“You cannot out-do God for His generosity”
- Alvin Barcelona, Feast Builder, Feast Bay Area
I hope you will be inspired with this message and a personal story of mine.
I am attending a religious event called The Feast (for more information please click this blog) and last December 18, 2015, they have a Christmas Session. And because of the Holidays, it’s expected that many people especially youth that will attend that session. The session is hard-rocking and I am feeling more blessed with the talk and also the worship. As I had mentioned, it is the place where I pour my adversities and issues, it is where I cry and most of the time and talk with God.
I have attended this event for a year (December 18, is my anniversary as a Feast Manila attendee) and I’ve spent half of my attendance, alone because my original companion have different schedule comparing to me. I know the feeling that everybody is hugging each other and as you look around, you are the only one who is alone. I am saddened and I requested “God, a companion please! So that I can put my shoulder around and comfort me and better if I am the one to comfort them.”
And these are them, people who blessed and change me: Christian, Neil, Ate Abbygale, Joyce, Dazel, Julia, Jemb, and Glendon. I love them and even if I will know there deepest and darkest secret or we will have misunderstandings. I will still love them because God gave them to me. They are treasures to keep and no to lose.
A Miracle Starting…
We have this segment in the Feast in which we will give our tithes so I checked my wallet, whoa, a pair of 20 bills and 50, I normally give twenty but that time, I nearly tripled it. I gave my 50 pesos away. Knowing that I still have four-hundred pesos in my account so if we are going to eat, I still got something.
So after the session, just like what I have expected, they ask if we can eat. I am expecting a fast food eatery or something cheaper and we normally eat in a fast food chain by the way, but whoa, I blew-up when they decided to eat in Pizza Hut, I am ready to go home, thinking lifetime-savings minus a one-fifty-meal. So I said to them, “Ughh guys, I will go home, I don’t have enough money to eat, I’ll just go home and enjoy each of you.” For real, I am not convincing or making a drama that time because it is okay for me to go home without interrupting any person or other people giving any money to me which I view not a necessity and usually, I am the one to treat and no other people through contributions. It’s a pride or an ego to me.
And as I give my high-five for each person, a symbol of giving a goodbye, Dazel refused to give a high-five insisting that I go with them and said they will just give their shares for me to eat. I agreed but not on that idea of contributing. So I excused myself and said, “I am just going to somewhere” but deep inside I am going to the ATM to withdraw, Thank God I have my ATM Card that time. Calculations are starting in my mind on how I will manage my last 250.
When I arrived at the machine, I inserted my card started pressing my password in the keypad and check my account balance. Balance remaining: 430, okay, still got something and as I press withdraw and the amount of 400, I am going to withdraw it all and close the amount and suddenly, “this amount cannot be processed”. I entered it again, hoping this time, it will be processed: still not again. I went to the next ATM and do the things all-over again, still none. I check any paper or signage and boom, it said “no cash, balance inquiry only” WHAT THE FISH!!??
Ego statements started to crawl in my mind, “So are you going home”, or “Eat without contribution, really?” As I walk around the dark-side of the mall which there is nobody around, I said, “God what is your message? Why? No cash? Really this time of ego?” and all of a sudden “My son, I am teaching you to lower down your ego in able for you to receive my blessings, you can’t receive my blessings with the ego around your neck, so go down there and just eat, it’s my blessing to you.”
With a teary-eye, I walk back to the restaurant, and I said, “I don’t have any cash, maybe I’ll just go home (ego is still fighting)” and my friends, said to me, “Just seat and let’s eat”, I still insisted but the person next to me which I never predicted that will said that to me because we aren’t that close comparing with my other friends in that area, he said “I am the one to treat you. Next year, you will be the one to treat me” And I was shocked! Real-time shocked! And as he gets our order, God said, “remember that 50 bill you gave during the tithes? It’s here doubled, tripled! That’s why I lowered down your ego to receive my gifts. I love you so much son! Now, enjoy with your friends”. Thank God, my friends are chatting that time, I am really near to crying that time and I want to kneel that time being grateful.
