The place: Caltex SLEX. The date: May 16, 2008. Time: 08:38AM.
On my way to the Summer Soul Train (Kids' Camp) in Rizal Re-Creation Center in Laguna, I chanced upon a "small" picture of a gasoline attendant. It almost drove me nuts.
I would've had my picture taken with "him" but that will come later, -- with "him" in the flesh -- IF it is God's will. I managed to take a snap shot of the "small" picture though and as I am writing this, I'm thinking if I should publish the shot.
God has a plan and I am just excited. No, it's really not about that gasoline attendant but I am excited about the rewards that God has promised for those who put Him first and trust Him enough to obey His directives.
I still don't know what the future holds. I still don't know exactly where God wants me to be at the end of this year or even next month or tomorrow. But I do know in my heart that as long as I prioritize nurturing my relationship with God over everything else, all my other relationships will turn out just the way He wants it to be and make me really, really, really happy.
At the risk of sounding preachy and self-righteous, allow me to share with you that ALL of us are called to live a life of purpose, of meaning. And it is only when we heartfully and sincerely keep our hearts attuned to God in prayer that He will reveal to us what He wants us to do. He will help us to obey. He will help us to pursue things that make sense.
It's been four years now since I have re-committed my life to God and re-started on the quest for God's EXACT purpose for me. There were times when I disobeyed and went my own way only to find out that I should have followed His leading instead. God is merciful but He is also just. He forgives yet He also allows pain and sufferings to remind me from time to time that this life is not all there is. There is something else to look forward to and invest time, effort and resources on. He rewards faithfulness, patience, perseverance and obedience and this I know in my heart because I have seen it for myself.
On the morning of my birthday last May 17, I spent Dawn Watch (early morning prayer devotion) with about 150 kids in the Kids' Camp. I prayed for God's will for one of the kids entrusted to me but He also knew what was in my heart and what was best for the kid. He gave a "YES" answer that day in the form of a permission from the child's mother to allow the child to swim.
In the afternoon of the same day, I had crafts time with 4 kids entrusted to me. The schedule after crafts time was free time when the kids can have fun and frolic in the pool or play frisbee, soccer, basketball, or any games they wanted.
Crafts time was a real test of patience and perseverance. We had to make a hot-air balloon from six pieces of japanese paper and some wire. There was a point when I wanted to give up and just let the kids have their time at the pool -- especially when one kid walked away because she thought she was of no use to the team. But God has impressed it upon my heart to finish what we started. My 'problem' kid turned out to be my faithful team mate as she remained with me to finish the hot air balloon while the rest all went to the pool.
As the kid and myself finished the balloon, I told her many things to remind her of God's love and faithfulness. I cannot recall exactly what the words were but I know in my heart that whatever she heard was not entirely from me. The balloon did not look so good when it was finished. It had patches and the makeshift "ignition" was askew. When we tested it with Teacher Julius, I wasn't really hopeful. But God just showed His majesty and power because what seemed like a patched-up-not-good-to-fly-hot-air-balloon not just floated but flew way higher than I expected it to. "What seems impossible for man, is possible for God!" was the truth that was being spoken in my heart and mind and I consider that -- apart from my soul's salvation -- as one of the best birthday gifts I've ever been given.
I do not have a "perfect" past to speak of. I've done grave things which in the eyes of people are unforgivable. But God has forgiven me for ALL of my sins and He has made me whole again. More to being whole, He has been teaching me how to run, to dive, to fly in ways that I have never imagined. My daily walks with Him make me look forward to His "Well done, My good and faithful servant" in the not-so-distant future and that is what keeps my sanity in place. I am saved to serve; I am a slave.
As for the "revelation" in the gas station, God is telling me, "THE BEST IS YET TO COME; STAY TUNED, JUST TRUST ME AND OBEY."
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."