Saturday, November 24, 2018

Bleed Thankfulness (not to the Universe)

"There is nothing to writing. You just sit in front of a typewriter and bleed." - Ernest Hemingway

Yes. I used to just sit in front of a computer and bleed. Words flowed like water seeking its own level. They came out of my head through my hands like restless birds waiting to be freed. Sometimes, they were shy, like a young love dreading to be found out but also dying to be known. These days though, they seem like treasure hidden deep down that takes too much trouble to unearth. 

I  also read somewhere that writing is like surfing, you wait for the perfect wave and then ride it. I feel a wave coming along today. So, while my laundry dries out on the clothesline, I will write. 

It was thanksgiving in America the other night. Here in the Philippines, it is a church celebration brought to us by the American missionaries who pioneered the Christian churches. While thanksgiving is supposed to be a lifestyle, it is helpful that we have a holiday to actually think of the things we are thankful for. Because, truth is, when we are wallowing either in wealth or worry, gratefulness is the first virtue that goes down the drain. 

With that in mind, I will try to make a short list of what I am thankful for this year. (Hey, the year is ENDING! Where did 2018 go? ) 

1. Thankful for Health. Truly, health is wealth. I know I am not in tip-top shape but I am thankful for the way God has engineered our bodies to heal themselves. I do have health issues. I battled with one the beginning of this year. Most nights my joints and my allergies conspire to make me remember the future of this body – rotten. But, I have always believed in the Proverbs written in the Bible which said, “A merry heart doeth good like medicine” because “the heart is the wellspring of life”. I have not perfected the art of having a ‘merry heart’. But I am trusting God to transform my heart to be always cheerful. 

2. Thankful for Growth. Spiritually, Mentally and Emotionally. I wish I could boast of a prolific spiritual life. What I can only claim is that I am step-by-step working towards growing. It is not a race but a journey towards maturity. Being in the ministry does not help me grow. It even poses a challenge because complacency is the real enemy that I fight with everyday. 

God led me to further my education and that is one of the things I have always been thankful for this year. if you read my previous post, it talked about how I finally embarked on this new journey. For a person living on a-little-above-minimum wage, in a third world country, enrolling in Law school would require a miracle. And that is exactly what is happening to me. Plus, the bulk of studying I have to do while at the same time working, requires a lot of ‘imploring the aid of the almighty God”. 

There are days when my emotions are out of whack. Thank God I can blame it on hormones. Seriously, I am seeing some growth in the way I handle my feelings toward a person or a circumstance. I still have to work on completely eradicating my flawed emotional budget and just love unlovable people completely the way Jesus did. 

3. Thankful for Genuine Relationships. Being with people are the hardest challenge that God had to let me handle. Not because I don’t like them but because loving people require a lot of energy. And I am on the lazy side. There is no such thing as a relationship hack. You have to go through the long and hard process of maintaining relationships. Family is one feat. Friendships are another. Nevertheless, I close my eyes at night knowing I am loved and accepted by those who truly love me and for that I am thankful. 

Let me get this straight. I am not thankful to the universe for letting everything fall into place. I am thankful to the Lord of the Universe, He who created it in an instant by merely speaking it into existence. He holds the entirety of human existence, making sure the heavenly bodies don’t collide – tough job! Yet, at my slightest discomfort, when I have a bruised ego, or I needed my printer to not act up at a crucial time, or that when I needed ice cream on a very very bad day… he slips into my world* to calmly reassure me – he’s got me in the palm of his hands. I am thankful mostly for God’s love. 

Today, my life is not perfectly put into place as I wanted it to be. I still have bruises here and there from the battles I face on a daily basis. I struggle to be compassionate, forgiving and loving. I struggle to be grateful for what I have been given and for the things that are withheld from me. But it turns out, Ernest Hemingway is right. You just sit in front of a typewriter and bleed.

Today, I bleed thankfulness. 

*now, don’t go debating me on the Theological correctness of the phrase ‘slips into my world’ Lol!