Skimming the Surface

Observation is a more powerful force than you could possibly reckon: the invisible, the overlooked, and the unobserved are those that are most in danger of reaching the end of the spectrum. They lose the last of their light. From there, anything can happen…Lives altered forever by you, by the simple effect of being present…by entering the light, by joining the dance.
– Mrs. Landing God, Joan of Arcadia (source: Television without Pity)

Can I just say that I’m sick of this layout already? I look forward to the upcoming Holy Week break to get working on a newer (and less pink) layout. Something that will last longer, yes?

The quote up there is from one of my favorite Joan of Arcadia episodes, the one where God told Joan to ask Ramsay the bully to the dance which put her life in danger but saved a lot more people even if it meant Ramsay had to go to jail. Joan thought she failed, but God told her otherwise, saying that she did exactly what He wanted her to do: to be present. To observe. To see things and notice the unnoticed. In this episode, viewers are taught how valuable our presence is.

Something hit me last Friday, hence the semi-emotional cryptic entry. ((Which wasn’t so cryptic according to some of my friends)) Yes, it’s about work and it basically made me want to get out of here — and I mean ASAP. What I mean with “here,” well, it’s for me to know and for you to find out. Ask me, I might just tell. Might. :p

So last Friday, I encountered a lot of problems with the project I was handling in the office, which wasn’t really unusual since the project that was turned over to me was already problematic in the first place. However, the problems last Friday seemed to increase tenfold, especially since it’s unexpected. But of course, I have no choice but to face it. Which wouldn’t be really a problem for me because I’m used to my own neurotic-ness (is this the right term?), and even if it’s stressful, I know that I can handle stress well enough. The thing that lacked for me last Friday is the moral support.

Maybe I’m just too spoiled by my YFC/SFC community that I am asking for the same support and comfort and relationships that I have there here in the corporate world. I don’t know if I am just being immature by asking for the same thing here. My mom said something that it’s hard to find real friends in the workplace because you’re all dealing with different kinds of stress andthe people at work is different with people in school or in the community because friendships abound in the latter. But…is it always like that? Is it so hard to give a word of reassurance to a colleague? Is it so difficult to pat an officemate on the back and offer some kind of comfort when you see or hear that he/she is stressed and say, Okay lang yan, kaya mo yan? ((READ: It’s okay, you can do it.))

Not only that, but I also noticed that people here don’t seem to know each other that well. Sure people here go out for beer, go to some parties and all but there doesn’t seem to be any meaningful conversation happening. It’s like whenever I get the chance to talk to people, there’s never really a deep conversation that involves things about ourselves. Things that make you happy, dreams, fears, concerns. It’s always something else: showbiz news, office gossip, other lighthearted stories that we all love to hear because it feels so good but doesn’t bear any emotional “burden” with one another. But whenever the conversation turns serious, it’s like no one is listening, and in fact they change the subject immediately. Not that I mind exchanging lighthearted stories and I don’t mean all of us should share our deepest and darkest secrets with everyone in the office; after all the stress at work, I know it’s no fun to hear about that. But where’s the connection? The relationships? It’s just that I feel like everyone (including me) is hiding something and we’re all afraid to dig deeper than the usual because we’re afraid to get too involved with the people around us who are only supposed to be our “colleagues” and nothing else.

Maybe I’m just being idealistic. Am I? Is it really a rare thing for people to have good friendships with their officemates, in and out of the workplace? Are all offices like this? Is it? Because if it is, then I really and truly do not want to be in the corporate world anymore if it means being non-relational and impersonal. And don’t tell me that it’s all about being “professional”. Bull.

*breathes deeply* Affected much?

Thinking about these, however, led me to think more about myself. Am I really digging deeper or am I just skimming the surface? Am I too afraid to look deep into myself to look at all the fear, insecurities, anger, worries, selfishness and sin that is in me? Am I too afraid to go through all the muck to discover the deepest desires of my heart, to see the real me — weak, sinful but nonetheless loved by God? Did I really mean it when I said two weeks ago that I want to know what I really want to do in life, or was I just saying that for the sake of saying it, to make myself feel better? What is holding me back from jumping off the cliff and diving deep?

In my reflection yesterday, Oswald Chambers (aka Pareng Oswald) said it quite bluntly:

I know whem the instructions have come from God because of their quiet persistence. But when I weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate enter my mind, I am bringing in an element that is not of God. This will only result in my concluding that His instructions were not right. Many of us are faithful to our ideas about Jesus Christ, but how many of us are faithful to Jesus Christ Himself? Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when I cannot see anything (Matthew 14:19). But faithfulness to my own ideas means that I first clear the way mentally. Faith, however, is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I cannot see the way ahead.

Are you debating whether you should take a step of faith in Jesus, or whether you should wait until you can clearly see how to do what He has asked? Simply obey Him with unrestrained joy. When He tells you something and you begin to debate, it is because you have a misunderstanding of what honors Him and what doesn’t. Are you faithful to Jesus, or faithful to your ideas about Him? Are you faithful to what He says or are you trying to compromise His words with throughs that never came from Him? “Whatever He says to you, DO IT.” (John 2:5)

Stepping out in faith. Do it. I find myself asking Him, what do You want me to do Lord? What is it that You are asking me to step out in faith for? I want to follow Your will, Lord, but what is Your will?

Then He throws back the ball to my court: tell me what is in your heart, My daughter.

Sometimes I want to groan in frustration whenever I feel He is telling me that. Can’t You just disregard that, don’t ask me anything and just tell me what to do?! I wish He would dictate to me what He wants; at least it’s much clearer and I know I’m doing God’s will because I’m afraid to miss it. :-s

He encouraged people to ask for things and to be specific in their requests. “Ask and it shall be given to you. Knock on God’s door and He’ll open it.” “Would a son ask his father for bread and be given a stone? Or if he asks for fish, would he be given a serpent?” The whole essence of the Bible is about a loving God trying to convince the children that he is eager to give them good things.

Good things. I think I have serious trust issues that I need to deal with. Or at least, listen closely to the still, small voice in my heart and believe.

I planned to make this entry strong, to have a big point that would be good enough to be reposted in Godchicks, but it ended up like this, a semi-rant filled entry filled with the “agonies” of decision making of a broken person. Is this part of The Great Adventure, Lord? Because as much as I wish I’m not going through this, I’d take comfort in the fact that this is a part of taking my life’s adventures with You, and in the fact that I know You will never, never, never, never, never leave me.

Dear Father, I’m sorry if this is always on my mind, if this is occupying my thoughts everyday. I’m surprised and glad that You haven’t given up on me yet. Thank You. I’m afraid, Lord, and I know You know that lately I’ve been wishing to run back to my comfort zone, and how much I’ve been disliking where I am right now. I know You know I am sad, that I want to get out. Lord, I need some direction here. A little bit more light to my path, Father, and a lot more faith to take the leap is what I need. Lord, please help me to see what my next step is, and help me to trust You more as I take that step. Help me to look deep into my heart to know my deepest desires and to be brave enough to ask them from You. Help me to bloom where I am right now and to persevere while I wait for Your next cue. Father please make me faithful to You and aim to please only You and no one else. Hold my heart, keep close to Yours that I may never ever let go of You.