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When you only have a few…

By: Nanette G. Barzaga


My life in a box… I had actually two balikbayan  boxes which are allowed for new immigrants to take on their flight as they travel to their new home.  As I was putting my stuffs in these boxes, I realized that I need to make a simple decision, that is to bring only the most important things that I need. On my first box,  I had about six t-shirts  three maong pants, personal stuffs, my favorite books my 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube some pieces of pictures, slippers and shoes.  Luckily, I have a carry- on bag to take my Bible, important documents and all my simple precious things. The second one did not really give me any trouble for it contained all the stuffs  I was told to bring, we,  being Filipinos should bring the pasalubongs, traditionally what they truly miss from back home or whatever friends, relatives or just someone who made “pakisuyo”  asked you to bring for them. I had

special noodles, candies, dried mango, sinigang mix, clothes and countless stuffs that they wanted.  I was glad to bring them though,  for I know they will make them happy. In short I had the first box for myself and the other for my family.  The first box was…my life in a box.

When I looked at everything that I brought, and saw the stuffs I had,  that was when I realized I only have a few… truly there are countless occasions that  I needed something and find myself with nothing. It was frustrating.  It saddened me that I cannot readily find the things I needed, because I don’t have them.  I will always say, “I have them back home…”  On one occasion I cried, because I don’t have a stapler, funny because I have all kinds, in different sizes and color both at home and in school. It was again, frustrating.

God never wanted me to be sad and frustrated all the time, Philippians 4:8 says.   “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” So I focused on everything that is good.  As I concentrated on having nothing, I forgot that I still have a few.  Why do I sulk and think about what I don’t have when I have a few and these few are material things actually.  So I redirected myself on the things I have.  I have my family, my parents, health, skills and abilities, friends, my stuffs in the box, and most of all, I have God! Then everything became clearer and I looked at this “back to 0” experiences positively, a chance to move forward without frustrations. It is important to always find the value and worth of everything around us. Never to take what you have in your hands for granted.

God’s presence in our lives is a guarantee that we are never empty. With God, we are always full.  He retunes our thoughts reminding us to see all things in a positive way.  Christmas is a season of hope and thanksgiving. Jesus came to give us life abundantly. Whatever situation in life we are at the moment, we may have only a few or so much, or nothing, God gives us the assurance that we will have abundant life.  1 John 5:11-13 says. “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” When we have Jesus in our lives we don’t need anything else.

Let us be satisfied with the little things we have. Living simply makes life more interesting.  This season of gift giving, think twice on what you put in a box –  it may be big or small, cheap or expensive, it maybe something special or simply something you made, extravagant or ordinary, something permanent or short-lived, or the box may be empty… yet full of prayers.  Life is truly meaningful if we live a simple humble life before God.


“Merry Christmas to all and may we have an abundant year ahead of us.”