Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Fire and The Firefly

Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
-- Galatians 6:7-8

Little children have a fascination for fire. One night VECO decided to cast its infamous brown out spell to our entire neighborhood, and since we had no kerosene lamp, my wife lighted a candle. As the orange and yellow glow coming from the candle bathed the interior of our house, my one year old daughter, Eleanor, reached out to touch the burning candle. When I saw what she was about to do, it was already too late to stop her. My daughter suffered a very slight burn, but she learned a very important lesson that night – if you play with fire you get burned.

We grown ups considers ourselves as more mature than little children, yet from time to time we behave like na├»ve, little child. Like little children, we couldn’t tell the difference between a fire and a firefly.

Luis was a young professional working in a skyscraper-dotted business district somewhere in Manila. Like most yuppies, he was a sucker for the latest trends and gadgets. Even though his budget was on the edge, he couldn’t help himself being attracted to the latest silver 80G iPod Classic, ultra-slim Wave S8500 cell phone, Sony (bluetooth) headphones, 13” Macbook Aluminum, etc. As a result, he was buried deep in debt with three credit card companies after him. Yet in spite of all these, he remained ever faithful to his mantra, “Enjoy life now because life is too short (even to the point of excess)”.

Mario was a good-looking 30-year old something married man. But even with 3 children, he hadn’t abandoned his favorite pastime when he was still single; he liked to flirt a lot, and his proud of it. As a result, he had frequent confrontations with his wife over his "moonlighting". As his marriage hit rock-bottom, he felt that what was happening to his marriage wasn’t right, but when a girl looked at him seductively, and flashed that flirtatious smile, Mario just couldn’t help himself. “I’m a man…”, was his favorite mantra.

God created the world as one gigantic university that operates under one very simple rule: “You reap what you sow”. And there is only one type of exam: God places before you a fire, and a firefly. The fire represents the sinful ways of the world – attractive and enticing yet deadly, and destructive. The firefly represents the ways of God, unpopular yet life-giving, and truly satisfying. Your choices determine your fate; determine the kind of life you’re going to live. Will you remain a helpless child or become a man strong in spirit?

At this very moment, the fire and the firefly are set before you. It's time to make a choice. He is waiting...

PS: God always wanted to keep it straight and simple, so he gave only one textbook – the Holy Bible. Read it. Follow it. And reap the right fruits.

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