Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Joy of Service

The scripture sent by a friend early morning thru text message fits as clincher to the posts on my service in the university:

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9)

Call it, by any name - the law of giving or universal law of karma, this truth is irreversible. It holds true in our lives whether we expect it or not. As mentioned earlier, my various positions in the University were never planned nor dreamed of but a matter of exigency of service. In the same way, I did not expect any recognition or reward in responding to the needs and challenges beyond the call of duty, other then what was organizationally provided. My pastoral orientation and involvement in the people’s struggle conditioned me to put service above self.

But it came as natural sequence. First, incentive award while still in rank of instructor and later two University professorial chairs when promoted. These are Rosario Salas-Doromal Professorial Chair, and Riego Professorial Chair in SY 2001-2002 and SY 2003-2004, respectively. Our Alumni Association in Social Work honored me with Plaque of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement in 2003 and Outstanding Alumni in Social Administration and NGO-PO Networking in 2005. This put me in the list of awardees in the College of Arts and Sciences during the Centennial Year of the University. My colleagues in the Department and professional organization, cognizant of my contribution, recommended me to the national search for the Ten Outstanding Social Workers of the Philippines and subsequently got it in 2004.

While these were inspiring (and therapeutic in sickness, I realized now), the deeper happiness in work came from students and community people themselves whose lives were touch and developed. The joy in knowing the extent of your influence and how they have succeeded in their respective fields of endeavors is incomparable. The fruits and continuity of your initiatives outweigh the sacrifices done. Indeed, God has designed our human existence to harmonize the pains and gains in life.

Next post: Gains and Pains in Serving the Pastors (Part II)

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