"Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude." -1Peter3:8-
Several people say that young people of today are like half –cooked bread: well-done on the outside, but sticky dough on the inside. They say that the young are not able to make important decisions, and if they to decide, are not capable of remaining firm in their decisions. They describe the young as happy-go-lucky, easily attracted to what is comfortable and enjoyable, but unable to commit them to a worthy cause.
However, nothing can compare with the enthusiasm and energy of young people. For us, the happening in life is not just dates on the calendar that come and go, soon to be forgotten. Rather, they are events that unfold before us, and involve all forces and energies. We want to undergo and experience them as fully as we can. We used to hike and roam anywhere else in an enjoyable spots in the city, dare to spend the night in a friend’s house sleeping over, chatting and shouting till we turn hoarse. We sit down with friends and enjoy foods with the appetite of growing young person. We order cones of ice cream that we lick and relish with delight. We take the microphone and sing the latest song on our videoke system with all our might.
We see this youthful touch also in our prayer. Young groups get involve in ministries, helps in the preparation and celebration of spiritual gatherings and discussions, attends services and prayer meetings, and leading people building and sharing their faith. In the midst of our young dreams and ambitions, the values of faith and prayer are progressively taking root in our hearts.
Together with other young adults all over the world, we are faced with the challenge and task of community building. We need to open our hearts to all kind of people, without putting labels on them or showing any discrimination. We must breakdown the barriers that separate us from one another and resolve the issues that cause division and conflict.
“BYE-HELLO weekend Celebration” was a gathering prepared by the SPOTLIGHTS, a free to all family of friendships. Birthed from prayer, this event was planned to mingle, commune, relate with friends and say hello to its new members and to send-off its humble prayer to a friend who is going to one more place for a time. It consists of two days, spent at El Magic Island Garden City of Samal. Through various activities, we undergo an intense experience of living together as young Christians, and come upon ourselves, the world, our friends, and God. About 25 of us was able to join, hoping to bond more with each other, make new memories and go through new experiences together.
The group arrived at the area at around 8:00 in the evening of October 30, 2010 . The place has a relaxing ambiance good for self-effacing spiritual and corporal events like this. Fascinating, unique, quaint are some of the adjectives I used to describe El Magic. Without a doubt, the incredible beach speaks for itself. Sometimes you can hear the swamp of the ocean, we may see a fish jump, a lazy sea-gull swoop down to investigate something interesting on a reef or find a special shell and you realize that there is not that much important to bother you ever. To our exhaustion from the travel and hunger, without delay we started the whole thing by having our meek yet luscious dinner. After an hour, was the program proper with the ever energetic, smart, with a lot of chemistry duo Ralph and Rey Ann as emcees. Arian led us in our opening prayer followed by a welcome address by Jabie and me, with a special participation of our friend Lemuel who is now in Manila. Praise and worship follow; then, the meat of the occasion was Earl’s presentation of a heartwarming and timely word of God. It was apparent that the Holy Spirit was present and the group was refilled and soaked with the attendance of our Almighty God. There we realized to end up normality, to identify and expose our red lizards, to be aware of our vision that God planned for us and to surrender everything to Him especially in times we thought we can do it on our own. Furthermore, Jonathan and Renmart took charge in facilitating us with a lot of enjoyable, hilarious, voice draining and energy guzzling fun and games that was designed to help us to be entertained, get to know each other more and to solidify the flock of camaraderie. Tokens and prizes were given to everyone afterwards as a consolation and souvenirs.
Who would dare to forget one of the best parts of the event were the spotlight’s boys and the spotlights girls’ song and dance production number. People didn’t cease shouting, screaming and yelling when the gifted, good-looking and talented spotlights showcased their charming and graceful the-moves. After the activities, friends were also got the chance to go on swimming, do seashore hiking, built their tents and have rest inside.
Before, our primary concern was comfort and security. In a word, we were SELF. Now is our chance to break free of this selfishness. The group we form and the friendship we establish confirm our desire for companionship. We even feel the stirrings of love within us. Being in the intimacy versus isolation stage per se, we sometimes feel attracted to someone we admire. Our heart beat a bit faster when in the company of certain people, and our faces starts to blush. But the value of solidarity urges us to expand the boundaries of our love, so that we may embrace the whole world and build a wonderful friendship and we say thank you for Godly counsels from prayerful friends.
We were caught up in the flow of God orchestrated activities, and gain in a deeper knowledge of ourselves and of one another. We learned to appreciate and affirmed one another. We discover the meaning of love on the context of Christian community, in depths of our hearts; we meet God who reassures us of his unending love. For us, that experience leads us to a genuine commitment of self, in the service of God and one another. It sets us afire with a clear vision of a family in which people love and care for one another without asking something in return, and strive to live the ideals of service and solidarity. Though we may not be together forever, people come and go. But it’s not about the first day you say hello or the moment you bid farewell, but it is in the dash in between that the spot in our hearts is formed, saying that once in our life we have been in a loving, prayerful and joyful group of friends that the memory stays forever and would always look forward to be meeting again in God’s perfect time. “Bye-Hello” Spotlights! I Love you.
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." -Hebrews 10:25-