Service-Ready

A few days ago I found myself complaining to God. I said, “Lord why do I always find myself in this situation? Why am I always in the middle of conflicts? They’re old enough to know what to do, so why can’t they just resolve it on their own? Won’t they ever learn? Do I always need to point things out for them?”

I was complaining because I was in that situation recently and although I wasn’t involved in the conflict, it was stressing me out. When I finally had the courage to speak up and talk to the 2 people involved, it was finally resolved. Of course I was happy because they were finally speaking to each other again but it stressed me out so much. I thought, “If I hadn’t done anything (since it had been running for a week already), would they have resolved it?”

But come to think of it, I shouldn’t have been complaining. I had promised God that I would serve Him in any way I could. This meant that I should always be “service-ready”. He had the right to use me in any way He wanted even if this meant having to do things that I found a bit unpleasant. And in that particular situation, He had put me there to be a peacemaker. Instead of reluctantly doing it, I should have been happy to be of service to Him. And although I complained, I praise God for giving me the patience to overcome my hesitations and fulfill what He wanted me to do for those 2 people. 🙂

Genesis 22:1 – “Sometime after these events, God put Abraham to the test. He called to him ‘Abraham!’ ‘Ready!’ he replied.”

Multiple Attempts to Success

Yesterday at the office, I had to call people and conduct reference interviews. It had been a while since I last did it and every time I had to do it, I sort of had to “warm up” before I could find my momentum. I had started doing the interviews on Monday and thankfully it didn’t take me long to get used to it. But yesterday, three people were giving me a really difficult time. On my first attempt, two of them were busy and I was asked to call back after a few hours. The other one was not yet in the office. On my second attempt, the first two people were still busy and the third person was still not in the office. The person who answered the phone when I was trying to call the third person was the most annoying of all. He was a bit rude and sounded as if he wasn’t convinced that I was calling for an important matter. He was telling me to call back at a specific time and I was just following instructions so he shouldn’t be surprised that I was calling again.

Anyway, on my third attempt, the first person was still busy so I just asked if I could call back at a specific time tomorrow. Unlike the guy I was talking about earlier, he was very accommodating and even apologized that he could not attend to me. I was able to conduct a reference interview with the second person and finally, the third person was in the office and it took less than five minutes to verify information from her.

If I had been in a really bad mood or if I wasn’t feeling well, I would have stopped on the first attempt or I would have just made 2 more phone calls for one person. But fortunately, I found my momentum and I was determined to get things done. But I also realized that in reality, you can’t expect things to go smoothly on the first try. And when that happens, you can’t just say, “I give up. It’s not meant for me.” Maybe you need to take a backseat first and figure out what went wrong before doing something else. Sometimes you just need to work harder, be patient and try more than once in order to achieve or get what you want. After all, won’t you appreciate something more if you’ve worked harder for it?

Daily Blessings =)

Today’s Reflection Question from Didache:

“Am I sensitive to the Lord’s work in me from my everyday experiences?”

If you’ve been reading this blog from the very beginning, or have at least read the ‘About Us’ page, you would know that the reason why I created this blog with my sister was to find God’s blessings in my everyday experiences and to share it with you guys as a form of inspiration (in my sister’s case, she finds joy in creating new recipes :)).

So if I were to answer this question, I would have to say YES. In fact, even before I’ve started writing posts for this blog, I’ve already conditioned myself to be aware of everything that’s happening to me. I began to pay attention even to the smallest details of my day. Even with the bad memory that I have, I made mental record of what I saw, heard, thought about and felt in a day.

But just like any other thing that needs to be maintained, I have my ups and downs. At the start of the year, I was so enthusiastic with this whole blog idea that writing a post everyday was so exciting. There are times when I would get so carried away that I would find myself writing a 1,000-word post…or more like an essay. Then there are times when I would keep it short but straight to the point.

On the other hand, there are days when I would be so tired from a busy day at work or after a church activity that I end up cramming. I would either re-post a song, a prayer, or a bible verse and not have any reflection on it. There are also days when I don’t exactly have enough positive energy in me, resulting to not being able to write anything that’s inspirational. But because I have to write something, I urge myself to get inspiration from the other materials that I read.

Well you see, I’ve realized that whatever I’m feeling that day, God is always working in me. When I’m happy and inspired, I am reminded of How great our God is. When I am able to achieve something, I know that He was there helping me all along and He would even give me a reward for doing a good job. And because I’m in a good mood, I tend to show it to other people and I guess, spread the “happy virus”.

