Week 53 – Giving is better than receiving

Today I received many special gifts from some students who are staying at my home. They came from China, so the gifts are special because it represents the Chinese culture. I was very happy to receive so many gifts that I even thought at the time that I did not deserve much. It is very nice to receive gifts when we do not expect, because it gives us a taste of recognition and gratitude.

I know it is very good to receive something, especially when we are not expecting anything, but it is more important to give than to receive. Often we give and expect to get something back; in this case, we are not giving, we are doing an exchange instead. Paul mentioned in Acts 20:35 that Jesus used to say: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I know we live in a world where people are not taking time to think of others because they are too busy with themselves. We need to reflect on the things we can give. I was talking to my friend this weekend about children, about the most import things that they need to receive from their parents nowadays, we both agreed that what they need is time and attention! Your financial conditions do not limit you to give something to someone because you can give your time, something that you no longer use and so on. What can you give today? Stop for a moment and think, we have much more to offer than we imagine. God bless you.

Week 16 – Controlling the time

One of the things that everyone around the world has in common is the time. We all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days per year. It is very interesting to think about when the time really started to be counted in human history. I really like the book “The Time Keeper” by Mitch Albom: he presents characters in the book wishing to have more time, wishing the time to stop and wishing it to pass quicker. He also made us think about our lives without timekeeping, probably impossible to imagine! Because we already know the date, the year, the month which we are. We are busy with our schedule and our calendars. We have clocks around the house; we wear the time on our wrist. We are sometimes late for our meetings or to go the theatre and so on. We try to control the time for almost everything around us but sometimes we cannot do it and it can cause stress and frustration.

We should enjoy every moment of our life, not wish it to pass quickly or slowly, the time is precise, it is perfect.  We need to learn to understand the different periods of our lives. Some times can be good times and some times can be difficult times. The secret is to accept it! “Everything that happens in the world happens at time God chooses … He has set the right time for everything.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,11). If you look at everything around you, you will realise we are the only ones counting the time- the animals and the rest of nature are just there, existing without rushing. Probably this is one of the main problems of today’s society: we are all rushing around to fit as much we can into our days. I do recommend that you make the most of your days, but prioritising things helps to reduce the stress. Remember that you can only do so much in your day, and do not look for the quantity of things you do each day, but for the quality of everything you do. This will help you to enjoy your time with things that really matter to you.

Week 10 – The comeback

A few months ago I was at the airport coming back from a great trip, where I was able to see my family and meet my niece who had just been born. It was a time when I felt a mixture of pain and joy, and it was when I realised that the comeback is good while it lasts …

It is good to come back to a place we know very well, where we grew up and learned many things. It is good to come back to the place we laid our foundations. The comeback leads us to the past. It contains a reminder of everything and everyone, the different, but at the same time recognised, smell in the air! The comeback makes us see that many things have not changed. However, the most important people are changing, because they are getting old: we cannot stop the clock of life – time! The comeback reminds us that one day we left that place to go far away, or perhaps not so very far. We left because we wanted to discover new things, because we wanted to experience different things, because we wanted to discover ourselves. The comeback is good for us, very good, but only while it lasts. Sometimes we need to leave this very well-known place again, we need to seek for more achievements and continue to discover. It is from this point that we discover that the comeback can be endless, and the happiness of the comeback can be connected with the sadness of leaving again.