Leave no Traces

Since I wasn’t raised in Manila, I can’t give a particular place within its busy streets that I really know by heart. I’m very much aware that the instruction is to rediscover a place in Metropolis. But the responsibility of a student doesn’t solely lie on following instructions, but more so, in submitting a material that has achieved the objective of the activity. Hopefully, this reflection may give you a vivid picture of my life. Using few words, may you experience the same excitement I had when I first set my feet on this ground. And may you share with me the nostalgic feeling we usually sense whenever time brings us back to where we started to dream, of which I believe the prime purpose why I am writing this in the first place.

For a fifth grader like me, the best period of my class would be lunch break. It’s not because I love eating, well partly I guess, but particularly because my classmates and I spend the two-hour break walking around the village where our school is situated. A perfect way of escaping the noise of our campus. Yes, I have to say that St. Francis Village is really a quiet place. It only becomes earsplitting when we walk around it and fill it with laughter. Today, as I revisit my childhood hang-out, a lot of things have changed. But the thought it used to share remains—the thought of youthful freedom.

St. Francis Village in Cainta, Rizal is occupied by houses and healthy trees that which provide shade for students who want to finish their homework beneath its huge branches. The distinct characteristic of the village, as what I’ve already mentioned, is the stillness that no other place can give. The tennis court where we used to pretend as champion athletes is still the same, only that it is now full of players. Unlike before when we almost own the entire place. Going further on that street, a small retail store between two enormous trees is to be found. I tried to visit the store and buy some Hany bars that serve as my dessert during those days.  But my excitement fade when I discovered that the owner went abroad two years ago, leaving its gates closed and my favorite store abandoned.

One must enter a small street in the east side of the village to have a glimpse of an old creepy house which we used to call ‘haunted’. I can still remember how Randel would mimic the sound of a mad wolf and everyone will scream and ran back to Aling Delia’s store (the one I first mentioned). I am always left behind in which my weight is the reason. Our haunted house evidently became more dilapidated and plants surrounding it have grown so much that is almost looking like a jungle. Since the last time I’ve been there, I knew the house is not inhabited and now it’s older than before. We make stories that an old lady living inside its walls is wicked and love eating naughty children.

As I remember those days,I once again experience wearing the shoes of young Czesar. Full of adventures and minds nothing but fun. Amid my busy days, at least I was given the chance to revisit a place that painted a lot of good memories in my childhood. But one thing we should always remember in returning to our mischievous days: LEAVE NO TRACES.


Ingredients of Miracle

The following words will not penetrate you if before reading this; you are already situated to oppose the existence of miracles. I’m not sure if there are such people though, given that most of us seek miracle and try to discover the wonder of life. Whether you believe it or not, MIRACLES DO HAPPEN.
It is not by chance that a stage four breast cancer victim survived his ill, nor it is conincident that a poor man won lottery and suddenly acquire wealth. Near-death experiences are not make up stories and blind people who once again enjoy the pleasure of sight is for real. All of these seeming impossible events are driven by a force collectively known as Miracle. If still you’re not convince, there is no reason left for you to continue reading.
The promises of miracles are so alluring that I will not be surprised if all of us want to experience it.
However, the number of people who don’t believe in miracles may be greater than those who do. What people don’t understand is that miracles happen not because we want to, nor we initiate it. There are some certain conditions that must be met or shall I call ‘ingredients’ to let it occur.
I can still remember how Pastor Dave shared these ingredients a year ago that made me inspired to write this article. I would be selfish if I will dismiss the chance of also sharing it to others.
As bread requires good quality of flour in order to taste good, so do miracles, need the right ingredients to experience its full wonder. So grab your pen and start listing. Prepare to experience miracle in your life!
1. One bag of PROPER TIMING:

