The Good Shepherd in My Life


Today is Good Shepherd Sunday.
I think of and thank the Lord for all the times He has led me to verdant pastures and restful waters:

I could have stayed and spent my life in Angeles City and that would have been fine.
He came in the person of Fr. Lagerway and suggested I might enter the seminary.
I came to the seminary and that set me out on my life journey.
It’s been a long way from Angeles to San Jose California.
Fancy singing “Do you know the way to San Jose?” in my younger years.
But He did lead me and showed me the way.

I was devastated when martial law was declared in 1972.
I saw my world crumbling down around me.
I was lost. I was terrified. I felt all alone.
He consoled me in the person of Fr. Abe.
He led me to clarify certain things and commitments in my life.
It made clear to me the paths He was leading me to.
He led me out of that dark period and lighted my way.

I was in love and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with the woman I love.
I was naive and did not even think if I had the wherewithal to have my own family.
All I knew is I wanted to marry the woman whom I wanted to cherish a lifetime.
Nay, to cherish her for eternity.
He gave me courage and daring to go ahead and listen to my heart.
He gave me an angel to marry in Anabelle.
He led me by the hand and set me out on a true adventure of love and lifetime commitment.

I would have been happy being a simple teacher,
with a place of our own,
enjoying three meals a day,
access to good books and fun and fine music.
All these He gave and more,
reaching the pinnacle of a corporate career,
with a substantial and rewarding academic engagement,
and meaningful social involvements to boot.
He led me to places and to people at the right time to reach heights I never dreamed of.

Most people jump from one job to another and then settle for one for many years till retirement.
I was with one job for the longest time and then jumped from one job to another in my latter years.
I just kind of coasted along into retirement.
It was not even a well defined moment.
I just found myself one day retired.
and helping look after Jonathan and Jane.
He led me by the hand and I just followed Him to restful waters.

I have indeed been led to verdant pastures and restful waters.
I missed my cues sometimes and missed His signs often.
But still in all, with all the blessings He has showered on me,
I have been aware of and thankful for His guiding presence in my life.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
John 10:1-6

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