Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Day of Calamity

Praise God, the approaching storm, Pepeng, took a diversion in its path. Our land is safe. Indeed, our God is mighty to save. This is what happens when all people pray together. I believe yesterday the Filipinos joined hands in praying for typhoon Pepeng not to encroach the area.

One typhoon after the other, this situation reminds us of the human frailty. Typhoon Ondoy has left over 200 people dead and a thousand - homeless. The tragedy beset the poor and the rich alike. The gush of muddy waters infiltrated all throughout the humble shanties and the posh subdivisions. We are at the point where we realize that we are completely hopeless. Who can deliver us from Pepeng, amidst the aftermath of Ondoy? In the heart of our hopelessness, we realize that on top of our humanity, we see the great chasm between God and Man in four points:

1. Nature

God is the Creator of the land, sea and air. While we are the steward. When God assigned Adam to name all the animals, He also gave man the responsibility to take care of the land. But how have are we as stewards of the earth?What have we done with the environment? We have cut the trees, bull dozed the mountains, and polluted the rivers. The rising waters were clogged by the same rubbish that man capriciously littered here, there, and everywhere.

As we see on TV people running and climbing for dear life, let us remind ourself that when nature strikes back, we are succumbed from stewards to victims. So let us take care of our environment. Even the simple act of segregating and disposing our trash in the right places. Please?

2. Riches and Wealth

God is the Giver and we are the receiver. We hear accounts of villages submerged: houses, appliances and cars - Volvo, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz. What probably took years to accumulate vanished in just a few hours. This reminds us where do we focus our investments on? "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21).

While it is good to enjoy material blessings, after all they are still a blessing, we should not make it our focus and source of happiness. Loosen the tight grip on your possessions. Because God - He gives and He takes away. And if He does take away, continue the faith. We ought to have the right perspective in focusing on the Giver and not the gift.

3. Power

God is the Ruler and we are the follower. Now it makes sense why we have laws. It is not to make our lives difficult, but to protect us. The simple moral laws of integrity, honesty, responsibility. Looking at the TV it is a pity to see that we have limited equipment and other resources for rescue. Where is the government fund to buy adequate motorboats, life vests, emergency lights, etc. Where did out tax money go?

One good thing I witnessed from this event is the nation's unity in helping out the victims. There is no one I personally know that did nothing to contribute to the relief operations for the flood victims. It feels like brown christmas. Instead of snow, we have mud. But the spirit of giving is present and alive. It is blessing to bless others. It feels good. Here's hoping that those who breached the tax payer's funds would for once be moved to give back to the people. There is still a lot of work to do in the evacuation areas and in the post-flood clean ups.

4. Life

God is Eternal, we are temporal. The deluge felt like the days of Noah. For some, the time of life is over. Indeedm life is short. We can never tell. Question is, are we ready? By the way we live our life at present, are we confident of a brighter after life?

I have some friends of those who befell the toll of Ondoy. Friends, trust that my prayers are with you. Keep the faith. Things happen for a reason. There is no problem to deep, God cannot solve it. There is no problem to big, God cannot move it. I know it is difficult but always remember the Lord's goodness. God is too wise to be mistaken, God is to good to be unkind. So if you don't understand, and cannot trace His hands, trust His heart. He will carry you through.

Calamities are really not calamities. To forget the Lord is the greater and more tragic calamity. Fortunes are not really fortunes. To remember the Lord and walk in His way is the real fortune.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bad Weather Weekend

Last Saturday I woke up and was greeted by a dark gloomy room. I checked my watch it’s already 9:00 am, and it seemed like it’s still 5:00 am. My room faces the east and everyday I am greeted by the morning sun. But not this time. I stood by my window and saw the gray clouds in tears. Oh, it is going to be a bed weather weekend for me.

Miraculously, it was one of those rare days when no external appointment nor meetings were scheduled for the day. Before I decided to go back to bed, I decided to take a quick look at my facebook. And to my surpirse, I read through accounts of rising waters and people stranded here and there. My bed weather weekend slowly turned into bad weather weekend.

I suddenly became worried, I glued myself in the net waiting for updates. I found reports of cars and even houses submerged under water; people running at the roof tops; men walking over electric posts. I whispered a short prayer for them… and suddenly our lights went off. We had no electricity. I wondered how come we have no electricity when we have a generator set in the building? I checked the hallway.. Yep, it’s definitely brown out. Elevators are down. I panicked for a while. What shall i do? I sat in total darkness, staring at the wall. My flash light ran out of battery. I found myself in the middle of nothing to do, but pray. After an an hour, the generator started to work. Hurray! I can go back on line to check the bad weather weekend.

Suddenly, I felt hungry. Only to realize I have nothing in my ref but water and bread. In fact, I should already be thankful I have bread. I wanted to call in for food delivery. But I fear for the delivery man. He might be harmed on his way here. For his safety, better contend with the bread. I had bread for brunch and dinner. My stomach is grumbling. Oh, this hungry and bad weather weekend for me!

But these are only minor inconveniences compared to the rest who were badly affected: wet, stranded, damaged, and some of them dead. My prayers are with the victims of the typhoon Ondoy. I pray for their strength and faith; May they see the beauty of God even amidst the deluge. I pray for their fast recovery. May they see that despite the bad weather, we have a good and mighty God.

While another typhoon is said to arrive tonight at 9:00, I am praying that we spared from the second “super typhoon”, who is reported to be gustier than the one who visited us last weekend. I am praying that we be spared, and may the typhoon be diverted from passing through the land fall. May we be spared from another bad weather weekend tomorrow.