Friday, March 26, 2010

A truly busy person

Stereotypically, in an office setting, we see a busy person with papers on his desk, left and right. He’s sitting, not talking to anyone, because he is busy. Is it right? Yes AND no. Yes, he can be busy. No, he is just maybe killing his time, making himself look busy for varied reasons. In a school setting, we’ll see a teacher’s desk, grade sheets, class records, forms, students’ project etc. Name it. It’s on his desk. Mr./Ms. Teacher is busy right? Yes and No. Yes, he made himself busy. School nowadays are busier not only for the students (so they say), but also for the teachers. No, he is not truly busy. There are times that teachers avoid being delegated added tasks/chores by his immediate superior (department chairman) or by the principal/dean himself. With due respect, this is usually common with some seasoned teachers. Trust me. I was an elementary and high school teacher and I am a professor right as of this moment.

A truly busy person will take time to clean and organize his desk when there’s a time to do so. Why? Because he knows that if he has a bad desk and a disorganized drawer, it will consume extra time. However, if his drawer and desk is neat, he will have shorter time to look for the things that he need.

A truly busy person is not a fault finder or a perennial critic. Why did we say so? Because He’s busy; he has no time to find faults. After all, he’s preoccupied. Example: try to take a look at the person that you dislike from a distance. You may tell things against him. How many seconds or minutes did you consume? For those self righteous out there, maybe you’ll say, “Hmp. Next topic please”. Don’t you know that you already consumed 1.37 seconds just by saying that? (By the way, it will only take less of a second by greeting someone, “Good morning, sir/ma’am”) Still guilty as hell!

A truly busy person will not say outright, “I AM BUSY!” He’ll only say it when pressed upon. He’ll only say it after looking thoroughly checking his schedule. We know of Christians who, despite of their busy schedule, still has time to serve God in the ministry. Truly busy because for God’s glory...and for men. Usually, when you notice these ministers, they can still manage to smile. They still have time to humor the people they know. He knows that he needs that positive outlook in order to sustain his energy because of a busy week ahead.

A truly busy person definitely has no time for gossips. We find it very funny how teachers/coworkers/employees will gather together when talking about certain issues (worst, other people) that is usually 15-30 minutes (or even more depending on their break time), but is nowhere to be found when the poor Principal/Immediate head/dean will give them the task (who is the end receiver? The kindhearted ones! SHAME ON YOU, RUMOR MONGERS and FAULT FINDERS!). He has no time for gossips. PERIOD. There are times we’ll only say the words, “oh my, we have no time for gossips” because we already heard the gossip or we don’t like the person spreading the gossip or the gossip is all about us. STILL, SHAME ON YOU! A busy person has no time for gossip. Period.

The next time we used the words, “I am busy.”, prove that you’re really busy. Don’t say it just because you’re making an alibi. Don’t say it because you’re merely snubbing a person. Prove that you really are.

These are only opinions. This is not the Bible. This is experiential and testimonial. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Unasked Questions...Unsaid Statements

I have questions in my head. Many. I have statements in my head. Many. The word “many” may not be as many as those smart guys out there, but I do sure it’s not few. I have ideas. I don’t know if it’s crazy or intelligent. Although there are times that they’re nonsense but still, those are ideas.

The problem is how to verbalize this idea. This problem is followed by another problem: I can’t formulate thought provoking questions. It was said that Socrates know this one well. God gave wisdom to Biblical people like Apostles Paul, Peter, John, and of course, who can forget Solomon, dubbed by Bible readers as the wisest who lived on earth (and I agree). Yes, I can ask questions, but only PROVOKING questions (I hope you get the innuendo), not THOUGHT-provoking questions.

There are times that I will withhold the questions in the head. It’s like, “something’s not right. I think it’s...” However, because I don’t want to be an offense especially to the brethren, I will, as the Bible puts it, “hold my peace”. There are times that I have ideas, but because I don’t want to be “accused” (yes, that word) of “weird”, I will not verbally share my ideas.

Because of this practice, as years go by, I find it hard to ask questions and to verbally share ideas (I maybe talkative, but when it comes to ideas, I feel that I am not voicing it out efficiently). Because I find it hard to ask questions, it follows that I can give thought and idea provoking questions. After all, when you often ask questions, you practiced the art of doing it. Once you have a good grasp of questions, you can ask the right set of questions. By asking the right set of questions, the person being asked will find it hard to bluff. In other words, by not practicing the art of questioning and verbally sharing ideas, it made asking and sharing ideas difficult.

Because of this, there are times that I will only find out that the ideas in my head are either right or it makes sense. Normally, I will regret not mentioning the idea or not asking the questions. It’s like, “it’s all in my head, why did I not mention or did ask about it?”

