Today’s world is an avenue of choices. Every stop is a matter decision. Every corner is another road that takes you to another route, another destination which you should take but failed to do so or should never but did so because you are not sure. You are lost. The world is full of possibilities, yet not all are good. For a yuppie like me, these are realities which we have to face and live with everyday. Every moment of our lives is a matter of choice, and a wrong decision may mean a lot.
I remembered one summer when I was about 5 years old. In my hometown, in Cavite, like any other province in the country during hot seasons, rice paddies are rain-deprived. What were left in the fields were withered knee-high rice stalks on the scorched earth, making the plains an attractive and excellent playground for little kids like me. The dried paddies are perfect for kite flying, hide and seek, taya, and even for bullying around with my amigos. Playing under the sun during those days was like heaven for me, until one day I was not permitted by my mom to go out and play because of my asthma.
One afternoon before sending me to sleep (I really hated sleeping during afternoons), my mom told me to never set foot outside the house. I hesitantly said yes and forced myself to bed, knowing that she was sitting beside me and observing. After minutes of pretending to be asleep, I felt her left my side and heard her opening the door. Alas! She went to her room to take a nap thinking I was already in dreamland. An opportunity came to me to escape to my ‘playground’, but that moment turned out to be a dilemma.
I was caught between obedience and the desire for fun. If I obey my orders, I would be stuck in the house the entire afternoon in boredom; but if disobey, I would have fun the entire afternoon in the fields. I chose the latter. I did have a great time, but when I went home, I was severely punished. Imagine a child crying his lungs out, kneeling on salt/monggo seeds. (of course this is an exaggeration) That was a lesson still vivid in my mind, and so was the horror of making a wrong decision.
During another summer when I was 10, a basketball clinic was held in our barangay. I haven’t yet learned playing basketball then. I wanted to but i can't, because I had asthma. Helpless for my mom was never convinced, I obeyed. All my friends joined and learned how to play basketball very well. Until now, I still haven’t learned how to play the game. All I can do is dribble and shoot, and that’s all.
Looking back through these memories makes me realize that I was once punished for I disobeyed and lost an opportunity to learn for I obeyed. It compels me to think of how many decisions I have wrongly made and how much I have learned from them. It gives me fear thinking that I still have not learned; and now that I’m older, wrong decisions may spell disaster to my life.
Life now for me is more demanding and choices that I am faced with are more profound than whether to have fun or get bored alone. It is now more of whether you do what you ought to do or not. It is now more of a responsibility. Now obedience is no longer a matter of punishment and permissions, but a matter of will and generosity.
Now is the time when I have to make decisions that will change my life in a way that they will become my life. I have to decide on things fast and quickly, for my days are already counted before facing the ultimate end of everything. And when that very moment comes, I hope that I will never account to God for not living a life He wanted me to live.
My parents , because of their love and self-giving, has taught me to give my best in whatever I aspire to do and in things I need to do – and it’s a whole lot better than learning basketball.
And now, it’s my turn to decide on important things – quickly and surely!