I live near a church so near that I am able to hear Mass even if I am home. Today, being Ash Wednesday, I heard all Masses celebrated from the first one to the last. The Lenten Season gives us the Forty Day Challenge to try to be better.
With the ceremonial ash on our foreheads, the church is telling us that we came from ash, and to ash we will return. It is reminding us that we are God’s greatest miracle and because of that we need to realize and accept that He has made us worthy.
Joel in the video is telling us that we need to get in agreement with God, so that we can live like we are crowned with God’s Favor.
You are a child of the most blessed God. Claim your blessings. Act like you are blessed. Think like you are redeemed. Dress like you are crowned with God’s Favor. Rise up in Faith.
Matthew 9:29 Become what you believe.
Dare to call yourself what you are, even before you can see it. Talk about being a blessing to the world even if you cannot take care of yourself. Talk about living in a nice house even if you are living in a run-down dwelling. Program your mind for victory.
This was originally posted in my other blog. I wrote it last October 8, 2013. I thought it would be good to post it here with some very slight changes. I remember writing this piece for my friend because at that time, he was so depressed. I decided to ask him to think of what was fun then instead of obsessing about the countless reasons why life was in the pits.
What Was Fun For You Today?
Tonight is the second night that I noticed my internet connection getting severed when the ninth hour strikes. I wonder why? It is still three hours shy of midnight, the witching hour. And I was chatting with a close online friend. I hope he doesn’t think I left him in the chat room on purpose. People my age don’t do that. We always excuse ourselves politely so as not to alienate the other party. Unlike what happens with generations Y and Z. If you are texting, they will just stop replying; or don’t bother to reply. If you are chatting in the chat room, suddenly, you will just find that you are enjoying your own company.
Ah. Where did decorum go?
But this piece is not about the missing etiquette in our social interactions. It is about gratitude. It is about looking at the bright side of life. It is about focusing on what you can despite the odds. Before Dad had his stroke (CVA- Cerebrovascular Attack), we used to talk a lot. He used to enjoy talking about anything under the sun. Even when we were little, we would always have time to share our thoughts. Mealtimes when we were off school lasted more than one hour because we often talked while having the family meal. Talking was one of our family hobbies, aside from going to the beach or watching movies or having barbecue in the backyard. And oh, we also, did gardening together.
Dad is a retired physician. In the old days, the community physician is not only treating the patient’s physical ailment. Sometimes, in the absence of the priest, he would also serve as a confessor- guidance counselor cum psychologist.
I remember Dad used to share with us that whenever a patient was so depressed and didn’t know what to do he would tell that person “You are a miracle. This life is not your own. It is a loan from up above. It is your responsibility to make it as creative, as happy, as rich, as successful as can be in any field that you choose. Choose to appreciate your blessings.”
The stroke robbed Dad of his normal motor functions. He walks with a shuffling gait, like he has Parkinson’s’ disease. The stroke also affected his memory and speech. He can’t recall how he was as a physician, but he can still manage to do self-care. He can still tell me what he thinks although most of the time I don’t understand what he is saying. We always end up laughing because of that. With him playfully blaming me for mispronouncing the words altogether when he was the one doing the talking. Thank you Lord, he has retained his great sense of humor.
Life has many ups and downs. Sometimes ups, outnumber the downs as a song in a Robin hood cartoon used to go.
But when downs outnumber the ups, you have to remember: Life is not about you. It is never about you.
Life is about accepting what was given to you and doing everything in your power to cultivate it. To make it grow. Life is not about you getting this or that. It is not about the money your will earn. It is not about being popular. It is about the journey that you take. It is about your decisions that make you unique. It is about the experiences that enrich you. It is about the person that you become as you bravely take one step at a time despite all fears. Because you know that your life is a gift. And you are a gift to others. Since you are a gift to the world, it is your responsibility to make yourself better than what you are now. And as you continue walking in the path of progress, it is your responsibility to make more than enough so that you will have the capacity to give more to others.
What is fun for me today is to remember the great moments with Dad when he still had the gift of gab. I also note that although he may no longer be able to converse intelligibly now, I am grateful that he can still let us know if he approves of what we do or not. And he does the jig when he hears music with a lively beat on the radio, or if he’s happy with a meal.
I had fun chatting with my close friend. That’s another plus in the list. I enjoyed picking his mind.
And yes, I almost always have fun on the keyboard. Like my fingers have a mind of their own. Flying away at the keys spinning the story of the moment.
Did this article make him think of the blessings in his life? I really don’t know, but I’m sure you have lots and lots of fun stories to tell!
Come and let us know about them. I am very interested to read them here.