That’s why last year, I started to ask questions, even if it’s nonsense. After all, by doing so, I think that I’m practicing it. About verbalizing my ideas further, I think I should a bit bolder by now.
The point of this post is neither to rebel/question authorities nor rudely supersedes the authority’s ideas. The point of this post is try to ask questions in situations that require it. Give ideas. Ask questions (but please try to ask it politely if possible). What if you ask the wrong questions and said the wrong ideas? It’s just normal. However, that doesn’t mean that we should keep our mouth shut for asking questions and verbally giving ideas just because we committed stupid or not-so-stupid mistakes.

I hope that I’m making sense ...am I?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two jobs...by choice, not by necessity

I am holding two jobs, one in the office, and one as a part time faculty in a college. It is tiring. Not only that, there are times the schedules of both are conflicting. I do office on a full time basis, and, like I said, I teach on a part time basis. I teach Statistics and Economics. Not only that, when the school has a major event, I am usually tapped to help them. Being the lone Mathematician, I am assigned as a Statistician on undergraduate theses. Also, when seminars are held, I do the statistics of the survey questions that were being passed after the talks.
I do teaching just to keep me sane. Like Dr. Onofre Pagsanjan of Ateneo once said on national television, “If I don’t teach, I will die.” I do office to keep me in reality check. I do teaching because I wanted to express my opinions and ideas (it’s another story if those opinions and ideas are crazy or intelligent). Because of my schedule, I can no longer do full time teaching. (The very reason why I wanted to finish my doctoral is for me to have a wider selection of schools and schedule in order to have more time with my family, loved ones and church. Graduate students all know that most Graduate professors appear in school only during either weeknights or weekends).

It’s a conscious choice on my part to be busy. I followed my Mom’s advice to have another job in order for me to use this energy, instead of just mere hanging out. It’s a conscious choice to be busy. This is a good way of avoiding any issues. It keeps from indulging in gossips and senseless crab mentalities (although there are people who will say that they don’t need to be busy just to avoid joining in gossips. It’s like implying that they’re that good. I think that THEY ARE TOO PROUD every time they say that!)

During Saturday, Amie, who is from Cavite, and I will have our date. After our date, I will drive Amie to her house in Cavite. I usually come home very late. Because of this schedule, I am usually sleepy when attending the church, especially during the morning service. This is the reason why, despite of occasional added expenses on gas, I went home and sleep for about 30 minutes or an hour. Occasionally, I am assigned to be the song leader, which I also love doing (since it’s one of my first ministries).

Despite of this busy schedule, I can still talk to fellow believers. I can still smile, greet, and briefly chat (even at times long conversation) with both co-members and visitors.

On the other side of the coin, it is quite sad that there are believers that have no time to be warm to fellow believers. They’re too busy? I have told you my schedule. They’re not friendly? Well, I don’t say they must force themselves to be friendly. If they can’t be friendly, they can just be warm and nice. Individual differences? That’s more like it. You may have justified or have opinions why there believers who are like that. I will accept it, but I hope you also accept mine.

Why am I saying these things? Just like normal Christian professionals, I also have a schedule to keep. God may have given me the privilege on certain blessings, but it’s a privilege. We still need the wisdom, strength, and time to manage it. It is by God’s grace why, at the end of the day, the whole week is fine. People who say that I was “born with a silver spoon” (nice one, but it’s a wrong metaphor) and they’re too busy (and they BADLY NEED IT, unlike me allegedly who chose to be busy) to do such stuff are just too proud to admit that they’re wrong on this area.
My point? It is a conscious decision on my part for me to be busy. However, it is also a conscious decision on my part to still be approachable, friendly, and warm. If I look intimadating, you are looking at the wrong direction and with a wrong attitude. It also a conscious decision on my part to take time to listen or have a conversation with a friend/s/co-members. Now, modesty aside (for people who call this boastful), I have proven that one can be busy as a professional, but still be friendly inside the church. Reasons why you’re being a snub are all lame excuses, and having a defender/s is another way of saying, “come on, let’s justify this wrong thing”. Either admit that you’re really a snob and talk only to selected few or admit that you don’t “feel” the person.

God will always give someone the strength to be warm to fellow believers despite the hectic schedule. Why will Paul mention to be kind and tender hearted to fellow believers if we can’t do it in the first place? Why will Paul mention not to forsake the assembling of ourselves (assembly – “a meeting TOGETHER of parts”) together? We can be busy and warm. We can do it not through sheer will power (but it will help), but, most especially, by God’s grace. Just like being filled with the Holy Spirit, it is also our choice if we’ll God to work in our life in this area of Christian living.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Did and Doing My Part

Every time the lights are turned off, people went out. People go down. People talking with people. I watch. I watch them sitting down. I watch them while standing. I gave my smile. I nodded, greeted, even shook their hands. I gave them the humor, without knowing whether it is funny or not. I waited till the last person is out, or almost the last person is out. I missed the times, but still, time will not stop just because I missed the times.

