Monday, October 13, 2008

Letting Go

I went for a late coffee break at Tim Horton’s last night when I chanced upon a helpless little bird on the pavement. It doesn’t look injured, but it looks like it was confused, cold, and seemingly incapable of flying. It was a good thing people who rush their way into this busy cafe did not trample upon the poor creature. Worried about its impending doom, I took hold of the bird and held it with both of my hands. I was a bit careful not to put so much pressure on the young sparrow, while at the same time careful not to lose it. The more I gripped, the more it chirped. I wanted to take it home, feed it, then set it free whenever it is capable. But my subconscious thoughts told me to set it free immediately. I was a little apprehensive about this, and tried to contradict myself. I let lose of my grasp and away it flew to a nearby tree; far from the crowd and the traffic passing by. I just hope it will survive the coming Canadian winter which can get nasty and bitterly cold.

Pondering about this made me think about a new chapter in my life. You see, I have a younger sister. When we were little kids I made a promise to her that wherever I go someday I will help her, and take good care of her. This childish vow never left my mind through out the years. After being in Canada for more than eleven years I finally was able to fulfill this dream. Lately though, in spite of all my advice and sharing of experiences, she wanted to move from Toronto to Vancouver. It seemed to me she wasn’t too interested in facing this whole new life with my help, or with me around. Perhaps, she has some other personal reasons which she refuses to share. Maybe she is just another one brave individual who wants to tackle a brand new world by her own. Confirming this with her, I felt disppointed; she was too. I was completely adamant againts her ideas and stood on my ground.

Now the little bird still speaks with me in my thoughts as I remember it chirped in my hands as if begging for its life. “Dear sister, I am afraid to let you go. I really worry about what might happen to you in that far away place. You see, I am just shielding you from all the troubles a strange land would give. We are eight thousand miles away from home. I do not want you to experience pain, failures, and frustration. Why are you so willing and brave to face all of this when I can lay everything perfect for you? Since Mom and Dad passed away I am paranoid to lose another one. Let my pain and experiences guide you. Use it and repeat not my struggles.”

Today, I still wonder if that bird ever survived nature’s elements that night. Could it be dead by now, or is it out there happily flying free in the air? Should I let you go sister or should you entrust your future to an age old promise?

The Scorpion and the Wise Man

There was an ancient story about a wise man meditating by the river. In the process, he saw a scorpion that crawled on the rocks and fell on the water. Disturbed by this, he momentarily stopped his meditation and tried to save the poor creature from drowning. As he tried to save the scorpion, it defended itself with its venomous sting causing him severe pain on his hands. After making sure the poor thing crawls back on the rocks he tried to focus back on his meditation. Some seconds later, he observed the scorpion back on the water and struggling for its life. So he halted his prayer once again and tried to save the arachnid from killing itself. Instinctively, the scorpion stung him once again with its tails and causing the man terrible pains.

As all of this happens, another man was observing from the top of a ridge. He yelled to the wise man, “You fool! Why do you keep on saving that creature only to harm you over and over again?” The wise man answered, “Don’t mind me my friend, my nature is to save, its nature is to harm.”

In this life, how many times did we act like the wise man trying to save the scorpion? Have you ever been hurt just because you tried to save another person from hurting themselve once, twice, or over and over again? Have you ever caused pain to your loved ones and acted like you never cared because you were so selfish about your own feelings? Where you ever like the old man sitting by the river judging people by what they see instead of helping those in need?

Man’s relationship with God is like the old man and the scorpion. In Eden, Adam and Eve was expelled because of sin and through this the whole of humanity lost the opportunity to gain an eternal life. But our God is a loving God who in spite of our constant infliction of pain still manages ways to save us even to the extent of giving up His precious Son so that we can partake in the glory of God's heavenly kingdom.

We do not have to live the life style of a monk or a saint to demonstrate love to our fellow man. Let us all cease living selfish lifestyles and be like little Christs in this world. Start caring for the less fortunate even on the simplest of ways. Each good deed takes less weight on the cross Christ carries on his shoulder. The lighter Christ takes our burdens to Calvary, the better this world can be for man and his eternal salvation.