On my 26th year

APRIL 22 was the day I was spewed out of my mother's introitus, something she refers to as an experience comparable to the run-of-the-mill constipation. I was a small baby, the smallest of us three, a little above 2 kg. Nanay didn't have a hard time getting me out. And I think, 26 years later, that it wasn't just because of my size. 

Maybe I was too bored to be playing with my placenta and too excited to see the real world. Here's proof.




How did I celebrate my 26th year?

I mostly stayed at home yesterday, although I did meet my high school friends for dinner—a mini-reunion of sorts. I find it profitable for my soul to be still and meditate on the year that has been. Clearly the Lord has been gracious and faithful. I don't know how I could've survived clerkship without God's hand guiding, protecting, and comforting me. His grace abounds.

*  *  *

SOME of the things I would've wanted for my birthday:

1. Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into the Christian Faith by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield — The story My Train Wreck Conversion published in Christianity Today intrigued me. I knew I had to get hold of a copy of this book. God can change the hardest of hearts and captivate them to behold His beauty.

2. How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler — A must-read classic among people who like reading.

3. The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus — An atheistic journalist attempts to form a strong case against the claims of Jesus. The evidence he accumulated was so persuasive he couldn't deny it. He later threw out atheism and surrendered his life to Christ.

4. Any English translation of Noli Me Tangere or El Filibusterismo by José Rizal — In high school I only read the chapter summaries to help me pass my tests.

5. Eyeglasses — Even old ones you don't use. I collect them, plus I actually use them.

6. Shades, with replaceable lenses — To beat the summer heat. I need to have the lenses changed with my prescription, of course. Otherwise I wouldn't see clearly enough to protect me from falling into manholes.

7. Fountain pen — I was inspired by Prof. Butch Dalisay's collection. I don't have the money for the vintage pens, but I can always start with the newer, less expensive ones.

8. External hard drive — For my favorite movies and tv series.

9. Any notebook without lines on it

10. Kindle, even the cheapest one — The iPod, iPad, or any of the newly released tablets don't quite give me as much pleasure as the Kindle does.

11. More imporantly, your prayers. Please pray that God prepare my heart for my final year in medicine, that I may labor to do all for His glory, and that I may gain a deeper understanding for and love of Him.

*  *  *

MY PRAYER for myself is best encapsulated by the classic Irish hymn, Be Thou My Vision, the English versification of which was done by Eleanor Hull and was incorporated in the English hymnal in 1912. We sing another version of this in church, and my soul rejoices when we do.

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light. 
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one. 
Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might;
Be thou my soul's shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power. 
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
Be thou mine inheritance now and always;
Be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure thou art. 
High King of Heaven, thou Heaven's bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won!;
Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

*  *  *

THANK YOU for your birthday greetings; they really warmed my heart. If you're one of those who forgot somehow, rest assured that I don't take it against you personally—chances are, I don't remember your birthdays, too. Even my parents' birthdays. I'm awful at birthdays. Some people I know—like Shean Chiva, Kuya Caloy Novisteros, and JC Malabad—are just too good at it, like they have a built-in birthday alert mechanism.

11 thoughts on “On my 26th year”

  1. i think i have 2&3, but then bigyan na lang kita ng #9 and syempre#11...wow!!! last year mo na...tara travel tayo pag tapos mo..kahit banaue ulit...oks lang :) happy 26th bday ulit!!! :)

  2. Belated happy birthday, Lance! Hope you got most of your birthday wishes. Here's a version of Be Thou My Vision you probably haven't heard before (very Irish and loud): http://youtu.be/FcAMV2vQhn4

Leave a Reply