I grew up tuned in to GMA 7 every Sunday to 'Ate Helen' and 'Kuya Germs' in 'Lovingly Yours' and 'Supershow,' respectively. When I'm done with my school projects, weeknights found me watching 'That's Entertainment.' I've learned from informative segments in Cheche Lazaro's 'The Probe Team' and I've witnessed Jessica Soho's daunting field reports. I watched Tony Lozano, Frankie Evangelista and Tina Monzon-Palma deliver the evening news. When Mr. Evangelista, Ms. Palma and even Ms. Lazaro transferred to a different channel, I stayed with Channel 7. During the brownout years, I listened to DZBB. For some unknown reason, I was just comfortable with the network and throughout these years, my faith and confidence in Channel 7's credibility has never waned.
And last night, February 8, 2008, I had the rare honor to be part of the 'commissioned' dealers to my favorite network's Thanksgiving Party at the NBC Tent.
In spite of my 'numbered' days in the casino, the event gave me a sense of revitalized pride to be a casino dealer. I've been in this job for almost eight years and it is last night, ONLY last night, that I have been able to say with conviction "Wow, it feels GREAT to be a dealer."
The monotony of the workplace can really grow on you but going out to a special event to perform one's rather mundane duty uplifts the spirit. It helps you realize what it means to be thankful for what has been given you.
It is my privilege to have served as a dealer -- at least to entertain the guests and teach them how the games were played. It is my prayer, however, that those who were able to 'learn' will have enough self-control not to indulge the human being's 'basic' greed.
I used to ask myself, how can a growing Christian like me glorify God with a job that's instrumental to increased liabilities, strained relationships, failed marriages, broken homes, sub-par school marks, and even the crimes of passion and anything that is grounded on dishonesty? My job is privy to the lure of the world's deceptive pleasures and when I take a good look at it, it's obviously not the job that is 'centered' on God's will.
Should I be thankful thinking that at least one soul is going wayward, being lost, because it has succumbed to greed? Should I be happy knowing that at least one person is miserable because he is heavily indebted, thanks to his heavy stakes at the losing end? Should I be content knowing that there is just so much corruption in the hearts of men -- people thriving on other people's money and misery? These are but painful realities that I've pondered on for years.
But what exactly is God's will? No human being can fully understand God's reason for everything. My heart is saying, I don't want to grow old in the casino and yes, this is not the job I would want to be doing for the rest of my life. I want to be doing "something else."
But then again... what IS God's will?
Being able to deal - to work - while playing and having fun has given me a queer sense of fulfillment and thankfulness for the 'duty' that has been entrusted to me. It made me discover that as long as it feels like you're just playing, as long as you're having fun doing what you do, time will seem to swiftly pass by. There were house rules, I played by them and I still had lots of 'clean' fun serving the guests.
I was given a tip for 100 points but I had to return it because it was for the guests to accumulate to exchange for raffle tickets. The gesture, however, was more than enough for me to know that my service was appreciated. My heart was full when I left the NBC Tent.
Will there be more dealing days as fulfilling as that for me? I know that whatever is God's will, will happen and I am here to simply obey. For now, I'll just be continually grateful that He gave me this job and be constantly mindful that one way of expressing gratitude to the people who has helped me be where I am now is to heartfully and diligently perform the job that I am 'commissioned' to do and just enjoy it while I'm at it. More to that, I know in my heart that God has called me for "something else," to remain where I am and to faithfully obey Him and patiently wait on His perfect timing to take me out... as He so wills it.
Ancore! Paredes po. Proud to be Kapuso!
"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men," Colossians 3:23. This is the bottomline.