Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
After watching the movie tonight, I learned the background of that scene. John (played by Owen) was in fact running after Marley (the puppy) who suddenly got loose from the hands of admiring passerbys. It was not a carefree run. In fact, as a result, John was scolded by the person who caught Marley. He was warned to put the puppy on a leash until trained for it might do something that will ban dogs from that particular beach.
Life in a way is like having a pet. We sometimes make a decision to get one because it looked cute or felt good at that time. We do not always think about the consequences that they would bring. Yeah, I know, this was the subject of a previous blog. But watching the movie made it more real to me. I, too, have been guilty of making that decision. I adopted Pretzel, a cat, because I hated the idea that it would be put to sleep. I did not realize then that Pretzel would require a lot of food and unholy feeding time.
Jenny (or Jennifer Aniston) verbalized in the movie (sorry for spoilers!) that no one really prepares people for what having pets, getting into marriage or bearing kids would entail. Each decision required her to give up so much. It was the same for John. He felt that responsibilities made him give up a great dream.
In the same scene that Jenny said that she gave up so much, she also declared that she would not change the choices she made. The crazy things that Marley did are the same things that made them love him so much. It was the same thing for her marriage. The difficult things that life can bring are the same one we would treasure. It’s what makes life worth living.
Marley and Me is not only about dogs. It is a glimpse of how choices could totally change lives. True, John and Jenny seemed like they had it easy. Real life would be more complicated and challenging. There would be more fights, more misunderstandings, more tears. Especially if God is not the center on which the marriage is founded.
The movie dealt with too many themes that some would consider it as incoherent. But isn’t life a mélange of so many things happening all at the same time? And life can be incoherent when you don’t know the purpose of the things you are doing.
It is a good reminder again that each one of us really need to think and pray a lot about our choices. From getting dogs, looking for new jobs, tying the knot and having babies.
Before I end, I have to mention that John said he often surprises himself. I have to state though that it is God who often surprises us. Because it is Him who knows us best and what is best for us.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Ah, February! You can feel the air pulsating with all the romance, passion, sweetness and giddiness (kilig!) of this month of love. Soon we shall see bouquets of red roses, chocolates in heart-shape boxes, and streets filled with couples holding hands.
But for some of us who are single, the tendency is to detest this particular time of the year. We ask ourselves how come we can’t seem to find our “other half” in a world of 6.6 billion people, with a ratio of almost 1 to 1? Where, as Jerry Maguire said, is that one who would “complete me”? We want to find the love of our life.
Sometimes I wonder though if it is worth finding the “one?” I recall the stories of pain and suffering that this search, this journey has been known to bring. We hear of or know people who were supposed to be in love. Yet they ended up separated, living with someone they did not marry, or are part of a second or third family. Even worse is if we, ourselves, are a part of that family.
But on the other side of the coin, I know of couples who remained true to their vows up to the end of their lives. I remember the couple seated beside me on the plane, married for 56 years, and still referring to each other with terms of endearment like “babe” and “honey.” We do not even need to go far to find examples, there are many in our own backyards.
There is the reality though that many girls wish to fall in love with a good-looking guy who can provide for them comfortably, take them on luxurious travels, and then live happily ever after. Guys, on the other had, tend to fall in love with women with lovely figures and beautiful faces, who will serve as their trophy to show off to their buddies.
But is falling in love with the “right” person enough?
Jan Struther said, “It’s as important to marry the right life as it is the right person.”
To check if a person is the “right life” you’re looking for, consider these areas of compatibility which author Steve Farrar mentioned in his book “How to ruin your life by 40.”
He suggested that a couple’s compatibility needs to be on six levels: intellectually, emotionally, socially, volitionally (decision-making), spiritually and physically. The first five are learned through convering with one another, implying that there should be more of these in a relationship before marriage. His words make sense to me. (For more of his works, check out www.stevefarrar.com)
I have never been in a romantic relationship. I don’t know what it feels like to be in love. One thing for sure, I would like to be able to say what Jonathan Edwards, considered as America’s most important and original philosophical theologian, said. At his deathbed, he was said to have uttered these words: “Give my kindest love to my dear wife, and tell her that the uncommon union which has so long subsisted between us has been of such a nature as I trust is spiritual and therefore will continue forever.”
I have come to the conclusion that love is a decision tied closely with commitment. True, it can start with attraction, feel a “tingly spark”, followed by the welling-up of emotion that begins from your heart that goes to your gut. But it should not stop there. Love is irrational yet rational. It should consider the union of two different lives. For love to be real, it has to survive the storms this world would bring. And it is only possible if it is centered on God and decided by both the heart and the mind.
May we all desire to have that. Let us choose the uncommon union that would last.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Like a tornado.
Trying to put into words
Thoughts churning within.
Often in chaos.
Sometimes standing still.
Denying the reality.
Put into writing
Surge of ideas
Millions of questions
Hope for the fullness of light
But the darkness sneaks in.
Appeal in prayer.
Put wisdom from heaven.
Faith on the High One.
Unfold the way.
Lion Chaser Manifesto
Chase the lion.
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (www.evotional.com)