Originally written on July 2007, First Place entry for the St. Ignatius Essay Writing Contest, conducted by the University Campus Ministry.
Splash! Splash! The waters of the river flow with modesty, passing through little rocks of faith. It encounters huge stones as obstruction while eager fishes glide their way. Indeed, life’s a living journey.
Remember the past, do something about the present, plan for the future like a flowing river full of life and purpose. This was the first thing that came to my mind after a moment of processing the theme. Basically, it may be true. But I believe that not all people follow this saying. Still, a lot of them cling to their past and become stagnant waters. Now, the question is, how can we truly live life to the fullest and let the river continue to flow?
As an Atenean (studying in a Jesuit school), we ought to know the life of St. Ignatius– the well-known founder of the Jesuit society. So, we all know the kind of life he had. He is a noble man and a soldier who fought for his beloved country. I can say that he lived a comfortable life. But when he encountered the invading French in a battle, everything changed. Both of his legs were injured. He even came to a point when his legs had to be operated without anesthesia. But, did he give up? with the help of the two books that he read, he felt the urge to move on. Basically, the incident became the turning point of his life.
He used his experiences as a lesson worth learning. He was a luxurious man full of worldly romances and notions. But he changed– physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He used this experience to help people and serve them. He built shattered lives and inspire broken hopes. He did this with sincere love. He did not let his past experience pull him backwards. Instead, he used it as inspiration to move forward and continue what he had started. So again, how can we truly live life to the fullest and let the river continue to flow? For me, I let St. Ignatius be my inspiration– I remember, I build on, and most importantly, I move forward. I don’t want to be like a stagnant water.
Splash! Splash! The waters of the river flow… and is continue flowing until it reaches its goal– the sea. I believe that these things on earth are means to an end. For me, the sea is my end. My end is to serve God. I want to be a flowing river to be able to reach the sea. I undergo this process– to remember, to biuld on, to move forward– so that I can reach the sea like an eager river racing its course. I may encounter tiny bits of discouragement or gigantic towers of obstacles but I know that I will make my way to the sea for I am greatly sure that I’m doing this for the greater glory of God– ad majorem dei gloriam– and because of this the river will continue to flow.