In a newspaper article the other day, I read about a young girl who asked her teacher, "Nasaan si Bro?" Her family was one of the many victims of the Ondoy calamity. Where was "Bro" during the time heavy rains tore through the skies and floodwaters rose to heaven in a matter of minutes?
My buddy and radio show partner, Jada, and I discussed this over breakfast. This was one of the reasons why she does not let her daughter watch certain television shows. I personally think it's quite misleading. It's not right to show God in such fashion where he responds to every beck and call of a child. Adults know that not all prayers are answered. But this is not to put God in a negative light. Not all requests are granted because God has something better planned for you. Or at least that's what our faith / religion teaches. So when a child is so used to seeing a Higher Being constantly answering a tv character's prayers no matter how trivial, he's convinced that Heaven works exactly that way. When Ondoy came beating on their rooftops, the little girl called on "Bro" to save them, or their house probably. But apparently, He was nowhere to be found. Hence the query.
In so many ways, God was present during this ordeal. Many families were saved from the wrath of the typhoon. Villages may have submerged completely in floodwater, but many were able to climb up or swim to safety. This is already a miraculous manifestation of His love. However, many also drowned and died. And although it may seem that He did not answer the prayers and pleas of help that came from those who died, we know that God has His reasons. We know that the Lord is in full control.
I believe that when God says no to a certain request (and believe me, little girl, "Bro" does say no to prayers once in a while), He is trying to teach you something. He wants you to understand something. Or He has a grand plan, something better than what you are asking for. It doesn't mean that He has forsaken you. God will never forsake us. He just has something different in mind for you. And like the saying "Mom knows best," God knows what is ultimately good for you.
This is what we should teach our children. First, always pray to God. But He doesn't always answer your prayers. Why not? Because sometimes what you ask for is not as magnificent as what He has in store for you. If only He could reveal in an instant all the wonderful things, all the beautiful plans he has for each of His children. But where's the fun in that? And how will you learn? Everything is given, revealed, and will unfold in His most perfect timing. That's His promise.
Now that we're already talking about God, let me just share my thoughts on Dan Brown's new novel, The Lost Symbol. I personally love Dan Brown. I have read all his books, from Da Vinci Code to Deception Point. I guess I'm more of a mystery-conspiracy theories-scientific discoveries kind of girl rather that a chick-lit-chick.
The plot revolves around the search for a symbol, a hidden word, that will open the portals to an Ancient Secret or some Great Truth that, if revealed, will change the whole world as we know it. It's unwise to believe things that occur in fictional works, but one Noetic Science discovery is something I do believe in. Our thoughts have mass. And our thoughts are able to will something to happen. This has been told to us in many self-help books. The power of positive thinking. Setting your mind on something you want, and the universe will conspire. Mind over matter. The Secret. It's fascinating, and believable. The mind truly is powerful.
Our faith teaches us that if two or more are gathered together in prayer, then God hears them and heeds their call. Their prayers are answered. I truly believe that this is because the strength of many thoughts united in one goal, many minds working together in one direction, produce a force so strong that it wills what we are asking for to happen. I can't really describe it in a very good way. But if you read the book, you'll get what I mean. This may also explain why typhoon Pepeng changed its original course and skipped the places that were already badly hit by Ondoy. Yes, God worked a miracle. And also because so many Filipino people were united in prayer. We willed the typhoon not to hit us. We created our own reality. It's amazing what the mind can do.
Well, basically, that's just a small part of the whole story. It just got the wheels in my head turning. I recommend The Lost Symbol if you're hunting for an exciting read.