The year 2007 is upon us and we will soon be welcoming the Year of the Pig. The first day of the Lunar New Year is on February 17. Everywhere we go, we see decorations and preparations for the coming festivities.
And yet, we should not forget that soon after that, February 21 is Ash Wednesday. That means the beginning of Lent.
A Greg Iles thriller, "Turning Angel," has this unforgettable line: "Live each day as though it's your last, for one day you're sure to be right."
I do not want to be a prophet of doom here, but it is best to remind everyone once and a while that death is a reality. The sooner we face the fact that one day we will all end up six feet below the ground will help us set our priorities straight.
A recent experience taught me the value of prayers, good friends, perseverance, and faith in God.
More than seven years ago, after the 921 earthquake, we hurriedly left our sixth floor apartment and rented a 5 storey townhouse. The next seven years flew by. So much has happened during that time. We never realized how much stuff we accumulated until we decided to move to a condominium. I could not manage the five-story house after four years without household help.
When I first approached my husband with the idea of moving, he replied, "Are you serious?" Each room was filled with stuff we accumulated. Gifts from friends, mementoes, articles bought from shopping meant to uplift the spirit. Needless to say, when I started to think about the task facing us, I felt daunted.
However, something was pushing me to get out of the old house. It was not fit to live in anymore. Time and the elements have wreaked havoc on an entire wall. So, there I was, facing impossibility of the situation.
To top it all, the children were not happy about leaving the neighborhood and letting go of a lot of their "souvenirs." In the midst of this dilemma, I turned to God. I was literally on my knees begging for help. I did not know what to do.
Finally, when the new house was ready, we started moving stuff. Cleaning up the old house, going through our stuff, deciding which to keep, to give, or to throw, took a lot of emotional and physical pain.
Thanks to God, friends came to offer their help. God heard my prayers and prodded friends to come to our aid. Foremost among them are Fr. Benny Garcia and Eva Yu. It was like a miracle! The house was vacated in two weeks' time. A friend told us it took him two months to move, but thanks to divine intervention, we managed the impossible. How do I know this? Fr. Benny later told me that he felt this urge from God to go and bring help.
Now, what happens when one listens to the prodding of the Holy Spirit? God rewards that person. Our friends went away with a lot of stuff they needed, especially for the wintertime. This is a manifestation of the way God works with all of us. We help each other and we get rewarded way beyond our dreams.
Finally, let me impart some thoughts that came to mind during this ordeal.
1.) Never go shopping to entertain yourself, especially if it is on credit. Ten out of ten, you do not need the object. You must walk away from the temptation as quickly as you can.
2.) Make it a habit to pray daily. Even if you do not feel like doing it, establish a routine of praying, especially when doing work.
3.) Offer your trials and tribulations to God. Do not fight them. Giving them to God makes it easier to bear them.
4.) Value your friends. They will act as instruments of God whenever you need divine intervention.
5.) Live each day as if it were your last, it is best to be prepared when you go to meet your Maker.