Ok, honestly, I only really listened to the first two talks because the last two took place in the afternoon after lunch when it’s really difficult to pay attention and stay awake, no matter how interesting the topic is. But what really made me sit up was the sharing of Tito Hernan’s daughter, Mae. She began by telling of how proud she was of her sister’s unwavering service in the community and how disappointed she was that she wasn’t able to attend the ILC in the Philippines to see her sister speak in front of the delegation. And then she went on to share their family’s verse: As for me and my house we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15). Now that one really struck me.
You see, ever since my husband and I crossed over from SFC to CFC, I’ve been content on being a member only. We were both leaders in SFC and I just wanted to enjoy being a member again…no responsibilities, not much pressure to attend activities, only having to attend one household meeting every week, etc. And then last year, we were tapped to take over the headship from our household leaders (because they were called to be Unit Heads). I really didn’t want to be a household leader again, and considering that we were the youngest in our household (both by age and by number of years married), I just didn’t think we were ready or qualified. But my husband said "yes," and being his wife, I very reluctantly followed. Of course, my reluctance showed at my service. On several occasions, I used my pregnancy and bonding time with our daughter as an excuse to not attend talks and (upper) household meetings when we weren’t the hosts. Bad, I know, but I couldn’t help it. My heart really wasn’t in being a leader. Actually, just before the Conference, my husband asked if I was going to attend our (lower) household that evening. We weren’t supposed to have one that week, but since none of our members attended the NatCon, we opted to push through with the household meeting. So having been given the option, I told him that I’d rather stay at home and rest, and only he would be the one to attend. Mind you, it would have been my first time to skip a lower household. But after listening to Mae’s sharing and their family verse, I changed my mind.
I was brought back to the time when I was younger and attended a mass with my Papa and older sister. We were just sitting in one of the pews waiting for the mass to start, when suddenly we were approached by a lady who asked if we could be the ones to carry the bread, wine and water during the Offertory. I remember I felt very proud and happy during and after the mass because we had been called to serve God! Out of all the families in the church, it was my family who was chosen to do this special task.
Remembering this, bigla akong nakonsensya, and I realized how selfish I had been. God has been blessing me and my family for so long, but I wasn’t doing anything in return to thank Him for it. Sure, I would say “Thank You” and “Praise God” when I received the blessings, when I prayed, and went to church, but we know that action speaks louder than words, and unfortunately, my gratitude didn’t show in my actions. He asked me to serve, and although I did, I served half-heartedly. Me! Diyos na nga ang humihiling, pero di ko Sya pinapansin. Inuulanan ako ng blessings, hindi ko man sinusuklian o sine-share.
I was humbled. And I remembered how great it feels to serve Him with so much enthusiasm. I realized I wanted my family to serve in the community like Tito Hernan's; from the parents, to the children. I wanted me and my house to serve the Lord; maybe not like the Fuentes’, but in our own little way that would be pleasing to Him. With God, I know this is possible, as long is we answer His call to proclaim His greatness selflessly and wholeheartedly. And let’s face it, He is our God, and a great one who deserves it at that.