“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

At My Rope’s End

Mau Obon

By Mau Obon

MY dog has a fever and can’t eat properly for the last five days. I worry about him from time to time that it sucks out a lot of my positive vibes. I’ve also been working on my office papers for the last two weeks, only to find out today that I erred in one document. The worst part is, I received the notice more than a week ago, I just didn’t think of opening the mail. I could have corrected it earlier! Because of this blunder, I might not be able to submit my papers on time. Puff, there goes my money and time, wasted away, thanks to my delaying habits. On my way to the office today, one door of my car got jammed. I also passed by an ATM machine to check if I had any money left, well, my card needs to be changed. Did I mention that I have an article due today? All these patience draining incidents hit me in a matter of three hours. The day is still young and I’m wondering what could possibly happen in my next 15 waking hours.

My “problems” aren’t that big, but when tiny life’s glitches happen one after another in a few hours, stress levels skyrocket, and tears start to well up. The easiest way to go is to whine and just give up. But, going the easy way is kind of boring, fighting until the end is more exciting.

Fortunately, I recalled parts of Philippians 4:6-7, which tells us to pray more instead of worrying. So, I checked my Bible app to see the full passage and it says: “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I love how this verse nudges me from gloom to bloom. As I see it, it reveals a formula on how to have “peace” amidst difficulties. It’s PRAYER + SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING = PEACE.

When we pray, we express our belief that God is in control, that we don’t have to do everything ourselves. This doesn’t mean though that we will just chill, no way! We do everything we can within our reach, but at the same time, have the faith that God will take care of those that are beyond us.

When we pray, we express our trust in God, such that, whatever happens, whether we will like it or not, we will get through. We are confident that God loves us so much that He only wants the best for us.

I consulted Google to see what supplication means, and it said: “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.” We make known our request to God humbly. Firstly, it’s a request, not an order. God is not our servant. Lastly, we do it with utmost humility. We cannot have that sense of entitlement and insist that we deserve what we are praying for.

It’s so hard to be thankful when we feel like our life is screwed. But gratitude actually has the power to change our perspective. When we start focusing on our blessings positive feelings swell within us. Trust me, facing our problems is a lot easier if we are feeling optimistic.

Right now, I’m five hours away before my day ends. I’ve managed to finish writing for this column after a two-month hiatus. Yes, today is my deadline. I was able to change my ATM, and while at the bank, I met the person I needed to talk to for a case I’m working on. This person is not in my phonebook, and it is only by God’s providence that we happened to walk into the same room. The perks of facing troubles instead of having tantrums, yay! Well my dog’s appetite isn’t back to normal yet. But I’m grateful that he is still playful and drinks a lot of water. As for my office papers, well, the deadline is coming, like it or not. I’ve requested for a new and corrected document today. As to whether I will be able to receive it on time, I’ll leave it up to God. What about my jammed car door? There was nothing wrong with it, the baby lock was just accidentally pressed.

Sometimes we tend to exaggerate our worries, making us more upset than we should be. When negativity gets the better of us, we tend to give up. We accomplish nothing as a result. In fact, it drives us further into misery. This is why we need to pray more. We can’t help ourselves from worrying, but we can make ourselves pray more, right? When we are at our rope’s end, pray. It’s the only way to have peace. When we have peace, we do not overestimate our troubles. Then overcoming setbacks becomes a lot easier.

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