Service

When you give, give till it hurts…

It’s official, I’m now a catechist. After a week of training, I, with my classmates, received the “go” signal from our parish priest to teach. I can still remember that one week when I had to wake up early and attend the orientation course. It was like going to school in the middle of our summer vacation, instead of having fun in the sun, I was there studying… I can still remember the first day, when the speakers warned us that a catechist’s life is not an easy path. It’s a road full of struggles and of pains, full of sacrifices and of hurts. But it’s also full of promises, of experiences, of grace. I know that it’s a difficult path to tread on. My mother, at first, even tried to dissuade me from attending, saying that I was too busy enough to take on this vocation. But I guess she saw how I loved this job, so she gave me support and encouragement.

I’ve always believed that a person’s success is not measured by how much wealth he has amassed, how powerful he has become, how strong or good-looking his body is. For me, success is serving others. The simple fact of being there for another person in distress is enough to make me a happy man. And due to my insatiable yearning, success is immeasurable. There is no limit to say one is truly successful.

I never knew that serving others would be so fulfulling. Whenever I comfort a friend, teach children, speak my heart out, assist and give my being, I get this feeling money can never buy. It’s as if I’ve won the lottery, talked to her, received an unexpected hello and all good things rolled into one. It’s a beautiful feeling to come home tired and collapse, exhausted in your bed, knowing that you did something today. It feels good to sleep every night with your heart so full of love and of dreams and of hopes.

Haha… I remember Carmela, a student of mine in Boso-boso, Antipolo. She’s not my favorite student, but she does get my attention for her antics that disrupt class, for her mischievous nature, for once instigating the whole class against me… But she’s the most intelligent student in the class. When I ask her a question, she replies the answer with a smile. When I give out tests, she gets high marks. And she pretends she doesn’t know anything. Carmela is but one of many children that have inspired me to go on. They’re from poverty-stricken families, but I can see in their eyes the passion for learning, the fire I thought I had lost. I love the way they make ends meet, truly inspiring.

If you can remember the post “My Holy Grail” (April 09, 2006), item no. 9 is about public speaking. I’m not a very good speaker, and I get nervous when I do. So I joined the “Morning Boys” of our school. It’s a euphemism for P.A. system speakers. We’re in charge of coordinating the flag ceremony everyday at school. Whenever I stand at that podium, my heart races,my adrenaline pumps up, my hormones start to rage…my body’s in a state of emergency. I feel tension as I speak my piece, my comrades even laugh when they see my legs shaking after flag ceremony. But even though I made a lot of blunders and a lot of mistakes, I still feel privileged to be given the chance to be “the voice that echoes from afar”. Next schoolyear, I’m going to continue being a Morning Boy.

My mother was really the person responsible for making me a sacristan. I was, at first, uninterested at the offer. I was bored by the meetings, by the practicums. I thought it was a waste of my time. But after being one for five months now, I feel so inspired to serve Him at Mass. I don’t know how I came to love doing what I do, but I do know that He just made things happen. And I’m still burning.

And last but not the least is the organization from which I draw my strength- HTP-PYM, Holy Trinity Parish Parish Youth Ministry. This is where it all began, my transformation from being an ignorant fool to a fiery zealot. This is where I met people whom I can call as friends. I have many stories to share about them, but I guess one should be enough at the moment. This was at the morning of my birthday. I woke up to see them at our living room, holding up papers that read: “Happy 16th Birthday!” whilst singing “Happy Birthday to You”. I was so touched by what they had done for me. I never knew they cared that much to go through the trouble of surprising me on my birthday. I love them all, and I’ll always love them all.

Through all of these, I’ve gone through a lot of struggles. I feel stressed, I feel like I’m going to implode, sometimes I lose my passion, sometimes I lose interestm sometimes I’m bored and sometimes I wished I just quit. But I’ve never stopped believing that I can go on. I never stopped believing in my friends, in my family and in Him. The life of a servant is not an easy road. But it’s full of promises, of good company, of growing opportunities, of memorable experiences. It’s not an easy path.

It still doesn’t hurt. Fight on.

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    For people who love to think.

    Jian Carlo R. Narag, MD

    2005-2017

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