Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Towards a New Leaf

I did not even get to write the part two of my rant. Particularly because I became too busy to rant and because the things I wanted to rant lost meaning. I mean, the world does not need another problem on its shoulders.

I want to use this opportunity to tell another boring story. I really am perhaps a frustrated writer. I want to tell of stories from the perspective of the tables left in the office. I want to tell of stories I left unfinished. But where am I now? Telling the stories of electronic components and their importance in the grand scheme of things. But nope. Not complaining. And enough of this.

To start off from the beginning of time and perhaps the point where you'll close this tab and do the tl;dr, I never was a religious person. Perhaps, I was deceiving myself of that whenever I go to church with a heavy heart. It felt like, I was doing Him a favor, but I knew deep, deep into the core of my being that it should not be that way. I mean, it is like just the saying, 'It's not work if you love you job.' I honestly do not have any relationship with Him. I pray, I avoid doing bad things (even though I get tempted {and I sometimes give in, yes}) and I think I connect with Him. But those feelings do not last very long. It feels like a mechanism to me, unlike when it is really real, it becomes a natural routine. How do I know when it is real or not? Easy. It just comes naturally. If I may make the story longer, I hated writing very much - as in to the highest level when I was in elementary. I despised all the essays being thrown at me for me to do. Never had I hated something so much in my life that when I was forced to do essays before, it was really, really hard for me. It was like swallowing a dictionary and spewing out words at random. However, when I came to love which I hated before, it was an entirely different feeling. When I think of writing, words just came naturally. It was like having a paper in front of me and then words, phrases, clauses, sentences, noun modifiers, figures of speeches, ideas materialize in front of me and the only thing I had to do was pick the right ones and collage them together.

Flashback several retreats ago, I was brought to tears when God was revealed unto me. When I felt the stories of the people whose lives were touched by Him, I felt lost and yet found at that very time. I felt the radiating happiness from them and I wanted to bask in that feeling. Knowing the only way to do that is to accept Him, I tried. I mean, I would lose nothing, right? No harm in trying. So try I did. I confessed all of my sins (even those I think were un-confess-able), bore the shame and praying for the feelings to subside. It was so good at first, having the motivation of the happiness and sin-free vibe. But that goes without saying that short time of basking under the Grace, He was there in everything I do. I feel Him even in the smallest things. When I knew it was Him, I will find myself muttering, "Ah, si Lord talaga mahal na mahal ako." But then, when one walks a straight path, he cannot help but wobble from time to time. Until eventually, I really fell off the edge. Went back to my old self. Did the sins I confessed. Another score for the devil. From then on, I somehow lost faith at some degree. I stopped believing that I could have a personal relationship with Him. I simply brushed off any notions of serving Him, stopped going to church altogether and etc. I was afraid of committing my life. I was afraid of changing my way of life. I think I still had that fear.

But eventually, Lord is really very persistent. I graduated from high school and was able to get into a prestigious university. He gave me friends and they are not simply friends. I would like to think that maybe they are His servants. Especially Shobe. She is the most religious person I met. I remember meeting up with her to go to chapel and pray the rosary together. But then the devil once more whispered into my ears, saying how much of a hypocrite I am. Saying how I am trying to become like her when in fact I am different. Of course, being helpless against his accusations, I stopped going with her to the chapel and reverted back, if not deeper into the mud. That is when I finally deciphered that living the life committed to God is not a once 180 degree turn. I cannot simply leave my way of life immediately and decide to follow Him. So, I simply stopped doing anything religious. I stopped praying. I disconnected myself from Him again. 

But what can I say? God gave another friend. And she had a history of bad habits just like me. But now, when I am in her presence, I feel at ease. Like, no harm can ever happen to me. Though I was very dubious of her kindness simply because she was just really too kind. She sees kindness in everything that sometimes I feel a bit angry at her. I mean, once in a while you really have to be firm in your feelings and principles. But then I guess that's how she is. She underwent a transformation, too. But in her case, it lasted very long. I now felt that maybe those times I tried, I tried halfheartedly. Though God gave me the inspiration to change, I did not have it in me to change. I was neutral. Like I was just testing the waters and not trusting that when I step on it, I would not sink. I feel like the most horrible person right now. For letting Him down when I promise empty things about change. I know there will be others who will deny and tell their even worse stories but no. Just no. I am wallowing in self pity for now. But then, maybe He had foreseen this as well.

I do not know what to make of this but seriously, I think God really loves me. I mean, you may scorn me and tell me that even elementary students know that, but what can I say in my defense? I had led a terrible, terrible life of deception, hypocrisy, pretense and basically every bad adjectives you can label about me. I made myself believe I follow Him and yet I turn away at the prospect of going to church. I do more bad things than good, letting my shameful self be covered by a thin veil of false goodness. I scorn at an act of goodness, thinking that this person may have an ulterior motive or so. But now, I feel that I had wasted a good deal of time being those things I mentioned. And that I have to change. But change, as I had heard from my current friend has to be something started within myself. God gave so many opportunities for me to grab on. But I ignored them all. Last Sunday, I must have unconsciously called Him again because I asked to no one in particular, 'Kailan kaya ako magiging willing mag-simba? Lagi na lang bang ganito? Pwersado lang ni mama kaya nagsisimba.' And what do I expect? God opened another opportunity.

I met this friend and still am meeting him because we are co-workers in the internship term of my college education. He was simply teaching me about one of the company's products and suddenly, he just opened up about being very kind (which, I admit I rolled my eyes mentally in disbelief) and how was he not so kind before. I was like, oh yeah typical story of transformation. And then, boom. Our conversation warped into a crash course in theology plus retreat. I did not really believe his kindness at first, especially when I saw some papers on his table with notes about Christ and etc. But then I heard his story, the story he did not hesitate telling me. And of course, my sarcastic self had to add that maybe he had a script or something. But I thought, here I am again, going back to the situation several retreats ago. Somebody preaches about the goodness of the Lord. And though I am not alien to that feeling, my lack of belief in change is what held me back. I do not know if I should take his word for it but he did say he was just sharing. And I believe that is something that is not simply being shared at random.

So what is the point of this boring story? Yeah, there is God again. Urging me to change. And maybe a change of tactics is needed to really help me. He gave me priests, nuns, teachers, friends with the same age and now a friend who is not a priest or someone of the same age but a co-worker. My defense mechanisms are kicking in again. I wanted to turn away from the prospect, from the opportunity. I am being shoveled back to that time again when I opened my heart to change only to close it again. And I do not know. Perhaps I am getting the answer to my question before. If God is really this persistent, then why should I deny Him again, like I did many times before? He moves in mysterious ways and who would have thought that I'd find Him again, in my OJT no less. It was not in any of my plans, it was in God's.

I am confident in laying out my feelings like this because I know not many people read this blog. And I couldn't care less. But then, it is hard - the realizations. The impact of truth. But I have to be brave, not only physically but also mentally. If I could not accept my flaws, what's there to change? If the person I am referring to in the last two paragraphs will be able to read this after finding out my blog 3-5 years from the time I published this, I want to thank you. I, too, had a story to tell. Though different, I, too, struggled, was lost, found by Him, was lost again and was found again. If anything, God can have the award for the best seeker ever.

I will not force the change. I will not be a yo-yo that decides to be good and revert back to bad and then good, like a perpetual machine. I will simply let Him.