Preparing for the CHOICE weekends is truly an amazing experience. In these series of post, we interviewed some of the members to share their encounters with CHOICE that inspired them to return and to serve subsequent weekends.
The CHOICE weekend experience, from what I have observed thus far, touches people in different ways and in many aspects of life. But for me, I feel that my experience comes after the weekend itself.
Before CHOICE I feel that I was a person that focuses too much on myself. My priorities were self-centered. I did not think with my working schedule I had the time to serve or to ‘layan’ others. I avoided engagements in Church, friends and family. Yes, I was initially every busy at the start of my career. However, even when it became more relaxed as I went up the ranks, the self-centered habits still stuck on. It was lonely, no doubt about it, and my friends were distant because I distanced them. I thought it was a necessary evil, but how long should I put my life on hold because of work?
After CHOICE, I had the opportunity to serve subsequent batches and experience for myself what it meant to be belonged to a community and making new friendships while also renewing my past relationships. I would like to bring to your attention that this community grows in numbers after every subsequent CHOICE weekends.
The advantage of being with the CHOICE service team is, it is not just a one-man show as there are many different groups I can serve and be a part off. Each of these groups provide a different experience all together in terms of perspective and life. The best part is, even with my busy schedule, the support in this team is such that I am still able to serve. This is because the focus here is to serve our brethren selflessly following the footsteps of Christ.
The other day while I was selling flowers and promoting CHOICE after Mass, I was approached by several past CHOICE members who were so happy to identify themselves to us and their affiliation to CHOICE and how this weekend has touch their lives. One even mentioned that his wife whom he met in the CHOICE program was once a presenter many batches ago.
Only then I realized that this Archdiocesan single adult Program is even bigger than our current group of members. It had touched so many lives in the past. I can tell you It is not just another retreat camp and it is certainly not a matchmaking program. Many CHOICEes have been with us. Some only during the weekends while others had the opportunity to serve with us. Then they leave to fulfill other commitments, marriage or vocation vows and others take their places. The process of life continues but what remains is a family united in CHOICE, holding on to the sweet memories that comes with this wonderful experience.