Last January 30-31 I joined the senior’s retreat. Joining was unplanned because all I wanted was an escape from the usual environment in work and in school. I just used the excuse that my name was included in the list for the retreat. ooops!
I was surprised when I found out that Montegelo Farm is located at Obrero Farm. A place that I was always curious of every time I pass on that high road going to my hometown. The place made me miss home that I wanted to stay a little longer. There are trees everywhere,birds chirping on an early morn and the flowing river that gave the perfect environment of calmness and constancy.
The event being a retreat, I hoped that I’d get to sleep with my closer acquaintances and that I wished none of them would be joining the same group I’m into. I was so happy that all of my group mates were new faces that made me more comfortable in sharing my story and gave me the chance to meet new found friends.
As a retreat, I thought it would be composed more of a “me” time. Of talking and listening to myself and to hear more of what God is trying to tell me which I might be ignoring in the hustle and bustle of my daily life in the city. But what happened was different, we were always in a circled group, and God was talking to me through the shared stories of my friends. I was listening intently to their stories and at the same time I was struggling within resisting the urge to cry and take up somebody else’s time to share. With a poker face and occasional big nods on every nerve hit, I realized that I had a better life and that I must be thankful to the kind of life I had and having. Life had been less cruel to me and I’ve been taking a good life for granted.
Sharing a heartbreaking story while crying and laughing at it at the same time was an act of breaking free, a silent permission to never letting the bad things tie us up into moping and hating forever. They’ve been survivors in life, and they’d shown to me again and again that bad times do come but surely it’s not going to stay forever. It is so funny to think that those people who went through so many hardships in life are the ones who laugh more.
I was a Phlegmatic on retreat; I was silently watching their lives and learning from it. They fueled my desire to strive for an ideal kind of life. To resist the given judgments and prove to people that we can do/be better and that we are destined for the same greatness in any way. It was also a relief to know that, with my personality, I am just as normal as everybody else. It has always been a daily struggle for me when I keep comparing myself to someone (a person whom I think is normal) and trying to find how can I become a normal one. Yes,I am aware that we are all different,but meeting people with the same personality as I am was comforting. Conversing in the same level has never been that good. You won’t worry whether the other person finds you boring and weird. You give very big nods because you can relate to them.
We were given the chance to unload whatever is weighing our hearts down and that made room for more good things to come.
On that retreat, I can hear God whispering to me:
“see? You are created with inborn greatness and goodness. Life is made fair, good things will come and if it’s turn for bad things to come, I will light the right path, just keep your eyes opened and walk by faith. Do not resist the change and the challenges, for the things you’re praying for will come in My perfect time.”---and I was having goosebumps allover.
I am forever hopeful, ever patient in waiting, but I think God wouldn’t want me to stagnate myself waiting for His time. I believe He wants me to live each day as preparation. Each moment will serve as a step on a journey He prepared for me. I was always wonderin’ and worried about my future, after that retreat, I was given a certain peace. “Why worry? If you are giving your best and if you are striving to live a good life, why worry?”
And so, I left Montegelo Farm with friends and brought with me not pineapples but a renewed determination to continue striving in living a good life and become a better phlegmatic (by that I mean lesser weak points in personality) or maybe break free from being a phlegmatic and become more outspoken, outgoing and genuinely confident. After all, we are called to make manifest the greatness of God’s creation.