Everything to Gain, Nothing to Lose

We have been kidnapped. We are being held hostage on a world which we do not belong to. We are all meant to be with God in heaven. Unfortunately, we have developed some sort of Stockholm syndrome, where we have developed a love of this world.

This world teaches us that to get ahead, we must be ruthless. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. It’s a dog eat dog world, and you gotta keep hustling to make it. Someone once told me that at the end of the day, all that matters is your bank account. 

Then here you have God who tells you to not worry about anything. To not even think about what you will wear. To not worry about what you will eat. He tells about the birds who plant no seed or work the soil to grow their own food, but yet they are fed. And of He takes care of such a small animal, how much more could He care for us, who He made, in His own image.

As I read more of the Bible, the juxtaposition becomes more and more obvious. Whatever this world tells you to do, it is usually the polar opposite of what God wants you to do.

I’ve been asking myself a bunch of questions recently. One of them is, “does God love me?”, and my answer is yes. After that question is, “what have I done to earn His love?”, my answer is, “nothing”. Will I ever be able to earn His love? Never. So why does God love me? An idea popped into my head and I asked a few parents, “did becoming a parent help you understand God’s love?”. They answered yes. 

A baby has no achievements. A baby cannot do anything. Babies poop on you, pee on you, barf on you. Yet their parents feel an overwhelming connection with them. Their parents love them immensely, and the baby has yet to even speak! Most parents will go to great lengths to provide the best for their children. Having a baby taught them what unconditional love is. Unconditional means absolute, not limited by conditions. That gives me an idea, a glimpse of how much God loves me. 

I had been kidnapped by sin. My father in heaven loves me so much, that He sent His only son to pay the ransom so I could be free, so I could live with Him in heaven eternally. 

I don’t have a child, but I cannot even imagine letting my own son die for someone I’ve never met. But that’s what He did for me. The more I think about it, the crazier it sounds. I cannot deny that God exists. I cannot deny that Jesus is real, because He is real in my life. I consider myself a pretty smart person, and from a logical perspective, it’s absolutely ridiculous. But I experience His love daily. I have accepted the gift that is freely given to everyone. While in my head, it makes no sense at all, but my heart knows it to be true. And that is what faith is all about. 

What if government was like the papalship. All these politicians are in secret fraternities that control the world, then they get picked to be the presidents of big countries. Us normal people are just mindless minions. Everything is programmed, and this is all one big mad social experiment. News is fabricated to make the populace unite or divide on certain issues, all done to distract us from the chess moves executed in secret. It’s like a magic show on a global scale. 

Watch Your Step

BREAKWATER

Noun. A barrier that breaks the force of waves, as before a harbor.

___________

Arianna and I recently went to Misibis Bay for a short mini honeymoon after we had a renewal of vows. It was a wonderful weekend, spent with two dear friends Sasha and Chico, who are the managers of the resort.

The resort has a beach protected by a man made breakwater, which you could sometimes see the waves crashing against if the wave was big enough. And I thought to myself, “the view from there must be amazing!”. I asked Sasha if people could walk on it and she said yes but it is rocky.

On our last day at the resort, we decided to go by the beach and get some sun. I thought to myself that if there was a time for me to go on the breakwater, this was it. I grabbed the GoPro that I won at the Mr Manileño blog launch, and off I went.

The breakwater was built using rocks of different kinds and sizes, with what looked like soil as mortar. It had the shape of a capital T on its left side. You walk on the short side and reach a point where you have a choice to go right, or keep going straight.

If you go right, it is easier and longer, with a path you can follow due to the backhoe that created the breakwater. It runs parallel to the beach and the resort. If you go straight, there is no path, it is uneven,  and you have to very  cautiously navigate your way to the end. I chose to go straight first, then see the other part on my way back.

If you know Arianna and I, you know that we are polar opposites with a great many things. She trips when walking because she looks forward at the goal and rarely down where her feet go. She hits potholes on the road for the same reason, God bless her. I on the other hand, glance at the goal, then I am constantly looking where my feet will go. When I drive, I pretty much do the same thing, trying to make sure I avoid the potholes.

