I do not know how to organize this assignment as I have written things down in a scratch paper which I now lost so I have to reconstruct everything based on memory. I hope my memory serves me right.
My intentions for doing/not doing something are:
Masaya ako. I am not a very patient person so I cannot stick around something that I am not genuinely interested in or something that I am not happy about. Although this doesn’t mean “all good times” because I have experience being happy even when things are not going as planned. (Details later). Being happy about something is also a feeling I cannot fake. Although I have tried doing this but it doesn’t work out and in the end, leaves me with anger or resentment.
Anger and resentment. As mentioned above, this usually comes when I tried faking being happy about something that I am not. Anger/resentment moves me to prove that I am right and they’re wrong and that I’m-sorry-I-don’t-need-you. Although the transition phase doesn’t happen very fast, it usually happens when I am forced to continue doing something I am not happy about for a long time.
Discontentment. The reason Pastor Camia’s message stuck to me is that I have also felt discontentment moved me at one point or another. I know discontentment can lead forward to anger/ resentment if one’s goals or objectives are not satisfied.
Genuine care, affection or empathy. I often felt strongly about being blessed enough to comfort others and this is something that doesn’t come out as an obligation to me. I know that I cannot change their situation, I cannot outdo things, I cannot take away consequences or responsibility but that I can do something to help ease their pain/suffering/longing. I have seen God’s blessing in the midst of the things that I have been in and I know that God blessed me not because He just wanted to but so that I can share whatever I have in me/ with me so that others can find Him in the process.
Guilt .It can also be another prime mover. I feel guilty of God’s blessing and goodness that I do what I think will please Him so He will find me worthy and that I will be blessed more. Although, in reality, the times that I do not feel worthy is just about the times I feel closer to God. He met me in the lowest points of my life when there is nothing I can be proud of. So whenever I feel guilt or non-guilt move me, I check and remind myself that there is nothing that I can do to make Him love me more or love me less. He loves me just the same.
As for the situations:
5 Disciples Sessions. This is something that I am genuinely happy about. When Kuya Niño approached me regarding this, I was thinking that it will be the usual bible study-to-teach-and-learn type. So during the first meeting, when we were handed out the covenant, I gave it a hard thought if I can really go through this in spite my schedule and other excuses I commonly give out during work days. I was (am) happy that in spite all obstacles/ temptations to miss the sessions, God always arranges my Wednesday to meet with Him and learn more about Him through the sessions. Actually, sometimes I get amazed by how things work out that even if I start the week with loads of work, I still find spare time to do the assignments and arrive in time for the sessions.
Doing Council Work. Before I am very vocal about the fact that I enjoyed what I did as part of the Council before. I was happy taking down the minutes, preparing for the worship service and having a hand on the songs and responsorial psalms. However, we all know that there are conflict from within the Council and in seeing that, you get to see the negative (if not, horrible) sides of the people you look up to in church. For a time, I was able to detach myself from all of this. But as the years went by, I really prayed that I will be taken away from this position because I cannot dissociate myself anymore. I began to feel angry and frustrated that the very same people who practices being “good Samaritans” are the very same people who act as “Pharisees”. I tried looking past the person but I couldn’t so I stopped doing what I love doing best. I stopped making any efforts and started making excuses. My inaction was fueled by anger and frustration and it took me sometime, apart from the organization, to realize that doing the things I love most is my act of worship and I should not have let anyone take that away from me. At first, I was thinking of helping out in making the PowerPoint presentations or in the programme but I was told that they can handle it well now. So I am investing some time thinking about reviving the church newspaper but I am still in the process of thinking about what would it contain that will be more helpful for the church.
One Spirit, One Faith, One Lord Camp. I know that we did this camp while our church is in its desperate times. I couldn’t remember how it started but I can tell that we did it because of discontentment and pride – wanting to prove that our generation is better than theirs. We did what we came to do and was somehow blessed along the process – our batches become closer, the church awoke from their insanity and several individuals found Christ in that camp. When Billy and I were talking about the sad and frustrating ending of the camp (following our unpreparedness and disunity on the very last activity), we came to the conclusion that God showed us that we cannot be proud enough to tell ourselves that we did great. We were humbled on the very last moment so God can reveal that it’s all about Him. It’s not the activity, it’s not the preparation, and it’s not about the fellowship. It’s just about the heart that seeks Christ in middle of all confusions. We were right about seeking Him but we were wrong in how we sought Him – for we look into our strengths.
Street Evangelism. I believe that most of the times we tried street evangelism, it was because we feel guilty that we are not doing God’s mission for us. So we exert all our efforts until our strengths fail us then we are left empty and tired. Realizing our mistake, we point fingers to others and put the blame that they are not cooperative or that they are disobeying God’s mission. I remember someone’s blackmail: “Kapag hindi kayo nagpunta ng street evangelism, ibig sabihin hindi ninyo sinusuportahan ang Iglesia”.
Avoiding Vices. Maybe it was not hard for me to stop since I only drink occasionally – in front of friends/officemates to “fit in”, in front of customers for them to feel comfortable, in front of bosses for them to appreciate your efforts, etc. (And right now, I am no longer in sales and marketing so there’s no need to please anyone. My UL officemates were also non-drinkers so it was easy. As for Q officemates, they already know that I do not drink). It was also not hard because I never really developed fondness for drinking. I do not drink to drown my sorrow (someone once told me that sorrow knows how to swim). I do not drink to feel comfortable and “para bumangka”. I cannot remember why I voluntarily stopped drinking. I wasn’t proving that I am right since I never made a stand against drinking. The only thing that I can remember myself saying is that I don’t drink because I don’t want to lose my brain (which is true because thousands of brain cells die when you drink and brain cells do not regenerate).