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Another busy season has passed. Whew! How fast time flies. 2013 just seemed to have started yesterday and yet here we are – one quarter of the year was already spent on countless sleepless nights to produce quality deliverables. It’s my third busy season here in the firm, but I feel that it’s my first busy season to date. Weird huh?! I don’t know, too, pero eto ung time na na-feel ko talaga busy season, maybe because of added responsibilities, stored technical knowledge, prior experience, etc. I thank God for allowing me to stay pa. Given the choice, I would have left last December 2012 but circumstances, counsel from family, friends and colleagues told me to stay-as if God told me to wait first. And waiting, at that time, was the hardest part.

Looking back, I realize that I made the right choice to stay because it has taught me a lot of lessons which neither can be reaped from reading the Tax Code nor researching in Lex Libris. Not that I didn’t gain additional technical knowledge, it’s just that these lessons are more valuable in life- can’t beat any BIR issuance or Supreme Court Decision.

1. Patience – I became impatient a lot of times this busy season, especially when things seemed to be out of my control already (kapalmuks, as if I really am in control… haha!). There’d be moments when I’d plan out my entire day (on what I should do and accomplish) and then suddenly, unexpected urgent task(s) comes and voila – total schedule overhaul! Sometimes, interruptions would come in the form of people (e.g., kidding around, consulting you about work, etc). Admittedly, these interruptions would sometimes irritate me. It just exposed the rottenness of my heart-the selfishness to just get things done without helping others or even taking time to chat with or listen to a friend (sorry, guys!). Good thing, God reminded me to be patient with other people just as He has been patient with me all this time. He also told me that an interruption is a divine opportunity to display His power. It’s His way of saying that He is the One in-charge. So when He “interrupts”, I just surrender to Him and ask Him to stay calm and enjoy the situation I’m in.

2. Joy – The hardest part this busy season is to endure and enjoy at the same time, especially when you can’t focus because of personal problems. Days would come when I’d be caught up in dilemma, on whether I’d stay or leave, to hold on or to let go (Kimberley!!! Haha. Pero totoo to. Lol). But I thank God for giving me peace of mind and focus to finish my tasks excellently, not by my own effort, but by His grace. It was really hard to go to work each day with your mind all mixed up with pressure brought by responsibilities at home, work church, etc. Amidst all trials, His word stands true:

“You keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because He trusts in You.”-Isaiah 26:3.

”Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”-James 1:2-4.

I want to be mature but I forget that the road to maturity is marked with suffering.

3. Humility – Being in SGV gave me the chance to work with the best of the best. As an experienced staff, I also got to handle and guide the new staffs. It was difficult because I don’t yet have a full, in-depth grasp of taxation. I’d be pressured when they would ask questions, especially those mind-boggling ones which I’d respond: “oo nga no? di ko naisip yun!” or “naku, ewan ko eh!” haha. It made me accept my current state and ask help from other people and even listen to the new staffs ‘ideas which are enlightening, too. I learned that a person learns by humbly accepting his current state and listening to other people and not by pretending that he knows everything. Ignorance is bliss as this gave me quality time with my teammates, learning and laughing with them.

Being in SGV also made me see my weaknesses. But God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.

“God said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”-2 Cor 12:9-10

4. Faithfulness – “Whoever can’t be trusted with little can’t be trusted with much.” – Nuff said 🙂

5. Gratitude – To be thankful to God for everything He’s done, even for the simplest things (e.g., protection, provision, etc.) which a lot of times, we take for granted because of familiarity. Porke araw-araw nakakauwi ng safe, ibig sabihin, araw-araw, safe na? haha. Even for those times na nakakatulog sa jeep, bus, I thank God for protecting me and waking me up just in time before bumaba, though, meron pa ring exception! Haha! I thank God for surprising me with treats from our partner and managers, even from unexpected people, lalo na pag paubos na sweldo! I thank Him for having friends in the workplace, people who can understand your current situation because they’re undergoing the same thing, sometimes, even tougher! These people somehow helped me maintain my sanity. Hahaha 😛

When we realize that everything comes from the Lord, our hearts would overflow with praise and thanksgiving to Him. We’ll then realize that our blessings far outweigh our problems. Gratitude, I discovered, is a great antidote to a bitter attitude.

6. Perseverance/Trust – When I feel that my efforts aren’t appreciated or I don’t see the results of my hard work, God’s Word brings comfort:

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.- Colossians 3:22-24

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”-I Cor. 15:58

God taught me to work – not for promotion, not for approval, not for acceptance. He taught me to work only for Him, for His glory. Every day is a challenge to attend to the applause of heaven or the praise of men (we cannot serve two masters at the same time). Oftentimes, I’d be short-sighted and choose the latter. But He taught me to trust Him, to give my best, even if that means withholding the gift of promotion (after all, He’s still in-charge). It’s still a struggle until now, especially when I look at my performance – it’s just not promotion-worthy. But I lift these up to the Lord. I trust that His will for me, for all of us, is good, pleasing and perfect.

These are just some of the lessons I can put into words right now, lessons that are continuously learned each day. It can take a lifetime to master them but I trust Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of faith, that He who began a good work in me will bring it into completion until His coming. For now, sharing to you what my friend said: I got scolded. I got corrected. I got reprimanded, but see I learned. 🙂

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