Marami ang nagulat. Many would tell me “50 ka na? Akala ko ….” Maybe I don’t look my age. ‘Buti na lang walang nagkamaling magsabi na “50 ka pa lang pala, akala ko ….”
Two words, isang letra lang ang diperensya pero napalaki ng pagkakaiba. Siguro, nahiya lang magsabi o me halong pambobola lang. But what does that tell me? Siguro nga nakakabata kung patuloy kang connected at naglilingkod kay Lord. Kahit pagod ka na, kahit puyat ka pa if it is for the service of our Lord, you will find your “second wind.”
Too late have I known Thee, too late have I loved Thee!
In a mass in Lipa where we were invited to sing by a sister for their celebration of the feast day of St. Augustine, the celebrant asked the congregation for the Tagalog translation of the words of St. Augustine. Someone volunteered: “huli na ng makilala Kita, huli na ng mahalin Kita“. “Literally correct”, he said. But continuing on he said the real essence of St. Augustine’s lamentations is:
Matanda na ako ng makilala Kita, ugod-ugod na ako ng mahalin Kita!
For most of us, procrastination is our way when we are called for the Lord’s service. “Saka na Lord, pag retired na ako.” “Kapag nakatapos na lang mga anak ko Lord.”
How can we truly serve Him if our knees start to ache? How can we proclaim His good news if our mouth quivers, if our hands shakes? Why can’t we answer His call while we are still strong and able?
On the other hand, I’ve seen brothers who continue to serve God even in their sickness. Our brother Manny is one. I made a post honoring this brother of ours Who is Manubo? I also remembered our brothers Joefre(+) and Jun(+) (the “classmates”, they chided themselves) — they were a source of strength for me when I feel lazy in my work for the Lord.
Their presence in the prayer assemblies even after they just had their dialysis treatment brought me joy and sadness — even shame. Sila na me sakit, kayang pumunta at makiisa sa mga kapatid sa panalangin, samantalang marami ang ayaw ng pumunta kasi walang pamasahe, kasi umuulan.
So I’m 50. Marami na ring pagbabago. Dati-rati’y kaya kung mag-straight ng 48 hours sa work — even 72 hours with only a power nap to sustain me. I remembered when our company servers was hit by the “I LOVE YOU” virus (or worm). I had to spend a week isolating and cleaning our network with very few hours of sleep, and yet I still had the energy to play a match of badminton.
But now, I am feeling it. I can no longer go a day at almost full capacity without the needed rest. While I stay late at night studying, learning my online business, updating my blog, or balancing our company’s financial statements, I have to get at least 4 hours of sleep to sustain me the following day. I am starting to feel the joint aches, the muscle numbness telling me that I am not what I used to be.
All of these are telling me that I have little time with so many things to do. According to WHO Life Expectancy matrix, Filipino males life expectancy is at 65.3 years which gives me another 15 years to “till the Lord’s vineyard”.
But again, the “Lord’s thoughts are not man’s thoughts” (Is 55:8 NABRE). He may cut short the 15 years or He may extend them. I’d like to think that like my brother Sam, I can have a “contract” with the Lord — to serve Him till I am 99, with another year for possible renewal.
Yes, I am 50 and I’m glad to be serving the Lord. And when my time comes, I hope I will have the courage of Simeon to say:
Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples
May God bless us.