Man, Proposes, God Disposes-A A +A
Friday, December 20, 2013
"WHY not 3 F's?" was the suggestion of Ms. Susan, our hotel manager and MDC coordinator for my speaking engagements!
"3 F's for Faith, Family, and Friends." Yes, I was invited to speak before about 800 parents and students in Balatoc this Thursday for their Family Day Activity; and I was still groping for a topic two days before the event. The Ilocano theme of their activity, translated into English was “Strengthen Faith thru a United Family”. I was toying around with adding a little twist and ending with “Faith strengthens the Family”.
On Wednesday night, Angie and I were scheduled to visit two friends in the hospital, Baboo and Joey, plus a visit to a memorial chapel, as I was told that our staff’s father had died.
Then we got sad news that Joey Rufino, of Star Café, had passed away, after one year and four months of illness and long-term hospital confinement. Instead of two visits to the hospital, it became two visits in the memorial chapel, and one in the hospital.
After the memorial chapel visits, which included experiencing two earthquake tremors, we left for the hospital at around 11:30 p.m.
As I felt some chest pains that evening, I thought it best to drop by the emergency room before visiting Baboo. After some tests, I was told by Dra. Annie Urmaza Olarte, that she would want to subject me to further observation and tests.
(I am so blessed and grateful to her and husband Ray, who drove her from home late that night to see me. Thanks for the concern, compassion and care, you have extended to me and my family!)
In short, I was confined for more tests, in spite of my objections that I had to prepare my talk and deliver it the next morning. A trip to Manila after lunch was also part of our plans.
God’s words in Proverbs 19:21 come to mind: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”. It is a bible phrase which is the basis of one of my dad’s favorite phrases, “Man proposes, God disposes”
While I was still hoping to make it to Balatoc on time, it was not meant to be. My daughter, Jessica, had always been willing to tag along, be my driver, and my critique!
Thank God, Lito Pangilinan, the congressman’s chief of staff, assured me he will take care of making the rearrangements at Balatoc that morning. Lito had been instrumental in my spiritual growth more than 30 years ago. He had worked closely with the late Brother Paul Aguas, founder of the Sacred Heart Community, and has been supportive of many youth programs together with Brother Alex Manongdo, for countless years.
After a “stress test” at noon, I was allowed to leave an hour after.
My apologies to our friends in Balatoc. Perhaps, someday…
My Dearest Friends,
As I reach the “sunset” years of my life, I look back at how I have lived, what I have lived for, and what I have done with my life.
While there is so much I could have done, there is still much more that I believe I can still do.
What have I lived for? What am I living for? What will I do with the rest of my life?
As St. Padre Pio said in his prayer to the Lord, “I leave the past to your mercy, the future to your providence, and the present to your love”, may I remember that every breath I take is a gift from God, thus I must be grateful and make the most out of it.
Just like the passengers of that van on SLEX, that had a bus land on them from the Skyway, we can make so many plans, but God’s plans prevail!
Are we ready for God’s plans?
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 21, 2013.