(Life) Lessons from Amazing Race

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Each year, the servants of Singles for Family and Life – Sto. Nino Parish hold an Amazing Race to kick off each year of service for God. It is a successful way of opening each year (so far) – the number of people participating each year is proof of that. Each household / team is competing for free World Singles’ Congress (WSC) registration fee which is P1, 300 / person. This year, I was given an important task of writing the clues. I was pretty confident of what I had accomplished, until God wrecked my plans. Here are the most important lessons that I learned from yesterday’s race:

  • I am the ever perfectionist. I know, what’s so wrong about that, right? Well. I’m the kind of perfectionist who has little tolerance for mistakes. That’s how I want everything to be perfect.. for things to go according to my plans. If there is a hashtag for vain people (#GGSS reference meaning gandang-ganda sa sarili), then I also have my own GGSS – galing na galing sa sarili. I feel as though I can do everything perfectly. The reason why I am having a hard time trusting others with tasks / delegating is because I feel as though I can do every task better than anybody else ever could. That’s the kind of pride, self-confidence and perfectionism that I have. That is my fatal flaw. In the process, I turn out having to do a lot of things because I won’t let others help me. Yikes!

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    As the one tasked to write the clues for the Amazing Race last Sunday, I made sure my clues were tricky but precise. I had no space for mistakes as I didn’t want our pitstop masters to accept racers that have skipped other pitstops. I made sure each pitstop master knows what’s going on, that is why I gave each of them a folder including the pitstop before them, the letter given before them (we gave a letter for each pitstop), and the next pitstop after theirs. No room, no room for mistakes at all. Bullet-proof clues. Unperfect execution.

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  • Remember what matters. Like all the things one is holding onto so tightly like sand, broken pieces of glass or boyfriend (hehe), these things get out of hand. In my wanting to control everything and wanting everything to go my way, I was reminded that there are things that are not just about me. There are things that are just out of my grasp, and I cannot do anything about it.

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    No matter how bullet-proof my plan was, no matter how detailed I was with my clues and pitstop preparations, there still were major mistakes made. There were certain groups who missed pitstop/s. Towards the end, realizing that they were missing letters (remember we gave them a letter for each pitstop so we could check each team’s progress), they were asked to go back to the pitstop/s that they missed. This is the kind of scenario I wanted to avoid which is exactly why I was so precise with my clues and written instructions per pitstop. But then again, we can always use the abused reason that we are just people, right? We make mistakes, that’s our nature.

    At first I was so pissed off with what happened. I blamed myself. “Is there something wrong with my instructions? Did I fail to brief my co-pitstop masters?” But at the end of the day, I realized what is important. We are all doing this to give glory to God. We glorify God by our relationship with our household – the very people who help us in our Christian journey. We glorify God through the challenges – teaching strangers worship songs, inviting them to Christian Life Seminars, etc. We glorify God because our end-goal is to attend the World Single’s Congress – a congress in which we would be able to meet God in a very special way. So if I let myself be blinded and hindered by my disappointment with my fellow pitstop master because she failed to give proper instructions to the teams, or if I let myself be consumed by my perfectionism because things did not go according to my plans, then everything will be for naught. Our purpose for doing this Amazing Race will be defeated. I won’t be able to enjoy the race so much because of all these negatives that are blinding me from seeing the positive things – the joy of doing the race, the joy of serving with people that I trust, the happiness of being with my family. If I focus so much on the disappointment, hurt, wasted efforts, and pain, then I am missing the presence of God. I am missing the whole point of doing this Amazing Race. I am missing the point.

  • Maybe the goal is not to run a perfect race, but the manner in which I will finish the race. Maybe the real challenge is not giving free water to strangers, or going up the stairs while blindfolded. Maybe the real challenge is how I will be able to keep my cool; keep a happy attitude all throughout the race, no matter what may be thrown at me and no matter what may come my way. Maybe the real challenge is to be able to forgive others for their mistakes because they are my brothers and sisters, after all. Maybe the real challenge is to be able to accept mistakes and defeat, no matter how painful it is. Maybe the real challenge is to be able to say, at the end of the race, that I did everything because of and for God. Maybe it’s not even about the race at all, but about God.
  • Next Amazing Race, I know I am better equipped because I have learned these great lessons. To God be the glory, always, forever.

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