HE IS HERE

I woke up on the morning of Father’s Day with only one thought as in years past: I have to greet my father.

And then it hit me: My earthly father is no longer around…for the very first time in all my 41 years.

I can’t text or call him anymore. I can no longer treat him out to his favorite Max’s Restaurant. I can’t watch PBA games with him anymore.

He’s gone and there is nothing I can do to bring him back.

I woke up sluggishly that day. I crawled my way out of the bed and dragged myself to the showers. I climbed the stairs to the session hall with lead-heavy legs and worked my way to preach that morning. Several times during my talk, I had to catch myself and hold back my tears. Father’s Day is just not Father’s Day without Papang. It’s just not the same.

The 2 hour drive that afternoon from Tagaytay to Manila was no different. The beautiful scenery of the Sta. Rosa roads didn’t bring much comfort and instead, only amplified the emptiness of not having Papang on Father’s Day.

And then I arrived home.

The moment I entered our living room, my family, all five of them including my wife Jeng, greeted me excitedly and joyously. Kisses. Hugs. A song number. Celebrating mass with them. Then pizza at our favorite family place, Shakeys.

Just before I retired to bed that night, when all of them were already asleep, I caught a glimpse of myself on our full length mirror. There, before me stood a man I barely recognized. Familiar yet different. The squint of his eyes. The curl of his lips. The hunch on those shoulders. The tilt of his stand.

There he is. My dad. My Papang.

His spirit lives in me. His values dwell in my heart. His words embedded in my mind.His strength emanating from my being.

Papang isn’t gone.

He is here.

And for as long as I strive to live my life in honor of my father, I know he will always be.

Have a blessed Father’s Day to all my fellow dads out there!

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OF DOORKNOBS AND LIFE

Mara left our bedroom door open while the aircon was running. She apologized to Jeng but afterwards, before Jeng closed the door, she found out that the door knob lock was actually pressed down the whole time. It turns out that it was a good thing that Mara did not close the door, otherwise we would all be locked out.God can turn our mistakes around and make them a blessing.

It’s true with doorknobs.

It’s true with life.

LITTLE ACT, BIG IMPACT

Every little thing, when done with God, can produce big results…A little pebble struck down a giant in Goliath.
A little staff parted the Red Sea.
A little faith in Abraham produced descendants as numerous as the stars.
A little conviction led Nehemiah to rebuild the mighty walls of Jerusalem.
A little bread and fish fed thousands.
A little-known carpenter changed the world.

If you think you’re little, then rejoice!

You are big in God’s plans!

So keep praying. Keep loving. Keep serving.

Every little act, if done with God, will surely result in a big impact!

TOO LATE?

Abraham was seventy-five years old when God told him to migrate from Haran.Sarah was ninety years old when she gave birth to Isaac.

Moses was eighty years old when he stood before Pharaoh to petition the release of the Jewish slaves.

Simeon was “a very old man” when God’s promise of him seeing the long-awaited Messiah was fulfilled.

Nothing is ever too late with God.

Not with them. And definitely not with you.

So hold on to his promises. He is not done with you yet.

THE PRAYERS GOD LOVES TO ANSWER

This morning on the way to school, during our family morning prayers inside the car, I found myself most delighted whenever my children would pray, not for their personal concerns, but for the concerns of each other.I believe our Heavenly Dad feels the same way when we pray, not for our personal needs, but for the needs of those around us especially those who are suffering and in pain.

And those are the prayers that He loves to answer.

THE ESSENTIALS

We cannot have everything in life. But rejoice when you have the essentials.

Being right with God.
Being at peace with others.
Food on your table and roof above your head.
Friendships.
Family.
Life.

Yes, strive to be excellent in all things. But remember this: when you have the essentials of life, you already have what you need to be truly happy.

FATHERHOOD

While helplessly trying to steady my 2 year old Marco who was clumsily climbing on my lap as I was about to drive my car, I heard my 8 year old Mara curiously asked, “Papang, is it difficult being a father?”I looked at her and smiled, “Yes, it is, Mara. But I love it just the same.”

Fatherhood. It’s not easy. It’s not a breeze. It’s not a walk in the park.

But if you truly appreciate this wonderful privilege that God has given you, you wouldn’t mind the difficulty. You will simply smile and love it just the same.