from “Bo’s Soulfood,” a ParishWorld blog by Bo Sanchez

They tell me that the average speed of a car in Manila is 25 kph. That's catastrophically slow, about 12 mph. That's just the speed of a turtle injected with steroids.

Aside from traffic, there are two other things that make vehicles go slow: Humps and potholes.

Between these two, I'd rather choose humps.

Especially those that are painted bright yellow and smooth on the curves, with nice signs to tell us they're coming.

But I don't like potholes, period.

They come in all sizes: tiny Mickey Mouse holes to nuclear bomb testing craters.

And they never come announced. They just appear when you're one inch away, and kabloom. And kablagblagblag... Life's like that.

When God wants you to slow down, He'll send you potholes. But He can never give you humps, because that's something that you should deliberately make for youself. (More on this later.)

Potholes are the small and big problems of your life.

When you have a bleeding hangnail, an expensive Italian shoe isn't very beautiful. When your doctor tells you that you have malignant cancer, your Mercedes or BMW suddenly lacks oomph. And when you discover that your teen-age son is on drugs, your jewelry doesn't shine as brilliantly as before.

Like potholes, problems come suddenly. No one warns you they're coming. And your whole life goes kabloom and kablagblagblag...

But because of these kablooms, you're forced to stop and think. You ask fundamental questions, like, "What's life all about? Where am I going?"

Overnight, your hierarchy of values changes. The most important things in life--such as your soul, your family, your God--become painfully obvious. And what used to be so pressing and insistent and noisy, reveal themselves to be cheap.

Humps, on the other hand, are deliberately made.

By you.

You plan them out. (And fight for them with your life.)

A quiet time for prayer each day.

Or Mass during lunch hour.

Perhaps a weekly prayer meeting.

A personal retreat every year.

Humps are special times when you'll ask the very same fundamental questions: "What's life all about? Where am I going?" But this time, not because you're forced to, but because you want to.
Take a lot of humps.

Perhaps potholes won't come as often.

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