In every recollection, I always look forward to a meaningful reflection about my spiritual growth. I try radiating this positivity to my fellow youth ministers by encouraging them to do the same. However, some reflections are just beyond the usual recollection. Some reflections are best learned from life’s greatest and toughest experiences.
Last Sunday, July 22, 2018, our Parish Youth Ministry Core Group and Facilitators went to Regina Rica for our midyear recollection. It was raining cats and dogs at this time. However, we decided to push through. The roads leading to Tanay, Rizal almost prevented us to travel. There was zero visibility in the area. But, thank God, we still arrived before Regina Rica opens.
We were about to enter the gates when the guard stopped us. He told us to move backward and wait outside. We asked him politely if we could just stay right across the gate, but he refused. Our driver that time, Bro. Mark, had no choice but to move backward—and this event changed the course of our story.
When we moved backward, we smelled burnt rubber inside our car. It was a terrible smell. We ignored it believing that maybe it was just a simple concern. We proceeded inside the venue and prepared our things for our recollection. We reflected in a nipa hut until afternoon. We attended the Sunday Mass, and had our lunch after. I slept while waiting for the next instructions.
We were supposed to visit the huge image of Mary on top of the hill. However, when our Spiritual Director told us that our car wasn’t working, we had to accompany him at the repair shop.
It was still raining hard when we walked towards the repair shop. We rode a tricycle, still, found ourselves not protected from the downpour. We were told by our SD that our car needs to be towed. Oh, my, gulay.
It challenged our faith and our renewed promises to the Lord. We never expected this to happen. We were in Tanay, Rizal! How could we go home? We had no choice but to commute. We definitely found this risky and tedious way of going home. We asked our younger fellow youth ministers to go home ahead of us. The three of us waited for the towing truck. It arrived at six in the evening and reached Taytay at around nine in the evening. Thank God for this. I seemed simple, but, when we were at that place, we were confused, worried, and frightened.
We realized that this event in our ministry taught us a lot of things.
First, there will always be consequences in backing out. Quitting shakes not only ourselves, but also the people around us. When we moved our car backwards, three parts of the engine broke. Same with our life’s toughest decisions. It has a domino effect. Thus, let us be firm in every decision we make. Ask strength and wisdom from God who could enlighten us about our next move.
We’ve also learned that the evil always tempts us and uses our weakness to shaken our faith. The devil always uses instruments which are so tempting! Thus, we always need to practice our faith wholeheartedly and intentionally. Always pray and seek help from God who strengthens us and protects us from all forms of danger. Seek God for He will never ever leave you nor forsake you. He is always with you!
Lastly, it is always better to catch up with your real friends. Never assume that your friend is okay just because he says so. Everybody needs constant reminders and care. Everybody needs a complement. Everybody needs your words of encouragement. Let us use the power of words the uplift our friends who are brokenhearted. Let us be an instrument in making them develop their personal relationship with God. At the end of the day, we will all feel good for this contribution to our friends. Let us make them feel that they are valued, loved, and appreciated.
Wooh. So that’s basically what I’ve realized about life. Challenges are constant, and so are the solutions. Keep your faith. Remember that God will never ever leave you nor forsake you.