With bluntness (and I don’t know if there’s that kind of word anyway), I wanted to say is this: I have done my part. It will never be my fault after this. After this, I am no longer accountable on this part of my humanity. Nobody can say that the reason I don’t have one is because I never ask one. I have done my part. The boastfulness that was called and hurled upon me is only absurdity and is preposterous (as if both words have very different meaning). After all, only the person who lifts other people’s chair has only the right to say if a person lifts up his own chair.

Still, I will go when the lights are on, sing when the stage is set, go out when the lights are off, try to wait for the last person to go out. I have no choice. To walk out is to admit what I am not. To go out before the lights are off is so not me. It is not meant to be. It should not be. As David at Ziklag. Paul at the prison. Moving out to go and find another stage must not be the first option.

Friends and brethren, it is indeed true that a believer’s labor is not in vain in the Lord. However, it is also true that one should not withhold credit to someone whom you think deserve it. Every brethren deserves a tap on the back, regardless of his situation. We are never blameless for every brethren that fell and went out.

One way or another, we contributed to the ridicule...or indifference...or “snobbishness”... After all, when you’re at home, will you go out? I’m not passing the blame. Just giving you the other side of the coin to think about...if you have time to think.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Church’s men, the loving your own, and the tales

Note: universal concern, not specific

Not to be sexist, but in the church, men has a significant role. After all, when worse comes to worst, it is the men that are held accountable for, especially on the married level. There are a lot of expectations if you happened to be a member of the male gender. Whether feminists will admit this or not, but still this is true: one reason why they wanted equality is partially because men didn’t meet their...expectations ( the “what a man must be” thing). More and more men, they say, are being irresponsible. Just look of numerous men that, when they got a woman pregnant, left the woman pregnant and alone (still though, stories like this must not be automatically believed at ala-“auto pilot”. Proofs must be presented. Both sides must be heard. When you have no time for such investigations, then you should not also take time to assume who did it...but that’s another story).

These angst by the womankind is understandable. However, is it enough to belittle and demasculate men? To be specific, is it enough reason to generalize men and spread the word to other womankind that “men here are like this and that”? With no apology, I will say “NO”. After all, there are women who manipulates to make an event or events happen. There are women who used men for their own gain. There are women who, after you were used, you’ll be blamed in almost everything that is wrong, though those types of women manipulated their men to do so. Still, do we men have all the right to generalize and to say that women are like this and that WITHOUT RECEIVING ANY NEGATIVE and SOMETIMES VIOLENT REACTIONS? No...because we are men. Let us accept the fact that only Mary experienced to have a Child though she’s a virgin. This means, you are here because of one woman AND ONE MAN.

Putting it in the ecclesiastical setting, men have tremendous responsibilities in the church. Sad as it may seem, there are times that men are less appreciated. Not only men are less appreciated, but some women tend to say that men in their church are not good. They accuse that men in their church, single men to be exact, are like this and that. That they are immature. That they are not gentlemen. Worst, that they are bunch of...playboys. Now, here is the danger for thinking that way with men: to add to the injury, when there are newcomers, women are, well “oriented” with how their men “behaves”, “thinks”, and that their men are “no good”. Now, again, let me tell you that we are not tolerating sins. All we are saying is that we must be tolerant enough with our fellow brethren. Give them time to improve. Each of us have different struggles. Telling other people that the male members of your own church are not so good is like destroying your own. At the end, you destroyed your own self. It’s like family. Will you divulge your siblings’ dark secrets? I doubt if you will do, especially if you love them so much. You don’t call your male co-members “brother” for nothing. By the way, let us also remember that by hitting the male species, you are hitting your own father, brother, uncle, and every male species that you cherish and value. There is no “not all” jargon please.

Well, maybe you’ll ask, “how’s your men in the church?” Well, as for my fellow male brethren, I can say personally that most have a sense of maturity in their heads. After all, maturity can be seen on how they handle their ministry and their own jobs. Besides, being mature and being wacky are two different entities not to be inter-twined with each other. Another thing, real saved individuals have a sense of optimism: it also includes optimism that whatever the male species did, they will bounce back if they are truly saved.

By the way, it will be of good help if we stop taking the telenovelas, the love story pocket books too seriously. One way or another, when taken seriously, they give you wrong perspectives on men.

Men that are truly saved and are serving God one way or another are not your enemies. They are not all weaknesses. They are good friends, able to work hand-in-hand. After all, there are so many things needed to be done.