for it.  It is also a good reminder for those who are indifferent and unaware of it.

It’s so nice to imagine our world that despite the many pessimistic entities that are revolving around its corners, the search for optimistic and happy life is still evident and co-exist with our realities.  Thus, life is full of hope and faith when everybody in this world will just say, “It’s going to be alright!  It’s going to be alright!”

On Loving our Weaknesses and Fragilities

weaknessLooking back to my past experiences, I cannot but ask myself; how far have I give in considering those things and instances in my life which made me aware of my own fragility? Indeed, I could say that somehow I improve, and I cannot also deny the fact that there are things in my life that I really need to pay attention too. As I reflect upon and look back on my past experiences in life, I realize that my own brokenness is not something to be ashamed of, but it is something to be proud of. For me, to be born weak and fragile is a grace because it leads me to see the immensity of God’s love more clearly and more closely if and only if I really accept into my life that I too am weak and broken.

At first, I cannot really accept the fact that I was born weak and fragile like many others because I am afraid to commit mistakes and failures on some aspects in my life. I am a perfectionist before. I would really make sure that everything is okay and according to my standards and expectations. But this is not always the case. I still commit failures and mistakes despite the fact that I really strive to do it well. So, I ended up frustrated in life. From this experience I realize that I cannot please everyone in my own effort and diligence. I am just a limited being who needs to be corrected and to be improved.

Those who say that the weak has no place in this world are those who do not know how to accept and forgive themselves totally. They are those who distort their own identity and are dishonest in front of others. I am proud that I was born weak and fragile. Because of my weaknesses and fragility, I became more considerate towards others. My weaknesses and fragility help me really have a better perspective in life. Hence, St. Paul is right in saying that there’s strength within our weaknesses and fragility, and the only thing that we should do in order to recognize it is to appreciate it and welcome it into our lives.

We should not be terrified whenever one day we realize that we are weak and fragile. Rather, we should be proud of it because though we are weak, God consider us as earthen vessels of His grace. God’s love is sufficient and enough for us even though we are weak and fragile because He does not play favorites. Why we should be ashamed of ourselves if God is so proud to us although we fail Him for so many times? Why doubt with yourself if God considers you as an apple of His eye simply because you are unique? We should not be naive with ourselves; rather we should always remember that even if we are born imperfect God will never abandon us. If God regard us significant into His heart, let us not stumble on the idea that we are nothing; we have something to be happy about despite the fact that we fail so many times. Hence, we should not forget that we are adequately considered unique persons who are full of potentials and capacities even though in some aspects we are bound to be vulnerable.