Friday, February 24, 2017

What Makes Us Rich

I’ve been back here in the Philippines for few weeks now. I am still amazed at how in tropical countries like ours land are fertile to the point that even a small soil on the roadside can grow plants. I was walking at our backyard and still astonished seeing plants just growing everywhere, life springing forth out of nothing, what a sight to behold! It made me realize, what makes us rich is when we are able to bring forth life. Money will not make us rich if it does not bring life and that goes with other possessions or positions we might have. We are poor no matter how rich we are if we cannot bring life out of what we have.

Is what I have and what I do brings life?

Without Minding The Cost

With so many Telenovelas/Teleseryes (Filipino Soap Operas) come and go, we had been bombarded with ideas of what love should be. We have seen the different characters playing their part and the main character fighting for love. Along the way, many obstacles come and yet love triumphs in the end. Most of the time, I find it not so much in touch with reality, but even then, we can still get something on it. One is that when we love we don’t mind the cost.

A classic Filipino song aptly describes this, Kahit na ilang tinik ay kaya kong tapakan, kung yan ang paraan upang landas mo'y masundan. Kahit ilang ulit ako'y iyong saktan, hindi kita maaaring iwanan. Kahit ilang awit ay aking aawitin, hanggang ang himig ko'y maging himig mo na rin. Kahit ilang dagat ang dapat tawirin. Higit pa riyan ang aking gagawin. (It won't matter how many thorns I'd have to walk on, if that's the only way for me to follow your path. Even if you'd hurt me, I'd never leave you. It won’t matter how many songs I'd have to sing, I'd sing until my voice becomes yours. I'd cross countless seas, even more than that, I would do.)

Isn’t it beautiful that our Christian faith have this kind of love and much more?

by aats

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Love Makes Us Generous

When we love we become generous. The “no time” is now “all the time” and the “no budget” is now “we can find a way”. This is the beauty of love, it inspires us to think more and do good for the other.

The bible reading from Matthew 5:38-42, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you,” becomes more sensible in the light of love.

Without love this reading is hard to swallow but with love it makes sense. Only in love can we comprehend what is incomprehensible.

by aats

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Joy In The Lord

I had this conversation with a fellow missionary and we were sharing about how we’ve survived this far. (Actually in reality we are not just surviving, we are in fact thriving in the joy of the Lord.) That I can say for sure! Why? How can we be happy in the midst difficulties? Difficulties are everywhere; the important thing is we find what kind of life we want to live.

I think missionaries are happy because they found what they wanted. I think, other people who are also working in other ways can be happy too if they find there work as the path God wants them to be.

Another thing, what I found in mission is that we can be in desolation ourselves but can still be joyful because we find our consolation in the joy of others. We rejoice of others joy and that is enough consolation for us.

Lastly, our joys are grounded in our faith in Christ, so things can be fleeting but we can be joyful because His is eternal.

by aats

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sin of Omission

I’ve heard before someone shared to me about sin of omission, that it is a sin of failing to do good. It can be as simple as failing to help an old person crossing the street to failing to voice or stop a bad thing happening before your own eyes. However, last month I realized it’s not just about failing to do good; sin of omission is also about failing to appreciate the good. When we fail to appreciate even the little good things that we actually have, such as the air that we breathe and the simple fact that we can walk or talk.

This has become more apparent to me when I got sick, “very sick” a month ago. A month before that I was already going to numerous doctor appointments. It got worst instead and by December I was full blown sick. And this was Christmas season, worst time of the year to get sick. I could barely move because I was always in pain. I was in bed most of the time. Every little movement was painful. It was hard for me to even walk and sit.

The situation made me look back on the things I used to do with ease and now I couldn’t, simple things as sitting comfortably, walking without pain, and eating well. Being deprived of it made me fully grasped what a beautiful thing to sit well, walk well and eat well and I only realized it when it was taken away from me. I failed to appreciate all the good things God has given me.

This is a reminder for more sensitivity to the little things but actually very essential to quality of life.

It also slaps me with the truth that has always been there, “I am nothing without God!” Oh how simple this truth is but seldom acknowledged and appreciated!

How many times we fail to appreciate the things that are always there for us?

Lord God, sorry for failing to appreciate the good and grant us the grace to see blessings in everything. Amen.

by aats