by: Sr. Joy A. De Vera, RA
Derek was a dream come true.
I was in the middle of a meeting when someone called me, “Andito na po ako!”
He was there waiting for me at our company’s driveway. He was wearing a grey polo barong and slacks. A semi-bald man smiled at me and gave me some paper to sign…and the car key…
“Mam here’s your brand new car!”
You think it was Derek Ramsay noh?!
On a serious note, it was January 2013! As part of the perks of my new role in the company where I transferred, I was given a car. The difference from my previous company is that this time I can choose what brand and model of car I want. For a mid-20’s that time – this little victory is really an ego-booster!
It was a dream come true because I promise myself not to invest in buying a vehicle. A financial expert friend told me that car is a dead investment. Unless you look for a work that will provide one for you.
This is my story of having Derek.
I named the car that I had “Derek”, not just because I had a long time crush with the famous Philippine actor – Derek Ramsay, but because it has a deeper meaning:
Derek sounds like “Direct”.
It is a shortened prayer…
“Derek (Direct) me Lord to the right path!”
In my 3 years of having Derek, it led me to many work-related explorations and also I was DEREK-ted to respond to many pastoral missions.
Since my work role is highly mobile, Derek is a car turned mobile cabinet/home/office, but it also turned as my space where to contemplate and pray. Most of the time, I am out of home. Derek is my companion in all my wanderings and restlessness. In my driving moments, especially in long travel, I find myself trying to recollect what has been my bad choices from the past years and what good choices I can do as I move forward. Long drives are a good way to recollect thoughts and to contemplate.
I was DEREK-ted to the path unexpected. Most people call this life that I am embracing as “the road less traveled”. Who would believe that a wanderer like me has the capacity to be contained in a certain place. Well, only a profound encounter will do that. The prayer behind the name: “Derek (Direct) me Lord to the right path!” came true.
Whatever you desire, truly “the Universe conspire” and make it happen!
With my strong resistance in the past of trying to ran away and play deaf to escape the call … I was caught up and still redirected to respond to the embrace of the compassionate Shepherd who run and search after me and promise to be with me in the journey.
I said goodbye to Derek and walked!
I had a deep realization as I walked…
My pace becomes slower.
It is easier to stop, because there’s no need to step on the break and park properly. You just simply stop.
The process becomes lighter.
The travel becomes longer – but it’s a lot cheaper. No more expenses on gas!
My senses become more attentive to details.
As I walk, my eyes can see more…
My nose can smell more…
My ears can hear more…
My hands can touch, encounter and serve more…
…and my heart can feel more compassion and solidarity for others!
My carelessness melted and my awareness widens…
Walking led me to a deeper encounter with reality!
It’s far from the physical comfort that Derek can bring…
Walking led me to a deeper spiritual comfort to witness how God transforms my being.
My simple life now helps me not to be distracted by less important matter. I don’t think anymore what is the best clothes to wear everyday because of our habit, or what is the best route to take, because MRT/LRT has a permanent route! We only have few must have’s possession in the list! Gadgets are optional but are to be used for extending God’s kingdom.
In my experience of nothingness, I witness the amazing hands of God that provides. Now, I can travel in peace because God is my driver in my daily commute. God is taking the wheel so I may have a more focused gazed on Him and be in awe with the marvel he unfolds every day.
My car, Derek, has outlived his purpose in my life.
I may be car-less now, but no longer careless to respond to the needs of others in stillness and in truth.
Do your possessions serve to extend the Kingdom of God?
Does it lead you to find God?
Lord, help me to be the master of my possession so I can serve You in extending Your Kingdom.
Derek (Direct) me Lord to the right path.
“Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me!”
Photo Credit: https://useum.org/artwork/Goodbye-James-Fenner-2013