The Lord passes by our paths every day through the people we meet, the circumstances we find ourselves in, through the trouble, problems and sufferings of the day that confront us. It may be said that our spiritual maturity can be measured by how sensitive we are to the presence of our Lord as He crosses the road we are on. Jesus is always there ready to lead us, cajoling and sometimes even pushing and nudging us along. The kind of response we make can either draw us closer or farther from our Lord.
But it takes practice to see the Lord. One of the most important lessons in the life of a Christian is to be able to listen to and act upon the promptings o f His Holy Spirit. Learn to discern God’s will. Hear the voice of our conscience. There is always a lesson to be learned. Many times, God allows situations to happen to us in order to teach us a lesson or two and form us into his character. We have to seize the moment when He passes by.
For example, I recall what happened during our Baguio anniversary as a lesson for all of us. Members pushing and shoving each other trying to get to the buffet tables ahead of the rest. Harsh words spoken. Tempers rising. I heard a lot of grumblings and complaints that night. It was as if the virtue of patience deserted the Brotherhood that evening. Sure, things were not perfect, but there was no reason for anybody to lose their cool. We will find that in life, things are never perfect especially in anniversaries attended by 5,000 people. Hotel bookings lost. Cancelled flights. Transport breakdowns. Delays in food service.
Many members grew in spirituality that night as they patiently waited for their turn to get their food. But some really missed the grace of the moment. Joyce Meyer, an evangelist, said “ Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while one waits.” A humble individual will never display an impatient attitude.
The trouble when we act badly is that other people see us and witness how we behave. As I often tell members, the fresh aroma of the Brotherhood should always rise up in all the situations we are in. Walk our talk integrity dictates. We are walking bibles whether you like it or not, if we are to be truly called Christian brothers and sisters.
That night, there were waiters and employees of Baguio Country Club who witnessed and saw how badly some members behaved. It was very embarrassing. I could almost hear someone say “… ganyan pala ang BCBP, parang hindi Christian Brotherhood!” Unfortunately, individual behavior is also communal in nature. The bad behavior of one contaminates the rest of the community. Many people who were trying to find God surely did not find Him in our midst that day.
It is said that evangelization is not through the words we speak but the actions people see in us. That is why the Lord reminds us always to be kind and gentle, patient and forbearing, doing good to others. It is through our work that makes for a powerful witness in the marketplace.
The next time you find yourself in a demanding and troubling situation, breathe and step back for a moment before you act. You may see the Lord passing by. When you do, seize the grace of the moment.
Bobby Atendido in his 21 years as a member of the BCBP has served in various capacities: Area Managing Director for Luzon, Regional Council Director for North Metro Manila, National Treasurer, and Chapter Head of Alabang Chapter. He is presently the Chairman of the BCBP’s Board of Trustees. An investment banker by profession, Bobby is President of Asian Alliance Investment Corp. and currently sits as a member of the Board of Directors of several publicly listed and privately owned companies. He is married to Fe Cecilia T. Atendido and has 4 children and 3 grandchildren.