Posts Tagged ‘Lessons’

The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. (Psalm 126:3)
I recall my four years of stay in PNU with such fondness and tearful eyes. If every milestone is a framed painting, I would like to believe college is a completed masterpiece, now with added highlights of gold. But the painting isn’t all happy colors. There were hues of purple and gray, of wicked green and pitch black. There were moments of self-doubt, confusion, and plain heartaches. In my limited perspective, there were those I-don’t-get-why-this-should-happen times; the “times that try men’s souls”; the painful times of failures and losing battles and letting go.
My masterpiece wasn’t all gold. But if there’s just one thing I’ve learned in college, it’s that I am being painted by the Best Artist ever, One who doesn’t just want a great work of art but loves the painting very dearly, too. I’ve learned to thank Him for the happy colors, and to trust Him as He paints the darker hues. I’ve learned to entrust my heart to Him, and to wait for Him to gather me back into His arms when He, in the process of teaching, breaks me into pieces.
College taught me to lie still as God turns my dull existence of a canvass into a picture-story worth telling.
College taught me to not be afraid of going out of my comfort zone, so long as God is the one calling out to me.
College taught me that, yes, life will have an abundance of heartbreaks–but all will be beautiful ones with God securing me under His wings.
College made me realize that life paintings will have various shades of painful reds and insecure greens, of confusing grays and sorrowful blacks. And that’s okay, because my life-picture needs all those colors to be my loving Painter’s masterpiece, along with all the silver linings and golden highlights.
And more importantly, college taught me that people come and go, but there are those who are meant to stay–in our hearts, forever. These are the people who matter. These are those souls who hugged yours tight when you weren’t in your best state to be hugged. These people are the strokes in my canvass that made all the difference.
The past four years have been a series of mental, emotional, and spiritual crash courses for me. I learned, I taught,  I laughed and cried, I broke my heart, and again learned a lot in the process. As I look back to see the kind of masterpiece God painted of me, I can only say, “Jesus led me all the way.”
When all thy mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys, transported with the view, I’m lost in wonder, love, and praise. (Addison, 1712)
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Quickly Fading

Posted: November 23, 2014 in Prose
Tags: , , , ,

Old Grandpa sat on his rocking chair. He was staring at the flower garden again. Last spring, the flowers were all blooming. The lilies were glowing so white. The roses, so red. The orchids were all blooming. I couldn’t help but fall in love with these creatures, especially with the pink roses. But this week, they started to wither. Autumn had come, and the flowers’ beauty began to fade away.

“Grandpa,” I said as I approached him. As a six year old girl, I always loved to talk and spend time with my Grandpa. He seemed so wise, so understanding, so loving.

“Well hello, Lizzie. Come here, girl,” Grandpa smiled. His warm greeting was like the sun to me. And it warmed my heart, as it always did before.

I sat on Grandpa’s lap. I noticed he was still gazing at the flowers. So I asked him, “Grandpa, why do you always stare at the flowers?”

“Don’t you want to stare at them too, Lizzie?”

“Not when they’re withering. There’s nothing much to see.”

Grandpa chuckled. “Flowers are the forgotten meaning of beauty, dear child. They tell us something when they are in bloom; that is true. They are the living that proves the beauty of simplicity. But they tell much more when they wither. They remind us of the brevity of life and beauty. And they are so much like humans.”

“Like us, Grandpa? How?” I inquired, and he began to tell me his story.

Grandpa was a sturdy and dominant young man. He was successful both in politics and in business. He was known throughout the country, and he enjoyed the privileges of being the “favored one” of the society. He was handsome, strong, and rich. Like a gorgeous flower, he was blooming.

He was all settled, and he could have made it to the list of United States’ most prominent men. But then autumn came in his life, and his blooming figure began to wither.

The first petal to fall was his fame. He got involved in some political issue. It was rumored that he manipulated the ballots during one election. Though it was never proved, this rumor dethroned him as the people’s apple of the eye. Thus he left the world of politics.

And then a year later, he fell into a severe sickness, myositis by name, which damaged his muscle coordination permanently. Thus his strength, the second petal, fell.

Because of his damaged reputation and inability to work, his business greatly tumbled down. Investors withdrew their shares because of my Grandpa’s damaged reputation. He was at the very edge of bankruptcy. As his business fell, so did his wealth. The third petal has fallen. The heart of autumn had arrived, and my Grandpa started to wither—socially, mentally, and physically.

The once apple of the eye of the society became a plague for them. The loved and favored one, in such a short span of a time, transformed into an object of the people’s hatred. The winds have changed. The weather altered. Spring had come to an end, and days of cold and painful winter started to reign in his life.

He lost properties. He lost friends. He lost his money. He was left with nothing but his family, an old, almost-tumbled-down house, and barely enough money from his pension after retirement. From a great figure, he became an old man in a rocking chair.

“It has been such a short period of blooming, Lizzie,” concluded Grandpa. “Days of glory has been short, and followed by long periods of pain and misfortune,” he sighed. “Oh well, like what that old Chinese proverb said, man cannot be always fortunate; flowers don’t last forever.”

“But Grandpa, why do we have to wither, like these flowers in our garden? It’s so sad.” I frowned.

“It might be a sad thing. But you see, Lizzie girl, old flowers have to die. It is only in this way that new flowers, like you, can grow and bloom. Such is the reality and cycle of life. The death of one marks the birth of another. Flowers that wither and die give way for new ones to sprout up and have their chance to live and enjoy life.

Have you ever wondered why people who died for their nation are called heroes? It is because they offered up their lives for the hope of the future generation. They died, so others, so that the young ones, can live. So you, Lizzie, you are one for whom our fore fathers died. Make sure they did not die in vain. Live your life to the fullest. Use the days of your youth wisely. And make the most of your spring time. Always remember, flowers don’t last forever.”