But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you as well.
-- Matthew 6:33
Let me tell you the story of my academic journey from a struggling student up to becoming a full pledge licensed engineer.
When I was a primary student of Mabolo Elementary School, I was a struggling student, happy to get by with just 80% average. When my math teacher in grade 4, would start calling students to answer a multiplication problem, I would hide under the desk; I was afraid because "multiply" and I didn’t see eye to eye. I hated multiplication and anything that crawls in the branches of mathematics.
Grade 5 was only slightly different on two counts: first, my multiplication improved to 4 x any number, and second, my math teacher was a torturer – she was an old chubby lady who found pleasure in putting her students who could not answer the board work or seat work into the dark dungeon or more accurately, under her long green skirt. I couldn’t bear the thought of being marooned in the dungeon, so during quizzes I used all ten fingers, shaking nervously, to count – fortunately for me we were allowed to wear slippers so I could see my toes.
The turning point came when I was in first year high school. I had a classmate whose name was Mary Jane; she was not only beautiful and articulate, she was also very smart. One day our teacher asked a question to the class of which I could no longer recall, but until now I have never forgotten the scene inside our classroom during that very moment: everybody was quiet until Mary Jane raised her hand. “Correct!” our teacher announced proudly after Mary Jane gave her answer, and all of us were awed at her brilliance. Then an idea hit me from out of nowhere -- “I want to be like that.” With that new goal in mind, I threw myself into my studies like never before. From there I never looked back, and the rest was history. I graduated Valedictorian from Mandaue City Comprehensive National High School (MCCNHS); I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) where I took up BSECE; and I passed the ECE Licensure Examination that same year.
With all honesty, I was just an average student in spite of all the academic accolades I garnered along the way. However, I did have four aces up in my sleeves: I had a goal, I studied really, really hard to reach my goal, I had a very supportive family, and I had an equally supportive God. Of all of these, I believe that God's support was the most crucial because the moment I let up with my prayers, my grades curved downward. A good friend of mine named Alvin, a fellow honor student who is now in the UK, once asked me what was my secret; this was after I got an average of 1.0 or close to that in one semester, and became the top Dean's Lister of the Engineering Department. I told him, “…I prayed.”
That was years ago. Now, if someone will ask me the same question, I can give a better answer, "I have a personal relationship with God." And just like during my schools days, the more intimate I am with Him the more blessings I receive. As a personal testimony to inspire you that God really rewards those who seek Him first, when I started serving Him openly last year, He blessed me with a modest brand new car, and I did not really expected it. Since last year, I have been praying for a promotion, and just recently, despite of the fact that my employeer,Lexmark, is very, very picky in promoting people because of the financial crises, I got promoted! With God on our side, nothing is impossible.
God can do great things in your life, and you do not have to be perfect to receive His blessings. All you need to do is to seek Him first before anything else. Reflecting on my younger days, and my adult life right now, I can say that God has been very good to me not because I was or I am holy, but because in my brokenness, His love for me shines through. So will His love for you!
PS: Seek God first, and rest assured that He will not only provide for your daily needs, but He will also prosper you, so that you can become a blessing to others.