There have been a lot of people, including some friends, who had made fun of their 2020 Planners being the most useless investment or purchase of the previous year. A popular social media icon even asked, ‘how many cups of coffee did you have to drink for the ‘damn’ planner only to have this ending?!’

I myself also bought a fancy planner for this year. It got a whole page of space for each day, so imagine its thickness. It got writing prompts for each month, self-check every end of the month and self-care habits in between. After all the years I did not buy a planner because, hey, I can make use of any notebook anyway, I chose 2020 to have this planner. Hahaha! The universe must be poking fun at me like with everyone else. Gotcha, it must say.

We all entered this year and this new decade with so much hope. 2020 sounds like a perfect vision, I said in one of my boss’ speeches, it must be a year of clarity and achievement this year. We all claimed to be better, fiercer, bolder this year, ala Laida Magtalas version 2.0 (with matching hand gestures yan). Then the coronavirus happened and you knew what other things came up with it –no gatherings, no going outside, no flying to a destination. All this while those in power screw us up. This is definitely not the ending that our lives, including our planners deserve. But what if this is not the ending yet? What if God is working beneath all this?

One of the books I got early this year was an infographic book of the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament. I am only halfway through it since I decided to read it only at bedtime for being such an effective sleep inducer. (I don’t know if it’s because of the drawings or the sense of confidence in the Lord that it gives.) The book reminded me of beautiful stories where we can hinge our hope on. I know that we know these stories by heart, but I think they are worth revisiting.

(Tulad sa pelikula, yung bida naaapi sa una)

Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, has been having strange dreams that made his brothers even more jealous of him. He was sold into slavery, landed to a Master who was pleased with him but ended up in prison. In prison, he used his gift of interpreting dreams to serve his inmates. A fellow prisoner promised to speak to the Pharaoh on his behalf, but after being restored to his position at the palace he forgot. This prisoner only remembered him after two years when the Pharaoh needs someone to interpret his dream. This was Joseph’s ticket to being the second most powerful man in Egypt.

Ruth is a Moabitess who forged a special bond with his mother-in-law after her husband passed away. Her faithfulness to Naomi was shown when she braved to return with her in Israel, a foreign land for her where people speak of foreign language. She accepted the Hebrews as her own people and worshipped God as her one true Lord. God rewarded her by allowing her to find true love with Boaz. Ruth, a foreigner and widow, got not only a second chance but her name was etched on the genealogy of Jesus.

David was a young shepherd boy who was anointed by God through Samuel. When Samuel visited Jesse’s house to find the next king, David was tending to his sheep. Samuel met all of Jesse’s sons but none of them was chosen by God. He summoned for David and said, ‘we shall not sit down to eat until he arrives.’ Wow, a young boy regarded as the least in his family is handpicked by the Lord to govern his people in the years to come.

These ‘bidas’ may not have faced a pandemic as we are now. But looking at their stories from the top, we can see that they were not free from misfortunes, heartaches and trials and yet their stories ended well. (Although David had passed through bumpy roads.) God used their circumstances, no matter how bad it was for their good and for His glory.

(What to do with the planner?)

If you also bought a planner, here’s one thing we can do. Let’s list down all the things that was made better by God in our lives. From the big favors from Him to trivial things, list them all! Look at your life from the top and see the small twists of fate and leap of faith you went through. (share with me if you like because I’m sharing some of mine below.)

The Scriptures is always a great place to run into in times of trouble to remember His faithfulness. But I believe that God’s faithfulness, wisdom and graciousness can also be magnified in our lives.

Make use of your planner or an old notebook NOW since you cannot return them anyway (we’ve only got 7-day return policy, haha!). If you plan to re-use them, you might wait for long. I already checked, you can re-use it after… you guessed it right, 28 years.

PS:

Btw, kung nagbabasa ka pa rin hanggang dito, may sinimulan akong blog nung lockdown – Stories that Move. Layunin ko na magkwento ng mga istorya kung saan mapapaisip tayo na kahit tayo’y magkakaiba, tayo’y magkakapareho rin pala. Pareho na may pinagdadaanan, pareho na nabigo, pareho na humuhugot lang ng lakas sa iba.

Kung may kwento kang nais ibahagi, or may kaibigan ka o kapamilya na may kwento na kapupulutan ng yaman, ishare mo naman sakin. 😊

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