The 33rd

The sun is about to rise on my 33rd birthday. I guess I’m only awake because of work, but I think this is a good time as any to appreciate the quiet mornings. I’ve just closed iTunes to see if the birds outside would be welcoming today with their song, and so far all I’m hearing are chickens. 
Apart from the crows and the desktop PC humming, mornings at home are just so peacefully quiet. It helps to have a jacket on now… but a couple of decades ago, I wouldn’t have minded – in fact, I would have welcomed the cold. 
Actually, some things never change now that I see it – see, back in Brent, around 20 years ago, I would sleep while keeping the window closest to my bed open; and this window absolutely had to be open at all times, deviating only in the event of a really strong typhoon. 
Today, I woke up with not just the window, but the door to my balcony open – perhaps, an indication that I like sleeping in places where air flows free. Or something like that. 
This opens up a lot. Around a month ago I started feeling a little more down than usual – by ‘down’ I mean I was actually thinking that it would be fine if I went home to be with God already. All this was coming from the realization of all the mistakes I’ve been making resulting in what I see and feel today – My gut was getting bigger, my performance at work was becoming slipshoddy, and everything that I thought I was gonna get into as I declared during the earlier parts of this year are still plans, more or less. 
What really got to me was the fact that it was also because of my doing that I lost a precious relationship. The guilt and all these other feelings that I would normally sing off just compounded – I was thinking along these lines – 
‘There’s so much that has to be done, and you haven’t even started. The more you hold it off, the more it’ll all get even worse, and it’s already bad as it is, so what the hell are you doing? You’ve probably done so much earlier in your life that it’s dented your attitude and now it’s too late to fix any of that, and consequently, any of this stuff you’re facing! Your life has no meaning, and no substance!’
What hurt me even more was that I felt like I was alone, like I couldn’t open up to anyone about my struggles because I thought they ran so deep, and/or I could explain what I was feeling, myself. And even THAT was bad because I would think
‘Well, you botched up your relationship with Pao! You could be opening up to her and talking to her now… but haha actually if you do, you’re probably going to go through the same tirade of just talking about yourself and boring her!’
All I could say now is that during these times that we spend in the valley, it helps just to know that even there, I can draw the will to live knowing, just knowing that all this time, I was never actually alone – that my Father, He was always with me all this time. He was as close to me in this deep valley as much as He was in days that I was in the highest peaks.. 
In all this, we will always have a song to sing, we will always have a reason to give thanks and to rejoice, simply because even if we don’t see an apparent solution or even a place to start healing or moving forward, we know that we have a loving Father who is always with us, and will always be with us, loving us with an everlasting and perfect love. 
Having your heart sunken leads you to thinking and re-evaluating what your purpose is in life. I had that question. Usually we think about our passions, and while what I believed were my passions actually helped me in my struggle to keep my head above water, I was led to think that there’s more to this life that living out what we think is best for ourselves. 
As I was reading the Bible, I came upon verse upon verse that mentioned, ‘The LORD is my portion.’
Digging deeper I found that this could be understood as ‘The LORD is my Inheritance’, or the way I took it at the time, the Lord is my future. That’s guaranteed. The feelings I had were overwhelming to the point that I was thinking, can’t I just be with you in all ways already, Jesus? Why am I still here if the logical choice is to be with you forever, instead of just wasting time here in this life? 
I mean, I’m good with my past. Christ covered that, and my present. Those verses I read guarantee my future. I’m all set. Why am I still here? 
It was in these moments when new thoughts began to spark – thoughts of others, and not just myself. Thoughts of investing, not for personal gain (as this loses its appeal), but investing in the lives of others. Being a blessing to the world – thriving, growing, solving the problems that I have not in the name of my comfort, but for the betterment of those around me more. 
For a while I kept the windows and doors closed in my life, and all I ended up with was feeling guilty, unaccomplished, disappointed, frustrated, and bitter. When you close the doors and windows, there’s more time for you to think of yourself, and it never fails – the comfort of isolation may last, but eventually the air becomes stuffy as you’re left with thoughts of mistakes, regrets, and heartaches..
Today may be my birthday, but as the turn of the year, it’s just another day. I will, however, take this moment to say that my happiness is found in knowing that everyone else is happy. My comfort is found in knowing that everyone else is comfortable. The doors will always be open, not just for the persistent breeze of Baguio to flow in and through, but to welcome who the Lord brings to me, or who I am brought to by the Lord. 
I do what I do, and even if what I do is for myself, it’s for others. I exercise to stay strong to carry things for others. I practice my music and photography for others to enjoy. 
My Christ is found in knowing that everyone else believes in Christ. 
Sola scriptura
Sola fide
Sola gratia
Solus Christus
Soli Deo gloria
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. – Numbers 6:24-26

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