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”-John 2:4

 Everything happens in due time. We schedule our activities according to the most favorable to us. This is one of the misconceptions in life. While we may think that we can set time for things to happen, there is a greater Being who is responsible for our time, and that is God. From the moment we wake every morning, take our meal, go to school or work, until we close our eyes at night, God designed all of these from the very instance of our creation.
Unfortunately, people don’t understand this fact. We tend to make our own arrangement of events. This is the root of all struggle. Man take actions which is different from how God set things to happen. And when encountered by trials, we seek miracle and most of the time say, “God, I need it now! I have deadline!”
Such attitude only equates problem as if we limit God and command Him with what He suppose to do. But God know our problems and sufferings long before we encounter it. Therefore, He alone holds the wisdom exactly when our problems need to be solved. And if we want miracle to happen, we should take in mind that everything happens in His time. In order to live with this principle, one must learn to trust God which brings us to our next ingredient.
2. Spoonful of TRUST and OBEDIENCE:

 His mother said to the servants,”Do whatever He tells you.” John 2:5

Like egg and flour that make a good partner in making dough, trust and obedience is also a perfect tandem in molding optimism and attracting miracle. But who to trust and obey? None but God.

When we trust God with all our concerns, it prevents us from worrying. It is also an essential ingredient in surrendering. People say that they are willing to surrender all their doubts to God. But when this attitude is put into test, facing trials for instance, we make our own way to deal with the situation. We still consider our personal ability to take actions,thus, we ruin the essence of surrendering. Trusting means submitting to God’s way. You will not fully understand the blessing of God unless you know that He is able in everything. Doubt hinder us to experience God’s miracle and the best way to fade this out is trusting Him.

Another is obedience, which takes pride as the greatest barrier. We fail to obey God because we have the impression that when we obey Him, we compromise our ability. On the contrary, obeying is simply doing what God wants you to do even if it doesn’t make sense.
The reason why trust and obedience should always work together is because no one can obey an order if you don’t trust the master. Even if the command appears to be insensible or difficult to accomplish, always remember that God has wisdom far better than ours. Trust and obey and experience blessing that comes with it.
3. A glass of BEST SHOT:
“Whoever serves me must follow me;and where I am, my servants also will be. My father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:26
In everything you do, even in the hardest time of your life, always give your best shot in serving God. It is in our nature to fail but offering all of your actions to Him will bring Him glory. God always look at our heart. He is not concern with how you do things but to whom you do it for. If you do things as if you’re doing t for Jesus, it pleases Him.
Giving your best shot may also mean submission. We are asked to offer not just a part of our heart but the rest of it. When God bless us, He give what is best. And we, as His followers should also give the best, only what He deserves. Blessed are those who give without reservation.
4. Presence of the MASTER:

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,  and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. John 2:1-2

This should be the first to consider but I believe in the principle of serving the best for last. A potter is needed to make a pot as much as a bread requires a baker to be made. The last ingredient that will complete our recipe is the presence of Jesus Christ. What is the use of having ingredient 1,2, & 3 if you have no one that will perform miracle? The mentioned ingredients are just for you to consider. But it is a fool to think that you can actually make miracles happen. That power will remain in Christ alone.
In every miraculous deeds written in the bible, one that these events share in common is the presence of Jesus Christ. He is always there, from the blind person given sight to the water turned into wine. If you are really longing to experience miracle, the question that you must answer: “Is Christ present in my life?”
There is no way for anyone to experience blessing without having Christ in His life. Because life itself comes from Him! Knowing Jesus is not enough, but we should place Him at the center of our lives. Let Him manage everything. Let Him drive your career, settle your finances, handle your family, even make your decision! Accepting Him as your personal Savior and creating deep relationship with Him is the  best way to win Christ’s presence. If you will able to do this, you will not just experience miracle but you yourself will serve as miracle to others!
         Now that you already know the ingredients of living a miraculous life, your task doesn’t end here. You are reading this because He wants you to share His greatness to others. Spread this recipe of achieving wonder in life. There is no accident, as what I already mentioned. You didn’t spent your time reading this just because you want to, but God let you to.
If you really understand the message, you are expected to realize after reading this, that the most wonderful miracle lies in having Jesus in your life. GOD BLESS!