Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dare Today: Travel Light

Dare Today: Travel Light: the remaining earring I loved collecting mementos when I was a child.  My collections ranged from vintage coins, postage stamps, brand ...

Travel Light

the remaining earring

I loved collecting mementos when I was a child.  My collections ranged from vintage coins, postage stamps, brand tags, promo pencils, rocks, text cards, pogs, anime figures, coke mini bottles, pictures of cars, etc..  I even collected stuff that are normally considered trash.  From restaurant napkins, the actual wrapper of a candy I shared with my crush, the 5-peso coin given by someone I admire, the bus tickets of a trip I went to, the straw I used for drinking a certain beverage for the first time, cotton I used to cover the puncture when I had my blood type classified and many other gross things.  My journal, was cramped with all the trash taped, glued and even sewed on the pages.

Not only did I love collecting stuff but I was also extra vigilant in keeping all my personal items private. Growing up in a family with 6 siblings, owning something that you can call your own is rare.  Almost everything is shared or handed down.  Thinking about it, this is probably why I developed the almost Obsessive Compulsive Behavior of writing my name on almost ALL the things I own.

I am very careful with the things I have from my books, gadgets, watches, pens, journals, etc.  I used to feel bad when someone borrowed something from me and doesn't return it or returns it damaged or scratched.  It becomes imprinted in my mind and my view of that person becomes tainted or connected with that item he/ she failed to handle with care.

Relationships suffered due to my over-protectiveness towards my material possessions.  I fought with my siblings, alienated friends and excommunicated some acquaintances because of offenses like, reading my journal, throwing away a memento, losing an important possession, destroying a book and many things connected to my property.

However, as I grew in my relationship with God, He taught me that these things I hold dearly will eventually pass away (1 John 2:15 - 17) so what is the use of my holding on to them? I should store my treasures in heaven where there are no moths or rust to destroy them or thieves who steal. Because where my treasure is, is where my heart will be also (Matthew 6:20-21).

This is why, we need to travel light.  Our stay here on this earth is but temporary.  When we leave this earth, we cannot take our money, journals or any treasures with us.  We need to simplify our life and focus on the things that really matter.  More than any material possessions, our relationships matter most.  Our relationship with God, foremost and our relationship with our family and others next.  Investing in our relationships rather than increasing our material net worth is a better choice.  Luke 9:25 says, "And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process?"

Holding loosely to material things and traveling light will save us a lot of heartache and broken relationships.  I may not be able to undo what I did in the past but I most certainly can do something about the present and the future.

Just tonight I came home to realize I lost one of the earrings I was wearing.  It was one I especially liked because it was given to me by my aunt. But by God's grace, I did not panic, feel stressed or strongly feel the loss.  I thank God for a generous aunt and I also thank Him for allowing me to use those earrings for a few years not to mention for giving me a topic to blog about. :)

My prayer is that we would all learn to travel light in this world and hold on tightly to those things that have eternal value.  Just like Job, a man  who had almost everything taken away from him in just one day, may we also be able to say:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Job 1:21

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Walking Mis-Feet

My slippers on the left and the borrowed ones on the right.

My sister and I were invited to attend one of the weekly Ultimate Frisbee games of her office friends last weekend.  Some of them are players in one of  the competitive Ultimate teams in the city and were willing to train us or at least teach us the basics.

It was the first time for me to really be in a serious frisbee game.  I did flick some plastic plates when I was a child but never really joined the real thing.  Needless to say, I did not know what to expect.

So I dressed in my normal running attire and asked my sister to bring my change of clothes and towel in her bag.  I just brought my purse and cellphone and was ready to go.  Wrong move.

Ultimate was much much more than I expected.  A lot more fun, exhausting, fat-burning and competitive.  It rained so the field became muddy and slippery.  After 2 games, 2 drills, bruises and bloopers it was time to change. My feet were soaked with mud and rain but I did not have extra footwear to change into.  Gross images of my soggy feet leaving a muddy trail on the restaurant floor almost caused me to panic.

Thankfully, one of the players brought extra slippers and shoes.  He offered to lend me his slippers which I embarrassingly accepted.

Walking around with the over-sized slippers made me feel self-conscious and careful.  I was constantly on the lookout for someone who might stare at the slippers more than 3 times my size and make fun of me.  I also could not walk as fast as I wanted to because I had to carefully space my steps so that I don't step on the protruding rubber and fall over.  My mortification increased when we left the field and entered a shopping mall and later, the Central Business District.  I prayed that I would not run into someone I know.

Wearing those slippers reminded me of how we sometimes do or become things we were not made to be. God has designed us with our own S.H.A.P.E.  Each of us is given a unique set of Spiritual Gifts, Heart and Passion, Abilities, Personality and Experience.  We were designed for a specific purpose that's why we were given the SHAPE that we have.

But some of us live unaware of what our SHAPE is.  So we go about doing things that often leave us unfulfilled, frustrated and confused about our own significance. We get by, but we are not as effective and at peace as we could be when we our doing what we were meant to. Just like wearing over-sized slippers, we can still walk but not as freely and as relaxed as when we are wearing our size.

I used to struggle with wanting to be someone else.  But I thank God that He designed me the way He did. Knowing my SHAPE allowed me to appreciate my strengths and appreciate others whose strengths are my weaknesses. It also takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders.