There’s more fun
ROY CIMAGALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 3, 2014
I COULD not help but laugh
out loud while listening to a venerable 79-year-old Monsignor tell the
story of how he discovered his vocation. I had great fun, and it made
me more convinced that fun is actually part of God’s plan for us.
He said that ever since he
was a kid, he was already exposed to parish life, since his parents
were very active in the church activities. He became an acolyte which
was no mean feat at that time since it required great discipline. One
had to memorize Latin prayers and do complicated moves.
That early, he already toyed
with the idea of becoming a priest himself. But there was a big but.
He found the priest of the parish, an old Spanish priest, too serious,
too ascetic for comfort. He thought he could not measure up.
“He was always in cassock,”
he said of the priest. “He wore it even in his bedroom such that I
never had a chance even to see his feet. I only saw his head and
So the young boy thought
priests must be a different kind of people. “The priest was not like
my father,” he said of his impressions at that time. His desire to
become a priest waned a bit.
Then a Filipino priest
replaced the Spanish one. Still the Filipino priest was always wearing
the cassock the whole time. The boy found the new priest to be too
serious and too rigid also.
He was about to give up with
his priestly desire when one day he went with the priest and others to
a certain place. It was very hot that day, according to him, so hot
that the priest took off his cassock. That was the first time he saw
how a priest looked like without a cassock.
Not only that, he saw the
priest go to a bush to take a leak, and that was when he finally
realized that priests are also like everybody else. That erased
whatever doubts he had that he too could become a priest.
Looking at the Monsignor, I
was convinced that he had gone light years away from those childhood
ideas of priesthood and yet remaining childlike in his simplicity and
outlook in life. I was convinced God sometimes plays games and tricks
with us to convey his most sublime will for us.
The whole story reminded me
of what the Book of Proverbs once said: “Playing in the world and my
delights were to be with the children of men.” (8,31)
There definitely is fun to
be with God. In fact, there’s more fun with him than with anybody or
anything else in the world. Living with God, fully dedicating
ourselves to him never lacks moments of exquisite joy, fun and
pleasure. Life with God is never dull or boring. It is full of
adventure and excitement and fun.
Yes, living with God also
has its big share of suffering due to our sin. But if we consider the
whole message of the Christian gospel, we know that everything will
always turn out for the good. So there’s really no serious and
permanent reason to be sad or troubled or disturbed.
We have to learn how to be
game and sport in the drama of our life here on earth. Problems,
difficulties and contradictions just offer us occasions to have
excitement and suspense, knowing that no matter how things end humanly
speaking, we would always win if we strive to be with God.
St. Paul said it. “For those
who love God, all things work together unto good.” (Rom 8,28) As a
consequence, we have reason to be hopeful and optimistic. We can even
afford to face the drama of life with humor and elegance without
neglecting the requirements of continuous self-giving and sacrifice.
It’s a matter of choice.
St. Josemaria Escriva also
narrated the funny story of a juggler who wanted to become a cleric.
Since he was poor both money-wise and intellectually, he felt inferior
to the other aspirants who were endowed with great talents.
Not knowing what to give our
Lady on one of her feasts, he thought that at the middle of the night
he would get to the chapel in secret and do his juggling before her
He did it, but his superior
caught him in the act. But before calling his attention, the superior
saw that the image of our Lady was smiling and even moved to wipe the
sweat from the juggler. He let the juggler finish his act.