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The brownout made me see the light

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 18, 2020 - 12:00am

It was an irony that the 36-hour Metro Manila brownout due to Typhoon Ulysses last week brought light into some dark sides of my paradigm. Funny, how things suddenly disrupt our normal routine and then we come to our senses that we are not in control, after all. Someone up there is.

For the last many decades of my busy, hectic and fast-paced life, here in this crazy place on earth, called Metro Manila, I thought all along that I am in control. I plan all my activities, structure all my tasks. I anticipate problems as I learned in a western learning module by Kepner-Tregoe, back in the seventies, to do probable problem analysis and create advanced packages of alternatives, from which to draw solutions to probable problems. I learned a lot of management techniques from Petron. PNOC, San Miguel Corporation and Pepsi Cola, where I had a combined corporate immersion of no less than 30 years and some 20 years in government working as labor diplomat in Malaysia, Kuwait and Taiwan. I thought I could control everything.

I was sent to Geneva, London, San Francisco, New York, Honolulu and many other cities to pick up techniques in formulating strategies and plans. I read volumes of books on planning, strategizing, problem solving and anticipating disruptions and derailment of plans. But last week, a simple weather disturbance caused the cancellation of my international conferences, regional conventions and national fora where I was supposed to be the keynote speaker. And the irony is that my topic was how baby boomers like me could surf and glide over the waves of changes in a VUCA (volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous) world. I learned FIDS or fast, intense, digital and strategic interventions to make me in control of events and circumstances. But just a brownout made me look like a fool, angry, disillusioned and resentful.

Someone more powerful up there was telling me something. The typhoon caused a brownout of 36 hours. And the brownout took away two most important things that are essential for the conduct of my webinars via the digital platform. These two things are light and connection, wifi connection. The most powerful being up there was telling that without light, I could not see my way through the many mysteries of life. And without connection, I would be lost as I would not see the way to my ultimate destination, which is Him. And so, the brownout is a message from God Himself, the source of the true light and the ultimate end of man's life. He was putting me in my rightful place and telling me that I have no power to control all things. He has.

When my life is not following the true light, I am in a perpetual brownout. I would be grappling with the evils of darkness where the snares and the seductions of the devil are laid to make me stumble and fail in my life's purpose and mission. When I am in a state of sin, when I live a life away from the truth and from the light, then I would lose my connection with the source of life. I would then be a branch that has been removed from the vine, and I am a sheep who has gone astray from the flock of my shepherd. And as a separate branch, I shall not bear fruits and condemned to be burned. And as a lost sheep, I shall be doomed to perish in the midst of wolves and hyenas.

The brownout was a pruning by the Lord. It put me in the proper place. It humbled me and reminded me that, even as thousands would listen to my world webinars, I am not the source of light. I am not the source of truth. I am a weak voice crying in the wilderness. And I should stop thinking that advanced plans and strategies could control things that were not from the will of God.

BAGYONG ULYSSES
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