The Center Line

SOMETIME ago we went to Agusan to give a training for a mining company. We have never been past Tagum City and so this was a first for Chona and myself. Since we had the car service we left Davao at about four in the afternoon. We were told that the trip normally took three and a half hours depending on the traffic and the road conditions. We left Davao together with a close in security of the company because I did not know the way.

The trip was smooth and pleasant until we reached Mawab. There it started to rain and rain hard. It was like an angry rain which unfortunately got angrier. As we headed towards Agusan, night came and together with the rain, driving became a little difficult. I was unfamiliar with the route and the condition of the roads. The security told us that the roads were under repair and there were a lot of diggings. Great, I thought. Nabunturan and Montevista were just lights in the darkness. Monkayo was bleak and the roads started getting bumpier. And the rain did not stop its ferocity. I was getting anxious. I like driving but this was starting to be a nightmare for me.

There were a few vehicles because of the rain and the darkness.

Fortunately for me, there was a vehicle ahead of me and so I had some bearing because I could hardly see beyond a few feet. All I could see was the vertical rain and the lights of the vehicle. Unfortunately for me the vehicle stopped and suddenly I lost my bearings. All I could see was the darkness and the beams of our vehicle showing the endless angry rain. There was a point where I could not see anything anymore and I had to reduce speed to about 20kph. Sensing that our security told me, “Sir tingnan mo lang ang center line para hindi ka mahulog.” And so I did and it worked. We crawled at 20kph having just the center line as our guide.

Finally somewhere in Trento the rain stopped. So did the aircon of the vehicle. But the air was cool and from Trento the drive towards the mining company was uneventful. We spent two days there. After the training we left in the morning of the third day. This time I got to see the beauty of the place and the roads that we drove through. I was surprised and relieved that we did not fall in some gutter because there were portions that were really tricky and that if you did not follow the center line, as sure as the rain fell, we would fall into some hole. But we did not, thanks to the advice of our close in security.

Since then we have returned to Agusan and the trip is now pleasant and fun. We hope it will continue to be like that because we will be going back a few more times. And we have to thank the man who gave us the advice to just look at the center line so as not to fall in the darkness.

The lesson is kept, it is learned. We all need a center line to guide us in the darkness and the rain. When we have lost our bearings we need to find our center line so as not to fall in the gutter or in the hole.

What is our center line? What is yours? The present state of this world is confusing and if we are not strong we will surely get lost and eventually we will fall. We need a center line to guide us through the dizzying array of confusing choices and voices. Sometimes in the darkness it is tempting to be the darkness itself. But if we have a guide, a light, a center line we will not lose our way unless of course you choose to veer away.

What is your center line? Mine is God. What is yours?


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