When I feel really down or angry, God is still working in me. He is letting me experience this emotion because without it, I would never be able to appreciate the opposite. But it doesn’t stop there. He teaches me how to overcome these emotions. He teaches me how to endure oppression and handle stress with grace. More importantly, He reminds me to give my full trust in Him in these times of trials because He is the ultimate Savior. He wants me to know Him more so I can be closer to Him.

We’re now moving towards the 2nd half of the year and I’m so blessed to have been able to maintain this blog. Not only has this given me a sense of achievement, but it has also helped me find God in my everyday life and know my purpose in this world. You don’t need to have a blog to experience God everyday. Just start searching for Him, and you will discover Him in many different ways you’ve never imagined. 🙂

Conditions to Satisfy

“Lord, if You can just answer this prayer, I promise I’ll break my bad habit.”

“Lord, please help me get through this. I don’t want to suffer anymore. If You cure this sickness, I promise I will devote my life to You.”

“Lord, if I pass the board (or bar) exam, I will serve the church again.”

“Lord, if I win this contest, I promise to donate half of my winnings to the poor.”

Sounds familiar? It might not be exactly worded as the statements above, but I’m sure you’ve said something similar while praying. I can definitely say I’ve done this before, especially when I’m desperate. But think it over; do you think this is the right way to pray?

What if God doesn’t give you what you want? What’s going to happen to the promise that you made? Are you just going to forget about it because you didn’t get what you want? Or are you going to wait for another time when you really need something badly and make the same promise again, hoping that this time God will give you what you want?

Remember, God is the Big Boss. He absolutely has the capability of giving you everything you want, but the more important question is, “Can You do the same thing for Him? Can You give Him everything that He asks from you?” 

The next time you find yourself praying like this ask yourself first this question: “Do I have faith in Him? Am I ready to accept whatever the consequences are and still follow Him?”

Matthew 8:19-20 “A scribe approached and said to him, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.'”

The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

The first reading comes from the Old Testament while the gospel is from the New Testament. Ever since the Old Testament, God has been telling his people that they only need to have faith in Him to live. Unfortunately, we are so hard-headed that we need to be constantly reminded of this. God is so generous and merciful that finally in the New Testament, He made it even easier for us to understand what it meant to have eternal life with merely being faithful to his Word. He sent His only Son Jesus Christ, the Word who became flesh and blood, to live among us and within us.

First Reading:

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 “Remember how for forty years now the Lord, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert, so as to test you by affliction and find out whether or not it was your intention to keep his commandments. He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord.”

Gospel:

John 6:51-58 “’I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.’ The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.’”

 

Leadership

Being a leader isn’t easy. A good leader requires a lot of patience, hard work and understanding. An effective leader is strategic and possesses charisma and passion for what he does. What is even more challenging is to be both good and effective. A good leader may be well-loved, but the quality of the output may not be as good as everyone had expected. An effective leader on the other hand may be well-known for his excellent work, but his subordinates may not really like him that much.

I’ve had the chance to lead groups over the years, especially when I was still a student, but I could only recall one time when I could say that I was both a good and effective leader. It was actually for my thesis group. The members were my close friends and we worked well together because their personalities fit my leadership style. What made it really easy for me to lead them was that we all had the same goal in mind: to pass the course and graduate on time. Of course there were some conflicts and misunderstandings along the way; nevertheless we had great teamwork and we ended up getting a grade of 1.00, which was the highest grade achievable. Moreover, our friendship remained intact.

But even after that experience, I still struggle with my leadership skills. Although I am quite patient with children and kids who are younger than me, I have come to accept that when it comes to leading people, I prefer to work with those who are my age or older because I have this expectation that I am dealing with more mature and self-motivated individuals. However, there are times when I get impatient with people when I have to have to give instructions over and over again. I get irritated when people keep making the same mistake and when they forget to do the task assigned to them, acting as if it wasn’t a big deal. It gives me the impression that they don’t care or they feel like they are just being forced to do it. Although I can be enthusiastic and crack joke at times, I must admit that I am more of the serious type instead of the energetic one when speaking in front of a crowd. Lastly, I am not as patient when it comes to convincing people. I sort of have this expectation that when people join something, they should be committed to it. I’ve had my fair share of being a good leader and being an effective leader. But from time to time, I try to evaluate myself on how I could become both. Most importantly, I ask God for guidance on how I can find a good balance between being good and effective since it is said that we cannot please everybody.

Matthew 8:9 “For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

June 24

“Lord, help me to accept criticism humbly and praise You even more so.” (Didache)

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