The Right Response

This blog was written on October 1, 2015. It’s one of the many blogs that stayed as a draft and didn’t make it because I never felt it was finished but today I’m deciding to stop being a chicken and post it here anyway. 


There was once a man who I had the privilege to work with as my leader.

This man has taught me a lot of things, most of it he taught by example.

Today I think about this man as I am starting to feel the heavy weight of the new role given to me at work—his role. And in case you still haven’t guessed, I have very big shoes to fill in.

These days, facing new challenges that I have no idea how to deal with has been my new normal in the office.

This afternoon was the most overwhelming so far.

I was trying to navigate through a situation that looked so intimidating. When I felt I’ve already lost all my confidence to handle it, I began to think and wonder what he would do with the situation at hand if he’s still the one in charge.

I chucked alone while thinking about that as I couldn’t help but have flashbacks of my former boss and how he’s usually like in the office (something we truly miss about).

I realized I barely have a memory of him making to-do lists like what an obsessed admin person like me would do as if my whole life depends on it. Barely saw him sit at his desk (he didn’t have a proper one and he didn’t mind) or be on his laptop (he didn’t have one either, and still he didn’t mind).

But he made things done. Oh did he make things done.

All gathered up at the guest relations room last Ignite 2015, right after the conference ended. This was one of the big projects that we got to do together. This might be one of my favorite Ignite 2015 photos too because look — it’s so multigenerational!

We like to also remember him as the man who likes to barge in the office, good angst and all, as if everyday is a war day, “Remember, guys! You are changing the world!”

He’s like that, known for making few unforgettable remarks that sound so hilarious at first but you’ll realize are actually full of truth once it sinks in.

One of my favorites would be him saying in true Dan Monterde fashion,

“Basta, guys, trabaho lang. Ang taong maraming hidden agenda, madaling ma-offend.”

At the School of Campus Ministry Graduation where he received the Most Outstanding Alumnus Award.

It’s his way of reminding us to always check our hearts and our motives behind why we do what we do.

Sometimes we put too much of ourselves in the work that we do that it becomes about us. And so when someone criticizes or corrects our work, we have the tendency to take it personally against the other person and harbor offense from that.

Other times, the tendency is to perform. To please people.

But once our motive towards work becomes just simply to give God our best—to work as if working for the Lord and not for men; to serve Him and His people with all that we have without expecting anything in return, work becomes lighter.

Not because it did really get light, but because this time your focus now is not on yourself but on Jesus.

At Ignite 2015 where Dan served as our conference director.

This afternoon, I was looking for a method, a structure, a process to pattern what my next steps are (which are great and are also equally important), but in the end I was reminded of the right response.

It’s the response that says, “It’s not about me,” “This is for Jesus,” or “I’m doing this for the next generation.”

When I remembered that lesson from Dan, I just had to smile and shake my head this afternoon  coming to a conclusion,

“He’s gonna keep his eyes focused on Jesus, not on himself. That’s what he’ll do.”

This was during the offsite TDR of Ignite 2015. We were testing our games for the half time show and he stood in as a mock player. Not gonna forget how we all hysterically laughed at his buzzer beater win!
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