As I made my way to the end of the straight path breakwater,  I had an epiphany. That is exactly how her and I go through life. When she does things, she’s thinking long term. When I do things, I think short term. I have a general idea of what I want in the future, she has a 5, 10,20, 5o year plan that she wants to follow. She’s a long distance runner, and I’m a sprinter.

This is one of the reasons why I think God put Arianna and I together. She needs me to help her stop and enjoy the moment.  I need her to help me stop and look past the present. We need each other to help find balance in our lives.

Thankfully, we have the rest of our lives to learn from each other. God truly blessed me with someone I never knew I needed.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV

Kids

It seems I’m at the age where my friends are all having kids.  My beautiful wife Arianna, has always wanted to be a mom.

As for me, I know I want to have kids. I have these moments where I imagine having kids and all the fun things I wanna do with them. For example, waking them up on a school day and saying, “you aren’t going to school today, we are going camping!”, or, “no school today, we’re going fishing!”.

I believe school is important. I also believe that living is important. Not just existing. You’ve probably seen the quote or meme that states, “you aren’t meant to work and pay bills and die”. School is important because it teaches you basic skills and tools to help you succeed in life. Yet there are a great number of people who succeed, and didn’t finish college. And there are also a great number of people who finished college and also succeed.

The thing is, every single person is a snowflake. Everyone has their own unique experiences. Everyone has a different path in life. And as a parent, the responsibility of raising a child is truly great. That’s what makes me hesitate when I think of having kids. To be completely responsible for the development of a human being. That in itself is extremely scary, and at the same time, extremely exciting. I don’t even have a kid yet, but even just the thought of my own child, I love him or her so much already. And they haven’t even been conceived yet!

All I know is we’re gonna be praying a lot, asking God for wisdom and guidance, and to help us do the best we can. And asking those we trust for advice when we don’t know what to do.

So to my future kid/kids, you aren’t in this world yet, but I know you’ll be amazing. I know you’ll be beautiful. We’ll make mistakes, but we’ll work it out. I know that I love you so very much.

I just haven’t met you yet.

But someday, I will. 🙂

Who Am I?

There truly is no greater love than the love God has for us.

CASTING CROWNS

Who Am I

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wondering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind

Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord You catch me when I’m falling
And You told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see our sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

Not because of who I am
But because what of You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord You catch me when I’m falling
And You told me who I am
I am Yours

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord You catch me when I’m falling
You told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours, I am Yours

Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
‘Cause I am Yours, I am Yours

Do You Vote?

Ever since I was eligible to vote, I never bothered to register to vote.

And whenever I share this with people, I usually hear them tell me, “then you shouldn’t complain”. So they seem to run under the assumption that just because I don’t vote, I somehow forfeit the right to complain.

To be honest I don’t see the point. Maybe it’s due to me being jaded and hearing all the horror stories such as people going to vote and finding out someone else has voted for them, or even worse, dead people voting. If our system wasn’t so corrupt, and if I actually believed in the government and their desire to actually improve the country and not their own bank accounts, then yes I would vote.

But such is not the case in the Philippines.

I have to the right to vote if I choose to, and I also have the right to choose not to vote if I don’t find a candidate that is worth taking the time to go through the arduous process of registering to vote.
In a system that works, my individual vote would probably have a one in a billion chance of breaking a tie. Ask yourself, do you really believe that our system works? How many others vote stupidly? Or how many others sell their votes?

Voting is a civic duty, and a privilege. And it’s also optional. If you choose to vote, you should go the whole nine yards, study the candidates and what they stand for, and whether or not they’re clean or not. Freedom of speech means you have the right to speak, and also, to not speak.

I will vote when someone comes along that can convince me that their time in power will actually be used to address and fix all the problems our country has. And for the past 14 years, I haven’t seen one that I believe yet.