Being on the Road, Fatherhood, and Setting Priorities

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Being on the Road, Fatherhood, and Setting Priorities on the road again. Last week, I was at the YMCA Retreat Center at Estes Park, Colorado, USA for the annual meeting of the Division on Ministries with Young People, the organization I work with.

I had a chance to see the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado and even posed for a picture at the Continental Divide of Northern America. Saw some deer, elk, prairie dogs, and wild hare. Too bad, I didn’t see the bear that shook the trash can on our first night there.

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More than that, though, it was just awesome to be in fellowship with other youth and young adullt leaders of the United Methodist Church from all over the world. We had delegates from Sierra Leonne, Uganda, Latvia and of course, the United States.

I came back to Manila on Aug 2 at 10 in the evening. The problem was, I had another speaking engagement at Capariaan, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur by 10am the next day! So, I went home, slept for 2 hours. I woke up at 3AM for a 7-hour bus ride! Ugh. That was just 6 hours after my 24-hour flight from the US to Manila!

As I write this, I’m attending the 3rd National Youth Council Meeting of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines in the Visayas region, about 1.5 hours by plane south of Manila. I’ll go back to Manila tonight and go to Tarlac (3 hours away from Manila) tomorrow for another young adult meeting.

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Off the coast of Lapu-lapu City on the way to Olango UMC

My busy season has officially started.

I’m no stranger to busy seasons. In fact, before I got married (actually, even after) I was on the road a lot, and I went to lots of places in the name of the ministry I’m doing. I was so busy, that whenever I had free time, I felt something was wrong.

Busyness is fine. But it’s entirely different from productivity and effectiveness. You can be busy and be neither productive nor effective. And after a bout of busyness, I find myself out of breath, out of energies, and out of sync with myself and with my world.

Of course, the wife gets angry, too.

Her love language is quality time, and she doesn’t take it kindly if I become too busy for her. Maybe iit’s been lessened lately because she devotes lots of time taking care of our 5-month baby boy. But she still reminds me to spend more time with her and the baby.

I definitely need the reminder. Praise God for patient, loving, and sometimes confronting wives. 😀

Just yesterday, I posted the following Status on my Facebook timeline:

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There will always be ministry, there will always be work, but my son won’t always be a baby.

So today, I’m just reminded of how time flies and how I need to own my schedule or it will own me.

I heard from a friend that some Pastors have the following hierarchy of priorities:

1. God
2. Family
3. Business / Work
4. Ministry
5. Others

God, first and foremost, followed by family. Business or work comes next because he who does the work of the Lord needs to eat and support his family so that ministry could be done well and sustainably.

In my case, ministry and work is one and the same. And so, I need to order my schedule according to this set of priorities.

My next travel is on the last week of August. I’ll be home for the whole week beginning on Monday. I’ll make that family time count for all its worth.

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