Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Long Weekends

I look forward to long weekends. I am one of those who, at the beginning of the year, are very anxious to know all the declared holidays for that year, just so I can start planning trips and scheduling gimmicks on foreseen long weekends.

But the long weekend that just recently passed was spent most differently. There was no trip to the beach and no prescheduled out-of-town gimmick. But unusual as it was, it was one great weekend.

Friday was spent rendering overtime work (yeah, bummer), working with the Feast Alabang Media Ministry on an upcoming event, and practicing with the Music Ministry right after. Yes, my day was jam-packed, and I ended up clamoring to get to bed as soon as I got home. I was tired, but it was the happy kind of tired (if there is such a term). It was great to work with people who voluntarily give their time and talent in serving God the best way they know how. The Feast Alabang Media and Music Ministries are a bunch of hardworking servants.

The Closer to Yahweh Silent Retreat was organized by the PICC Feast Intercessory Ministry.

Saturday came and I found myself in Antipolo, together with some 90 people, hoping to spend the entire day just experiencing the Lord more intimately. As I've said in my previous post, my life has been a roller-coaster ride of emotional ups and downs (mostly downs) recently that I felt I needed a break. I needed to silence myself for a bit just so I could forget all the noise in my life. (Those who know how madaldal I am can attest that this is pretty hard for me.) And the silence felt good. For 5 hours, it was just me and my God on a date, having a quiet conversation. It was an exchange of worries and assurances; I offered Him my worries, and He assured me of His promises. He revealed to me how immense His love is, and however "unworthy" I felt, there was just no changing that love. At the end of the silent retreat, with swollen eyes from crying, I fully accepted that love, and sheer joy and thankfulness followed.

Citipointe Live in Manila

But my Saturday wasn't done yet. After spending the day in silence, I then proceeded to ULTRA to join the Feast Alabang Music Ministry in watching a worship concert. It was my first time to attend such an event. Since I came in late, the stairs was the best available seat; the stadium was that full.

Throughout the concert, there were moments when I found myself just amazed at the sight of God's young people praising Him together. Everybody was up from their seats, singing in praise, lifting their hands, and jumping for joy. It was a sight to behold. I was imagining the Lord smiling ear to ear, pleased at seeing His people sing and dance for Him and adoring His children very much.

As I looked around, I told myself that these are a thousand people who may have failures and ongoing difficulties, who may have broken hearts and broken relationships, and who may still have unfulfilled dreams and unanswered prayers. But these are also a thousand people who still choose to praise God and to thank Him for everything. It was amazing.

Sunday was Feast Alabang* day. Bro. Arun talked about the importance of praise and worship and had us, the music ministers, sing a lot more songs than usual. It was great seeing everyone sing and dance for God. It was like everyone had become a music minister. After the Feast, I attended our Caring Group after. Our caring group is composed of single wonderful people who want to share with each other how God is touching them everyday. I am blessed to have a support group from whom I learn so much and who help me grow in my relationship with the Lord. With the sharings and the never-ending chat, our group session ended at about 10pm.

That's it. Three days of fatigue. Three physically draining days. But three days well spent in service to God and in praise to Him. That was my long weekend, and I loved it.

*FEAST ALABANG (formerly called the SOUTH FEAST) is a weekly gathering of the Light of Jesus Community (LOJ). It happens every Sunday at the Feast Alabang Center, 2nd floor Festival Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, at 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm. It is led by Feast Builder/Main Preacher Arun Gogna. LOJ is a Catholic charismatic community led by Bo Sanchez.

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