Friends with that story I want you to be grateful, to sacrifice, and to be the blessing by giving.
The power of gratefulness
Being grateful is not easy especially when you are comparing. You tend to look other people have from what you have. They got I-phone and you don’t have. They got 1,000 peso bill every day and you just have a 50-peso bill every day. You are too concentrated with what you don’t have and you kill what you do have. Gratefulness cannot be achieved through comparing; it will only be achieved by savoring each moment with what you have. Gratefulness sees with what you have and being happy with it. It acknowledges the present gives of now and yesterday before pushing to the future. I thank God that time, that even I don’t have the money; I got friends to back me up. Even if I don’t have the money to watch the new film Star Wars, still I got a family to be happy for. I don’t need those temporary things because I got what I need in life. When you’re grateful, you will always see the miracles happening in your life just like what I have in my Pizza-Hut.
It’s sacrificing what you have to what you will have
Sacrifice isn’t easy but if it were to bless other people, if it were to touch other people’s inner strengths, and if it were to inspire other people, at the end of the day it will be worth it. Motivational speakers around the world, said that desires aren’t enough it must be tied with people that will make you push through when life knocked you down. We cannot go on by only living with ourselves or by only living on ourselves; Abraham Maslow said that it’s our primary need to contribute. If my friend, Glendon did not give something and my ego gets the best out of me, maybe I don’t know this message and I cannot share this to you. I am personally proud of him that despite we aren’t that close, he is willing to give something to bless people. That’s All IN!!!
Sacrifice also purifies you! It filters out your intentions, it filters your passion, and it filters your blessings! It will cut your ego, it will cut your pride, and it will cut every single thing that isn’t necessary to grow you as a person. If I just listen to that ego and didn’t receive those blessings that are due to me, I don’t know what will happen. In life we must let go of something average to have great things. My ego is average comparing to the blessing that I will get. In life, we must always act to receive. We must leave unnecessary things, people, and events to get what truly matters. Always be ready to let go for us to receive more! Is that Cellphones, gadgets, a person or maybe people a want? Get them out of your life and have more because you always deserve better.
Finally, just give!
It’s the most important and I can say the core of this blog. Just give! Not because you are feeling great or you feeling wonderful after giving, or you expecting something in return from God after giving but because it’s who we are! We are living in shared principles, values, world, etc. Give not because its Christmas or you are a Christian, Islam, or any religion but because you are a person of values! Its believing that they need things: food, shelter, love, appreciation, trust, validation etc. realizing that you also need those things. You believe that in giving people, they will see Christ in your eyes or maybe in your face! You will make them believe that there is God, and you are driven by Him! You change them by giving love and appreciation; you let those people love other people by loving them also. Giving is not a feeling; it’s your obligation as a person.
And so the miracle continues…
As I pay my fare going home, I looked at my wallet and there is something left: papers, a library card, and a picture of my family and Mother Mary but there is no single bill left. As worries came in my mind or the “how-tos” I just prayed, “God, I truly trust you”
In the next morning my long un-seen since birth godfather gave me a gift certificate worth three-thousand, I exchanged it for cash to my Mom and I bought all the necessities and mostly gifts to my siblings and cousins and again, a little is left for myself. Still feeling bad, my second cousin came in to our house and gave us siblings a 500 peso bill each. Men, I cannot thank God for the blessings that He is giving me. Even if I doubt it at first, blessings will always pour in!
For now, I need you to be grateful, to sacrifice and to give to other people so that you will make them feel more blessed. And believe me, they will feel blessed because I am one of them!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Live out, live up, and Fire up!
- PizzaHut Quick Dinner. (2010, March 22). Retrieved December 21, 2015, from http://food.silkenhut.com/quick-dinner-at-pizzahut/