Monthly Archives: November 2012

Doubt can be beautiful.


Today I met with a UC student who is from Ghana. Or someone from Ghana who studies in UC.

How I got to meet him is actually after a series of interesting meetings, referrals and networking… efforts I exerted in my desire to find a KV from UC. We had a very good conversation, he seemed  very interested in starting and leading a Christian group, he’s well connected with Filipino and other foreign students on campus, and most importantly, seems very mature and has a good grasp of the Word and the Gospel.

I left our meeting and walked along Gov. Pack road feeling a mix of excitement… Could this be it? Could I have just spoken with the next UC Key Volunteer? My KV-dar (KV radar) was up and running again.

As I turned and walked down session road, I recognized that I was also feeling doubt. Doubt at myself. Doubt at what was happening. It wasn’t just this Ghana student. This week I’ve been trying my best to network and find people I need, and I just realized… I have no idea what I’m doing.

Well, actually, I do have an inkling of what I’m doing. Just a tiny bit. And while my superiors and colleagues assure me that I’m at the right direction, I still can’t help but feel like I’m groping in the dark.

I was in the depths of my reverie when a thought filtered through me, much as  a small beam of light penetrates the dark, and slowly grows stronger.

Doubt can be beautiful.

If the object of doubt is oneself, and if it pushes one to look to something or Someone stronger and surer, if it compels one to draw beyond the resources of one’s own reservoir, if it moves one to repent, if it makes one realize that the trepidation he or she feels can only be calmed in Someone else… then, doubt can be beautiful.

I say this in the context of ministry, but I believe this is true in all of life.

Doubt can be beautiful. If for no other reasons than the ones I’ve written above that we are allowed to feel doubt, then it must be necessary.


He justifies me.


The only Person in this universe whose opinion counts delights in you!” – Tim Keller

Here we go again.

Does she notice? Does my supervisor notice? That every time we “evaluated”, I was cringing inside? I must have finally perfected the art of looking stoic whenever the topic came up. Yay me. Sigh.

What was it with evaluation that made my insides churn?

I tried to identify them: was it the fact that every week, my stats almost always never matched my goal? Or the subsequent great frustration that never failed to follow after finding that I had, yet again, fallen short of this goal? Or the knowledge that no matter what I do, I cannot seem to muster enough motivation to find ways and make plans (or follow the plans) to improve?

And then comes the lie, that temptation, to rationalize away my behavior — Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re just an intern.

It was this baggage I carried through two Leadership Training Conferences in La Union and Isabela, through the Volunteers’ and Interns’ Summit at Quezon City, and even through the personal retreat in Baler where I hoped to hear clearly from God.

But I returned home physically refreshed and with new, rich experiences, yet with heart still heavy.

Who knew it was back in Baguio where I’d have that aha! moment?

I was listening to Tim Keller when he said, “What justifies you?… The only Person in the universe whose opinion matters delights in you!”

It was one of the most humbling, embarrassing and yet enlightening moments I’ve had ever.

Have I fallen into the trap of believing that my ministry results are what justifies my existence on this earth?

It’s the performer in me, I’m afraid, the “fallen-ness” in me that looks to other things for justification, for importance, for purpose. It’s what pushes people to look to other things, people, and even something as seemingly spiritual as “ministry” for comfort, for delight, for relevance. But earthly things cannot give all these forever. At some point, we all arrive at this realization, and it is this realization that prompts people to conclude that life must be meaningless.

And yet… God is just there, holding out His hand and arms. He justifies my existence, gives me meaning and worth, and makes me relevant.