Sunday, November 1, 2009

New changes, Homesick, and God as my motivation.

Back in July, I was excited of how my life was turning out to be. Something was close on the horizon, something that could change my life. I always liked big changes. My adventurous soul was made to explore and experience. The "how it would feel like" or the "this would be a great story to tell when I get older" seemed to push me at times to take big steps, sometimes foolishly and without much thinking. My life on the East Bay was simply lovely. I love the East Bay, specially Contra Costa County. Back in July I was preparing myself to the next big step: moving to the Augustinian Community in San Francisco. I gave the notice months in advance at my job, and my last day of work (marking the new beginning) was looming closer. Looking back now, it is easy to see how foolishly you want these new steps to happen, anticipating anxiously as the foot of destiny decides to take it.

Let it be known, I am happy with my decision. I still want to be a priest and my wishes to be one hasn't diminished, but probably even increased. But I thought the move will be easier for me, at least emotionally. It hasn't. I was even worried about my Dad, who seemed to take my move not easily, as his eyes grew sadder as the date was around the corner. My past experiences told me that I would accommodate to the situation easily, just as I had done in the past, when the big changes made a visit to my home. But then I moved. Yes, I was excited, but my excitement was sweetly calmed by the luring melody of melancholy; its song filling the gray air with haunting silent cries. My soul sighed the heavy air as I gave my father a hug, saying goodbye as he ventured to his way back home, his old home made new by my absence.

I would enjoy the visits, as I do, and every chance I have I visit both of my parents, who conveniently live close to one another. But with the joy of a new visit comes its old friend, melancholy, the sweet and sour melancholy, making me company as I wait the train back home to San Francisco. I miss them and they miss me. Every wait for my train back to San Francisco is nostalgically endured. Night and Melancholy are best taken together, as the new morning always seem to drive melancholy away. And so, my melancholy seems to last as long as the night does, and it diminishes with the new morning that declares to the air "business as usual" and I put my backpack on to study, this time not for me, but for God and His people. Nobody said this would be easy. After the short-lived excitement (aren't they always fleeting?) dries up the new water of hope and perseverance fill my soul. After the many goodbyes these precious waters given by my Lord are my only medicine. Study to God and His people. It is funny how, when I studied for myself, I got not so great grades. I was happy with a B, not disappointed with a C, and absurdly glad with a D. But now things have changed. I don't pay for my own study, the community does. I feel a commitment to them and most importantly, to God. I'm not happy with a B and I fight for the A. The semester is not done but I have good grades, and for that I can only thank my good God. So when people say "do it for yourself" it doesn't hold the value as it once did. I reply, "yes for myself, but most importantly for God, because for Him, only our best efforts". And my hope is that all of us believers (including myself) will live by this simple thought "for Him only our best effort". We would probably fail most of the time to give our best effort, but when we do we find Him not mad and ready to strike at our feebleness, but ready to pick us up with a smile, encouraging to give our best, and best of all, giving the strength to do so. We, ourselves, cannot be the only end to our motives. This is the case for me, when I studied for myself. But when our motivation is God, the desire for the best comes naturally. And I end with St. Augustine: " Almighty God, you have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you". Amen.

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