PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Friday, July 26, 2013

 

Impossibility, I want you!

Nothing is impossible these days.

Justin Bieber became Justin Bieber, or so it was reported, because of one YouTube video t.hat went viral. The same story is repeated in the case of, say, Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda.

To be sure, these three people have something remarkable in them with or without the validation of bazillion YouTube hits. Their respective talents have always been there. It just so happened that new technology turned things around in their favor.

When I look around these days and review where certain people are, the people I knew from childhood, compared to when they were just snivelling ball of naivete, I am totally amazed. It couldn't be entirely them who's responsible for it the unlikely turns of events in their lives. There must have been an X factor. I prefer to call that factor divine intervention, the hand of God intervening in His love for the person to fulfill his or her own destiny

Take the case of my friend R., with whom I used to rent a house together with a bunch of siblings and cousins. Nothing in her told me she'd become a computer programmer in the US, first in Georgia, then next in Florida. What's more, she just finished a master's degree. For someone who's not the studious type, that's so unexpected.

Then there's my college roommate G. He used to be 'just' a medical representative working Ozamiz City. He happened to marry a nurse, who happened to find work in New York City. Now, he's a New Yorker!

The same happy, unexpected story happened to B, a girl I thought looked too dark, too small, and too plain. She married a German guy, who has a successful business here, and next thing you know, she is traveling to Germany, Macau, Paris, Florida, etc. for vacation. Wow. Astounding is the word.

A next-door neighbor boy, who I suspected to be mentally ill because of his weird, annoying ways, is now an engineer in the big city who can buy anything he wants. His family used to be very poor, and at the time, the prospects for any of them were too dark.

These tales of the unbelievable are repeated in numerous cousins, former classmates, townmates of old, and friends from here and there, who found their good fortune abroad, or even at home. E. as a nurse in Leeds, England, together with former officemates of mine. J. as a chef in Calgary. J., M., et al. as nurse in California and all over the US. R. as saxophonist in cruise ships, enabling him to see the whole world. The seamen I know who have seen the same. B. was able to come to America by marrying a nurse. R. was able to come to Ireland for the same reason. How many of them are like that? Several girls and women I know -- J., E., C., A., J. -- are now living in various prosperous countries that way by finding their destiny in a foreign man -- who knew? Oh, how their lives have changed, judging from their Facebook photos alone.

T. now lives in a condo with her son and husband, who's now a big shot at ADB. Time was when they were just lowly employees like me at ASEC? And whenever T. reminisced about her life then, it was always about deprivation, extreme poverty, and all that sob story/teledrama. Look at them now.

J. a bank collector, now drives his own service car, when all his family could afford was a tricycle. I., who didn't even step on college grounds, is now a middleman dealer in the local wet market's fish trade. From his incredible earnings, he was able to build a beautiful house and buy his own cars and trucks (note the plural form). After failing in his attempts to be a nurse and a policeman, T. ended up with Business Administration and, after graduation, was able to put up a small eatery, funded by his father and siblings abroad. These are all former neighborhood kids, who looked unpromising back then, to say the least.

I used to be one of these kids in the neighborhood who looked like nothing bright was ahead of us. I hope I'll get to share the same tale someday, if not soon. Because I believe that nothing is impossible these days.

But, in unexpected ways, I was touched by the God of impossibility, too. After I graduated from college, I expected my life to be largely academic in nature, owing to my nerdy persona. I thought I'd be immersed in teaching, researching, writing theses, pursuing PhD, and so on. Being the eldest child in the family, I also thought, or strongly expected, I'd discover the means to a great money-making career or venture. Well, the Guy Upstairs had other ideas. He thought up of something else for me, something better, something that's beyond my imagination, which proves punier by the minute as my life story unfolds.

He trained me to become a writer. He brought me to places and situations that I needed to discipline myself for the strictures of writing. But here's the horrible part: He brought me to defeat, shame, embarrassment, poverty, loss, illness, loneliness, aloneness. He let me experience pain.

But he also brought me to an awareness of the vastness of the universe, especially the unknown, and the depth of human experience. Most importantly, and I consider this my greatest achievement, God led me to a taste of wholeness, healing, integration, self-awareness.

God's definition of impossible is painful and funny, in my case. It's somewhat no different from the counterintuitive twists of fate that 'befell' those I know who have left the life of material comforts in favor of the seminary -- and I think there are quite a number of them. The difference -- big difference, actually -- is that they seem happy and fulfilled with their choice, while I can't say the same in categorical terms. There remains great dissatisfaction with my lot so far. I don't feel complete yet, like I still have lots of things to prove in me, although I am now speaking in practical terms, like finances and properties and other worldly accomplishments. It might seem like a weird twist, but yes, after the spiritual comes the downward movement to humbler quests in life for me in my journey. It's as though it is a part of my struggle to become normal, to be just like the rest of hoi polloi.

I pray to the God of the Impossible for impossible turnarounds and impossible breakthroughs, for he has proven time and again that there's nothing He can't do.

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