Who Do You Follow?

Yesterday my sister and I ran an errand for our aunt at SM Hypermarket. I was in a hurry because I will be attending a friend’s graduation and so I just grabbed the only things we needed – fresh milk and butter. (We were also in the mall for other purpose, in case you’re wondering if we went all the way to the mall for milk and butter. hihi)

I lined up in the cashier to pay for my items. While on the queue, I noticed a mother and daughter cutting through the line and placing their push carts ahead. I was struck by what I saw and I wasn’t able to manage a single word. I know myself to be mataray and so maybe that was the reason why I didn’t say anything.

However, another mother and daughter next to me wanted to do the same! They wanted to cut the line too. Since I was in a hurry, I secured my spot in one of the cashiers to also prevent them from getting ahead of the line. hehe.

This morning while catching a ride with our driver and his friend, our natural discussion was about the traffic. Our driver recounted an instance when he passed by a road that was only meant for public vehicles. He said he just tailed to the vehicle in front of him and so he was also tailed by the vehicle behind him. They were all caught by the traffic enforcer but he managed to avoid the violation ticket because of some reason. (Yan tayo e! hehe)

With these two recent experiences, I realized that people follow what they see, whom they fix their eyes to, regardless if an act is wrong or not. I’m sure we are all familiar with phrases, ‘ginaya ko lang sya’ (I just followed him/her) or ‘bakit ginawa nya, ako hindi?’ (s/he did it, why can’t I?).

Most often, people are caught up between messy situations (a violation ticket, an accident, or a fuming-with-anger day) because of following the fad or fellow violators some people or certain situations.

I think there is only one sure way not to mess things up. There’s only one way, one person to follow and that is Jesus. If we can all follow this Man, I’m sure we can never go wrong.

This Holy Week, it is my prayer that we all strive once more to follow Him and His ways. With the many falls we all had in the past, may we never tire of rising up and following Jesus again. Because, friends, there’s no other way but Him.

Have a meaningful Holy week!

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Photo from flickr.com
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Disgusting but Saved

She just won’t tell me the real reason!’ a friend exclaimed when I told her to ask her classmate on what’s wrong with them. Her classmate stopped talking to her and became somewhat cold for no apparent reason at all. And my friend was like, ‘did I do or say something offensive and degrading?’ or ‘Is it because I don’t send SMS with smiley?’ or ‘Was it because I was tired and forgot to bid her good night?’ My friend was clueless. Poor friend, I bet she’s never going to know.

My friend’s friend? We know her right? It might have been you and me in the past or someone we know. The friend whom you have offended once and made your one mistake let him/her forget everything you did for the friendship. Much worse is that when the friend doesn’t have the grown-up courage to tell you why.

This reminds me of a reflection of a friend priest when I was in high school. “When people are asked to describe a doughnut,” he said, “most will say that it’s rounded bread with a hole in it.” See. People always notice what’s missing and what’s wrong. Present them with a white dress and for sure, people will see the speck of stain it has.

Sad to say but it is true. We can be so critical on others but favorable on ourselves. We can see the single mistake our friends did and go blind to the many small things they did for us with love. We judge others through their actions and judge ourselves through our intentions. It’s just unfair.

Sometimes, I even notice that those who are so critical of others are those who hear the mass often. Yes, ask a church goer on what you have done wrong and s/he can give you an entire homily’s worth of a list. You shouldn’t have done this, you should say this, you should ask me and so on.

There are also self-righteous people who fight for a cause on Facebook but fail to extend a helping hand in real life. They share photos of the Syrian refugees and solicit prayer for them but don’t care if their seatmate on a public vehicle doesn’t get the fair share of the seat.

And then there’s you who’s reading this and who’s probably asking, ‘Are you my elementary tutor Mrs. Perfecta, because you sound so perfect to have noticed everything?’

I am not perfect too, never have been and never will be. I made a share of my mistakes – judging people in my mind, or cursing them at times; ignoring those who need help because I’m running late; avoiding that extra mile of care to a stranger; being too much nosy or critical too and many more.

Just today I was not careful enough to handle a conversation when it went out of hand and the bad qualities of a person came up. After the conversation, I had to ask myself, Why did you bring that up? To discredit the person or to air your true sentiments? I have to be honest to myself. My answer can be summed up to the prayer I said on my way home. The jeepney I was riding was ridiculously fast and it was raining hard, the streets are not just wet but it’s flooding.

Lord,” I began “please let me be safe tonight. Don’t let me die because I don’t know if I’ll end up in heaven if I die today.”  I was ashamed. It was disgusting.

Thank God I arrived home safe. Then it dawned on me, no matter how I fall short of my efforts to love God and be His instrument of love and mercy, He will still love me and cover me with His arms.

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And I bet He has the same love for everyone – saints and sinners alike. He endured the scourges while chained in a pillar for the critical persons, He carried the cross for those who won’t care at times, He died on the cross for you and me.

Why, you might ask. It’s because of this – we are loved, we are forgiven, we are saved.

He doesn’t ask for payment for His sufferings, He doesn’t use the past as leverage so we will do what He wanted us to do. He only ask us too extend the same love and mercy to others- to the person beside you, to the person you meet. 🙂

See the blessing and be a blessing today!