Pena: The journey | SunStar

Pena: The journey

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Pena: The journey

Thursday, December 07, 2017

LAST Tuesday, November 28, I went for a long drive to attend the National Convention of the Philippine Society of Civil Engineers (Pice) at the MOA Arena. I was compelled to attend the convention because of the recently passed law which requires registered professionals to attend Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and earn points. I need at least 45 CPD units to be able to renew my Civil Engineer’s license by 2020.

I left early in the morning because I planned for a relaxed, stress-free driving. I stayed below 100 kph. As expected, vehicles kept passing by me on the fast lane. Still, I was relaxed and resisted the urge to speed up. Being overtaken, especially by old dilapidated vehicles, is ‘insulting’. But I kept my cool. While I was a bit slow, occasionally I had to press the gas and overtake a slower vehicle. But as soon as I drove past the slowpoke, I went back to my usual speed.

I decided to take the Edsa route. Traffic was smooth until I reached Cubao where it was almost at a standstill. I expected this congestion but never thought that it would be worst. It took me almost 2 hours to reach Ortigas, the point at which the traffic began to loosen up. And the cause of unusually heavy traffic? A bus that broke down in the middle of the road. I reached my destination after about 4 hours.

At the MOA Arena, I was surprised that there were no long lines for registration. Before proceeding to the venue proper, I went to a coffee shop to eat and rest. Over coffee, I recalled my 4-hour journey, and pondered that somehow, it is similar to life itself. Yes, there are people who chose to live in the fast lane and there are those who like to live simple but comfortable lives. Those who are in a hurry spend much of their time and energy in their work or business, oftentimes sacrificing other things like their family, relationships or even their own health.

The people who prefer to live ‘slow’, try to balance work, family, spiritual life and their personal well-being. They are thankful and contented with what they have, enjoy their well-planned trip as they press forward to their destination. Occasionally, these people have to ‘step on the gas’, when challenges get in their way. After hurdling obstacles however, they go back to their usual pace, and enjoy the trip again.

Whether you’re slow or fast, you can’t avoid being stuck in traffic once in a while. In life, we grind to a halt when tragedy hits us. A sickness, a death in the family, bankruptcy, losing a job, or a failed relationship. Some simply turn around and drive away, if their trip is not that important to them. But those who are focused on reaching their destination patiently move inch by inch, no matter how long it takes. As they come out of the gridlock, they feel victorious.

Occasionally, we tell ourselves- I should have taken a different route. Just like in life when we regret our decisions. Did I choose the right career? Did I marry the right person? But who knows, it would have been worst had we chose a different route.

For all of us who ‘are still on the road”, I have a tip. It’s 100 percent guaranteed. If you want a relaxed, safe journey in life, let Jesus take the wheel. Let go and let God.

Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on December 07, 2017.

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