The Last

When I was growing up and since I started schooling at the age of four, I trained myself to excel. I always wanted to be the first; first in ranking, first in line, first to get the needles of vaccinations in school, first to be chosen for any activity, first to lead school organizations, first to be in the hearts of my teachers.

The thing about first is that you seem to miss those who are in the last. The thing about first is that you will always look behind afraid that you may be overtaken by those who are in the second, third, fifth, or tenth place. The thing about first is that you are always worried to excel, stressed to do your best, anxious to win.

Lowly as I am, I am and I had always been a struggler to be first.

But life for a struggler like me always means being at my best when the universe would harmonize with my dream. But what if the universe runs counter to my dream?

There can only be two things that a struggler like me could do: to do better than the best or to give up and just be contented with what the universe has in store for this lowly struggler.

But a struggler like me would not give up. I eat struggles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They taste bitter but with time they seem to be sweeter. They give a momentary placebo of feeling good until the good comes.

Time is the teacher of this struggler. Time firmly teaches that there is a reason and there is a season. To give up means denying the self of the chance to rise above the struggles. To want to taste other courses for meals would mean to chew and chew and chew the bitter herbs of struggles.

To want to be in the first line of the first row of everything that a struggler like me hurdles through time is almost always impossible. There always comes a tipping point; give it up or give it all.

Lately, though, I realize that life is not meant to be a struggle to be the first. This may be a late realization, too. But there is always time and time is grace in itself.

Realizing the real meaning of my life as a struggler, I can only pray that I may be gifted with the privilege to at least be the last in the last line of the last row of that march towards the Author of Life. He is what life is all about. That march is the ultimate march and it does not matter if I am the last. I would be very happy then.