Strength doesn’t come all at once. Any professional athlete can tell it can take years of training to perform well in their sport. There’s not a super solider serum to instantly make the next Captain America. (Another point is that the serum enhanced the natural bravery and self-sacrificial heart of Steve Rodgers that was already present through his youth…) Strength takes time, hard work, and smart work to grow to the greatest potential. Belief in God is like that. Faith takes time and it needs to be nurtured.
Continual, constant pursuit can strengthen one’s faith in God. In the relationship between God and man, there’s this type of pursuit; each one seeks the other and desires love. During times of spiritual drought, efforts of pursuit can be rather challenging. Man’s pursuits become half-hearted. God desires the entire heart.
Faith is like a river. If it stops flowing the water grows stagnant. In order to keep faith fresh, there has to be a constant renewal of the spirit. I’ve thought converts have better faith because their belief stems from a renewal that is present and relevant, rather than Cradle Catholics like myself who’ve known the faith most of their life and tend to have a lukewarm faith. I want to change that narrative.
When the pursuit of God becomes passive, these passive pursuits can be transformed into active pursuits by looking into the past and finding the times when God is present, how he was present, and learning from those experiences. Another way to transform our pursuits is to try new things, while keeping the consistency of time, prayer and effort. Finally, it’s important to not pursue God alone. The Blessed Mother, the saints and the entire church as the Body of Christ can support us in our pursuits of God.
So, a couple of weeks ago I received word that I was to be furloughed from my position at Barry Engineering this past Wednesday. This setback is caused by the financial crisis that come as a response to a response. In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, a lot of businesses had its employees work-at-home. This, coupled with stay-at-home orders, and designation of essential businesses, caused the economy to crash. This is just a sampling of all the effects of such a shut-down.
Luckily, Civil Engineers are considered essential, so a lot of firms, including mine, were still able to function with these orders for a short time. The problem is that with the failing economy, investors cannot easily fund projects, limiting the amount of available work. It is not sustainable to maintain a full staff on a full time payroll without sufficient income.
Being furloughed is a setback for me, especially since I have only worked for Barry Engineering for 9 months: 5 of those months on contract, and 4 months full-time. I still have so much to learn. There’s so many things I should be able to know to continue my career. In order to better understand my position, let’s take a step back to a simpler time: the summer of 2019.
Keep your distance. It’s quite tough to say how I’m handling this brave new world we have today. A contagious and potentially deadly disease has taken over almost every aspect of our daily life. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the fabric of the society. The world around us might never be same.
As is in the season of giving thanks, and Thanksgiving being a few days away, there’s a lot for me to be thankful for in my life. I am grateful for where I am and what joys I have currently in my life, the joys and sufferings of my past that have led me to where I am, and the hope for the future. Most importantly, I want to thank God, the creator of my life, including my yesterdays, today, and tomorrows, for all these things.
Imagine the mountainside rising in front of you. Each step is a struggle. The trail leads up, but it’s your slipping feet holding you. The only other security is a chain-links connected to some poles in the rock. Even then, the chain sways back and forth as you grab on to it. You walk further up. Each step gets you closer to the top, your goal. You’re scared. You walk further up. Side-step for security. Hold on. You’re afraid, but somehow you make it to the top.
A few years ago, during Spring Break in 2015, I went to Zion National Park and hiked up to Angel’s Landing. More accurately, it was a climb. I came with my father, but his fear of heights caused him to stop partway and let me go on further. I was persistent on making in it to the top. You’d think I’d be afraid. I was scared out of my mind. Somehow, I made it.
Hello! (waves in an arch). I am a proud member of the Longhorn Pep Band. It’s both a great joy and a bit of a struggle to be a part of a high energy pep band for basketball and volleyball. The opportunity came to me a few semesters ago. I’m grateful for all the fun things that have occurred due to joining a fantastic part of the sports games at the University of Texas at Austin. After I tried and failed to get into Longhorn Band my first senior year, I decided to join the pep band to improve my playing ability and play my clarinet at volleyball and basketball games. What I got was both a struggle and a joy. It’s a sense of truly being a Longhorn at UT Austin.
In silence, God speaks. God is in the silence. About two weeks ago, I went on a Silent Retreat. Before and after the retreat, my friends Jacob, Andy (I’m not referring to myself, but another Andy) and I recorded a “podcast” If and when Jacob decides to post it, I will add it. Until then, here’s a link to his blog. https://grandhappeningsblog.home.blog/
I barely have time to get around to posting and whenever I attempt to write a blog post, it seems to just catalog events without their emotions. Plus, I resolved to post at least once a month at the end of last year. In order to defeat both my lack of emotion and my inconsistency with posting, (where’s January?), I write this post. Back to the story, this was the second time I went on a Silent Retreat. The first I have mentioned in my previous post, but this time was distinct and different.
This past Saturday, I had to leave my job at Typhoon Texas as Park Services Team Member. I had the job originally when it opened in 2016, and I thought I could do it again in 2018. Since I also have an internship at CP&Y Inc., I could only work Saturdays. It was rather tiring 6 days a week.
I thought I could do both because I lived in the past. My first summer there in 2016 was one of the best summers of my life. Sure, it was a lot of hard work. Park Services translates to Custodian/Janitorial Duties. So it was a lot of cleaning up. Endless days turning into weeks in the hot sun. . Working in the waterpark is no walk in park, or free ride, or some other idiom. I learned how to keep the park clean, how to interact and help with guests. I enjoyed it.I knew it was a bit of torture, but I kept seeing the sun, not the burning in my eyes or my skin.
The hardest part about all of this is to keep moving forward. I have enjoy where I’m at, and work towards serving others whenever I can, however I can. I went back to Typhoon Texas because I was only remembering the fun splashing and swimming, not the tidal wave of exhaustion I felt everyday. Now I must focus on being a intern at CP&Y Inc. Continue reading “Like a Typhoon”→
I always carried a deck of cards in my backpack when I was in a high school. Why? Because you never know if you needed to play a game. Whether it was Maui, Egyptian Ratscrew, or Castle, I had the key to socialization. Pull out the cards during lunchtime and play a simple game. It can get my mind off it all. It was a quintessential part of who I was then. Today, I’m reminded of this fact while I’m meeting up with on of my oldest friends whom I played cards with, Michael.