Sundays tend to be my most pensive days because the messages in church remind me of what I sometimes forget throughout the week. With work and tennis taking over, I get caught up with the fast-paced, whirring motions of my life and its surroundings… so much so that I fail to make time for myself these days and take it slow. However, I am thankful for my days off on Sunday and today was no exception.
Before worship time started, I introduced myself to two little sisters that were sitting next to me. Typically they aren’t loud and crazy and I didn’t know much about them, so I thought it would be nice to get to know them. It turns out that they are eleven and eight years old, and they recently moved from Georgia because of their mother’s job. They told me how she works a lot of jobs, like babysitting, and taking care of their grandma. They also said that their father lost his job because of the move to California, and that the roles in their house reversed and he stays at home and takes care of them now. I shared with them how I know how it felt to move abruptly because I, too, moved to many different schools as a child, and it was not easy to detach myself from the friends that I had already made. However, it warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes (I’m weak) when they told me that they are happier here in California. It really amazed me how mature these two girls were for their age; they answered my questions with thoughtfulness and recounted their fun adventure of driving through the states with innocent excitement. I was really touched by their optimism towards the future and how family is clearly incredibly important to them; I see them interacting with each other and with their parents and it’s something that I would be proud of, if they were my own.
Talking with these girls gave me a glowing feeling that I’d long forgotten… it’s the same feeling I used to get when I interacted with our Best Buddies in RHS. I remember my dream in high school to be a nurse for children with mental disabilities because my mom taught me that in the Philippines, they are seen as angels and a blessing from God. The emotions itself of being in their presence and simply talking with them is one of the most rewarding feelings that I have ever felt. The same goes when I interact with innocent children, because they remind me of the simple things that I used to enjoy before the media and technology took over the shallow part of my life. Even though I abandoned my pursuit towards the medical field, I really am excited to become a teacher… as silly as it sounds, I’m looking forward to what they will teach me.
Speaking of humility, today’s message was about how King David could have gotten an animal as a burnt offering for free from a man who sold livestock, yet he offered to pay for it. Often times, we see celebrities getting meals and products for free, and there is this expectation in their world that they can easily attain whatever they want, at usually no cost to them. However, David wanted to give meaning to his burnt offering by acquiring it in the way that normal people do, and this sort of highlights how he humbled himself and did not allow his fame and glory to override his religious duties. Pastor Keith asked us all to think about this question: Are we willing to pay the price for the things that we want and the things that we need?
A lot of times, we will need to make costly and painful sacrifices to get what we want. Even if there is an easy way out, I’m not sure if I would feel good taking that route. Upon becoming an English Major, I was really aware that my family might come to the conclusion that I was dropping out of being a Biology Major just because I couldn’t handle chemistry… but the real reason was that my heart loves English a whole lot more and I felt forced to stay in a class that I did not want to understand. In a way, changing majors and preparing myself for backlash or any potential repercussion was my sacrifice, along with a probable much lower salary in the future. But I’m happy that I went for what I want, and I am so relieved to say that I have no regrets about it.
I love the lessons that I learn in church and from the people that I meet daily. I crave priceless knowledge about joy, and I live for the moments that teach me to stay humble. I truly am blessed to say that I love my life and I am happy to be breathing, walking, and living in my own skin. Praise be to God.