Because you are worthy of my Best

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When I was in grade school, I joined quiz bee’s, declamation contests and other inter-school activities without telling my parents. I will only tell (and surprise) them when I already have the award to show. Those were the days when things are simple and all you cared for was to make special people in your life happy and proud. I know that every time I handed them those medals, my heart silently said, ‘Because you are worthy of my best.’

Then as we grow old, things become more difficult and complex. The enormous responsibility we carry on our shoulders are always weighing us down, we do things just because we have to do it and have quite forgotten the reason why we are doing these things in the first place.

I reflect on this because I am particularly dragging myself to do one task for many months. But last night, I resolved that I will do it not because I have to do it, but because the person who’s asking me to do it is someone I value. Because that person is worthy of my best.

When things become difficult, when tasks become a routine, when people around us become ordinary, we have somehow forgotten to give our best. We have somehow taken for granted putting attention to details and sprinkling an element of love to what we do.

So today I reminded myself that the next time I prepare a cup of coffee for a friend, I will choose the perfect mug, the perfect blend, the perfect corner where we can have a good conversation, because that person is worthy of my best.

The next time I write that email, or prepare that report, or chair that meeting, I will make sure that it represents my best, because it is who I am and who I should be.

The next time I become too critical of others, and of life, I will be that forgiving and understanding, because being the best also means having a gentle heart.

The next time I will find myself in the midst of life’s battle, I will look up at the heavens, find my parents, ask them to bless me, and then I will do my best, because they continue to be worthy of my best.

Today, let us ask God for this special grace, that the next time we do something, especially when it is difficult or inconvenient, we think of that person we do it for, and say, ‘Because you are worthy of my best.’

Courage

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I was browsing through my photo album early this morning when I came across this photo. It reminded me of few things, but what it reminded me most was the homily I heard many weeks ago where the priest shared a story about a fearful mouse.

One day, a mouse was so frightened because she saw a cat. A magician took notice of the mouse and through his magic wand, changed the mouse into a cat. When the cat saw a dog, it ran and ran and ran out of fear. The magician whisked his magic wand and changed the cat into a dog. The dog then saw a panther and quickly hid as it tremble in fear. The magician, turned the dog into a panther. When the panther came across a lion, it succumbed in fear and ran away.

At that point, the magician said, ‘There is nothing more I can do for you. Because even if I make you a lion, you will always have the heart of a fearful mouse.’

Today, let us be reminded about courage, about confidence, about embracing exactly who we are and our capabilities. We maybe a mouse, a minnie mouse, but inside us, we possess the majesty of a lion / lionness.

After all, God, has repeatedly reminded us through the Holy Scripture, ‘Do not be afraid. For am I with you.’

May God bless us with a courageous heart, Amen. Have a blessed Wednesday.

Hook

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Landed almost midnight, checked-in at 1am and before handing me my room’s keycard, the bubbly lady at frontdesk, named Millie, said I have to play the lucky draw. My mind was detesting (please, just give me my keycard – you have no idea!!) The last time I was here and played the same stuff, I won a cup of espresso.

But before I could say ‘No, I do not want to play’, Millie already dropped a coin inside the machine. I turned the knob twice and a blue ball came out. Millie opened the ball and inside was a paper.

I said, ‘Make sure it is twenty thousand baht.’ Millie smiled and said, ‘Congratulations! You won a special prize. What colour do you like?’

‘I do not have a favourite colour’, I said. She said, ‘OK, I will get you the best one.’ She went inside a small room and a minute later came back and handed me a tiny stuffed toy.

‘What’s the name of this?’, I asked. The smile disappeared from her face and was immediately replaced by deep thinking. She panicked and uttered, ‘Hmm I don’t know.’

‘I will not leave until you give this thing a name.’ She called one of the hotel porters for help. They were panicking as I stare at them and as they stare at the stuffed toy. Then the porter said, ‘Hook. Call him Hook.’

I said, ‘OK. Thank you. Hook it is. Goodnight.’

I am now ready to sleep and I still have 1001 things inside my head. But as I retire for the day, I look at Hook and realised how much God has blessed me with tiny colourful unexpected surprises in life.

Dear God, thank you for the tiny, colourful and meaningful blessings, which sometimes I fail to take notice of. Thank you for Millie, who insisted that I play the lucky draw. Thank you for the porter, who gave the name Hook. Thank you for today, Amen.

When was the last time?

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I was walking along the streets of Central Hongkong when I saw this tram. I chased it until I was able to get a good shot.

It says – beautiful.

My colleague was puzzled why I had to chase the tram.

After I was able to take a relatively good shot, I asked my colleague,

When was the last time you saw something that is beautiful?

When was the last time someone made you feel beautiful?

When was the last time you received something that is beautiful?

When was the last time you chased something that is beautiful?

It could be a person, a place, a dream, an experience, a tram. It could be anything.

When was the last time?

Moon

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Full Moon, Hongkong 16 October 2016

Dear Moon

Whenever you are full, you always catch my attention. Sometimes, you look so magnanimous and powerful. Sometimes, the clouds steal away your pristine brightness. Sometimes, you become playful and adorn yourself with shiny little stars.

Last night, you once again caught my attention. This time, not because of your fullness nor with your brightness but with your stillness.

I think, that’s what you invited me for. To be still. To keep still.

Where stillness does not mean absence of movement but not resisting the natural flow of life.

Where stillness does not mean the absence of noise but listening to that voice inside that says, ‘It’s time.’

Where stillness does not mean to ignore others but attend first to what is essential.

Where stillness means knowing that life is a cycle. Sometimes, what is seen is only a quarter of what you really are. Sometimes, you are full and strong. It does not matter. Your constant presence is what matters. I guess, we mortals are like you. Sometimes, we can give all of ourselves. But sometimes, we can only give so much. Kasi yun lang ang kaya. Kasi yun na lang ang natitira.

Many people send their love to orbit around you. They say, ‘I love you to the moon and back.’ Without you realising it, you become a channel of love.

But the truth is, you do not have your own light. Whatever light you have and you give, you simply get it from the Sun. The two of you have an incredible friendship. Since the beginning of time, you were there for each other. Reminded me of God’s constant love for me. Reminded me that whatever light I have, it is all from God.

Tonight, I pray. That I gain wisdom from your stillness. That I learn generosity from your fullness. That I remain connected to my source of light, Amen.

Goodnight, Moon. Thank you for the companionship during the long flight tonight.

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On board CX 913, 17 October 2016