When Millionaires Walk Home

I was writing on my journal inside a coffee shop this afternoon when I noticed familiar faces. I saw our family friends: an uncle and his son who were our former neighbors. Even though we transferred to another village, they still occasionally catch up with our parents whenever they have free time. I wasn’t able to say hi, but, I saw them walk out of the store 10 minutes after I sat down.

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From my seat, I observed them walk towards the parking area. I was expecting a driver waiting for them or a fancy car parked nearby. But, to my surprise, they didn’t stop at the parking area. They just continued to walk towards the back gate of the village (where they lived) beside the coffee shop. You might be thinking, “So what if they walked?” Well, it was something that I did not expect because I knew that they were millionaires (Side note: They have a flourishing business that God uses to bless others too). I just assumed that their bodyguard or driver would just be on standby 24/7, but, it was just them. When they were out of sight, I smiled and told God: “Wow, Lord. What a humbling moment.”

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Before I went to the coffee shop today, I asked God to bless my alone time with Him. I also wanted to set aside time today to thank Him for certain blessings and privileges recently. After I saw our former neighbors, I knew that God wanted to teach my heart a lesson. Even though they were millionaires, they didn’t make a fuss about walking back home while carrying their bags. They just enjoyed the time they spent with each other as they sipped their coffee and engaged in conversation.

I realized that if I’m not careful, I can easily be deceived by my own selfish ambitions. But, by God’s grace, He continues to keep my heart focused on Him. Today, he reminded me of a few things:

1) Even though I sometimes have extra money to spare, I need to be wise in the way I spend it. Not excessively and unnecessarily. As much as possible, I need to lessen my expenses and be more creative and resourceful in budgeting and handling my finances.

2) He also encouraged me not to be proud or to find my security and identity in earthly things, in relationships, and in my “status” in society.

3) He reminded me that everything I have and everything about me is only by His grace. Because of this, there really is no reason for me to have a sense of entitlement in any situation.

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How ironic it was for me to be reminded of these things while I was drinking an expensive cup of coffee. *sigh* Nonetheless, I thank God for random moments like this. I guess He really wanted me to be inside that coffee shop this afternoon. :)

To an amazing example of humility, tito P and tita A, may the Lord continue to bless your hearts and the work of your hands! Thank you.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” –James 3:13

When I Sat on Chocolate Cake

I rarely eat sweets. But, when people offer chocolate cake, brownies, or crinkles, I usually give in. Most of the time, I buy or make these chocolate desserts whenever I crave sugar. I guess eating them is just a delightful thing to do! On the other hand, sitting on chocolate (or chocolate cake, in my case) is a different story. Haha! Let me share with you the highlight of my day.

Chocolate Cake and Outfit of the Day
Chocolate Cake and Outfit of the Day

Before going to work today, I spent time with God by writing my thoughts and prayers on my journal. In my heart, somehow, I knew that I was struggling with pride because I was dwelling on thoughts about “my” strengths or “my” good points. It was crazy. I wanted to share this struggle to God, but instead of acknowledging my pride and asking for His forgiveness, I just wrote “I humble myself before you, Lord, etc” on my notebook. After writing, I felt like I just sugar coated the words that came out of my heart. When I think about it now, it is so weird that I didn’t write what was really inside my heart. Was I worried about getting caught by others who might read my journal? Was I trying to hide my pride? Why was I so afraid to accept and write the truth when I was having a conversation with the One who created me; who knows my struggles even before I confess?

Fast forward to 6pm, while I was leaving the office, one of my colleagues asked if I had my period because it seemed like I had a huge stain on my black skirt. I told her that I didn’t. But, eventually, we realized that I had accidentally sat on a huge piece of chocolate cake this afternoon during our break. I felt so embarrassed because I walked around the building for hours that afternoon and I didn’t notice or feel it. Also, those who may have noticed it probably didn’t know how to inform me. Huhuhu. You could just imagine my reaction when I found out hours after the incident.

As I sat inside the car on my way home, I still felt ashamed. But because I didn’t want to think about it anymore, I tried to process things. I asked myself why I was so bothered by it. And then, I realized that I became so conscious of other people and of what they thought about the chocolate stain on my skirt. Clearly, my pride was affected and I was thinking too much of myself. I then remembered my time with God earlier today.

God spoke to my heart and convicted me of my pride. If I continue to be proud and if I choose not to acknowledge that the “strengths and good points” that I have were all because of God and His grace, I won’t be giving God the glory He deserves. Today’s incident was such a humbling reminder for me to always humble myself before God, acknowledge my weakness, repent, and do my best to honor and obey Him.

“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”-Matthew 23:12

Grateful for today. :)
Grateful for today. :)

In spite of the embarrassing (and funny) situation today, I still thank God for showing His grace to me through these three things:

1.) At least, I was wearing a BLACK skirt. Haha!.

2.) I had a colleague who was kind and brave enough to warn/inform me.

3.) God didn’t want to let this day pass without helping me guard my heart from pride.

 

“Whenever I climb too high
Keep my feet on the ground
And when I get full of me turn me upside down
You know pride and not just summer
Come before the fall
So if You that’s getting bigger
I don’t mind being small”

[Jimmy Needham – Being Small]

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.

THURSDAY TUNE #23: A Million Miles Away

I was driving home from work today when a car abruptly swerved right in front of me. Immediately, I felt my heart beat faster as I pressed the horn for about two seconds and stepped on the brake. “Man! That was close.” I said to myself.

A few meters further, I found myself looking intently at the car and wondered why the driver had to do that. I even saw him talking and laughing with another person who was in his car like nothing happened. And while I continued to drive with my scrunched eyebrows, I felt a strong urge to let go of it and to not hold a grudge towards the driver who almost hit my brother’s car.

But, because of my stubborn heart, I still thought about it for a minute or two and drove with a heavy heart. I even drove faster just to overtake the car. And finally, when I was in front of him, I felt a kind of satisfaction that lasted for only a few seconds. The car, then, drove towards the east and I drove towards the west.

At this point, God was clearly speaking to my heart and was prompting me to humble myself before Him and confess the pride that was in me. By God’s grace, I did. I asked for His forgiveness for being so preoccupied with myself that I let it take control of me instead of lifting the situation up to God. I then expressed my desire to change and honor Him the next time it happens.

Photo was taken two years ago. It was my first time to drive alone. :)
Photo was taken two years ago. It was my first time to drive alone. :)

Sometimes, it frustrates me whenever I give in to my weaknesses, especially when I choose to honor myself and not God. But, God constantly reminds me of his desire for me to walk intimately with Him and my decision years ago to surrender every part of me to Him. So, even if I still struggle in different aspects, I am encouraged to look to Christ instead and find my strength in Him as I improve for Him. He is gracious and faithful and His mercies are new every morning.

After 20 minutes of driving, I finally entered our village. While I was a minute away from our place, I suddenly realized that the car I drove was subject to number coding. I couldn’t believe it. As I parked the car, all I could hear was “Such Grace! Grace… Grace… Grace.” I was so concerned with the other driver’s fault that I failed to see my own careless act of bringing a car out when I wasn’t supposed to.

God humbled my heart and it was only by His grace that I survived today.

It says in Psalm 103:8, 11-12

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love…

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

 

I recently discovered this song by Hawk Nelson through YouTube and it encourages me to get back up again whenever I struggle or make mistakes. Because of His grace, He gives us the strength and desire to choose Him even in the midst of temptations, difficulties, and frustrations.

 


Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)