Monday, June 25, 2007


By Joel Ferraris

How time flies.

Gone are the days when, as a kid, I marvel the amazing deeds of the characters in Marvel Comics. It seems that they were true, especially now that they are being "immortalized" in movies with lots of digital special effects to attempt and make "believable" these products of imagination.

Those days of innocence and carefree life are gone.

Gone are days when, as the kid mentality vanishes in me, I played the part of a "hero" in my college days with my own little exploits to boast. That was when, as students, we created our own "wars" in the midst of world peace where our parents enjoy the good life while forgetting the scars of that real world war. It seems that people are just hungry for trouble even if trouble had its fill in the early forties.

Until now I cannot understand the relevance why we did those fratwars in the university. It was then, buried in the past, that I cannot understand why I was so careless. Something was lacking then.

Those days of playing "heroes" in petty quarrels are gone. Now the problems are real!

Now I am approaching my 50th birthday. But instead of being free from worries, I realized that there is a lot of it coming. I keep hearing it from my family, from my friends, from my peers and even from strangers.

A single woman became pregnant but without a husband and she has to abort the child. A wife left her family for another man and so the kids will grow confused about morality.

A brother is sick and we do not have enough to give while another friend is asking for financial help too.

Our house is to be taken by the bank.

A brother is jobless but his wife is pregnant,

Some fraternity brothers are in jail and there is no clear signs of freedom while the rest of those restless youths are still mired in those stupid battles.

My very old Mom and her brother are fighting for an inheritance.

These are just a few in an avalanche of problems you hear each day from people. And in desperation some lay their hopes on crooked, greedy and corrupt politicians who peddle lies in their thirst for power.

I also feel pain inside me as my body starts to deteriorate. Of course what can you expect from a man getting older each day. That is why drug companies make a lot of money.

Gone are the days of manly strength, agility, and the supply of aggressive adrenalin. Gone are my strong physique, and firm muscles - the envy of my gym mates. Even my teeth are disappearing north and south as I remember the song of Cat Stevens.

How time flies so fast.

Yet, even if we see what seems to be dark, cloudy days of life signaling an imminent storm of depression, there is a sure bright streak of light, a flash of lightning while the thunder drumbeats its coming...

Wisdom is finally here! And this is what was missing in my life before.

Silvery gray hair, to some, comes with the approach of old age. It is said that older people have the wisdom. Well, yes it is true but not all. It all depends if this is founded on strong spirituality. It is true if that spiritual awareness reaches a level of enlightenment - that only God the Father Almighty has the answer to all of life's questions.

There are those who die old but are spiritually blind. They are doomed. They are the ones who are growing old and talking... while young men are dying (from the movie Troy).

But there are those who just physically die, or did not even have to die, and went to Heaven. Elijah and Enoch are the best examples. They are the messengers of God the Father Almighty. Their kind, whose words of Wisdom come from God the Father Almighty, save the young from destruction and death. Some of them grow old and talk... but the words that they speak have Wisdom and therefore gives life.

Amidst this emotional and psychological tempest of hearing my family, friends, peers and even strangers in their litany of life's difficulties what best remedy there is but to offer them the Words of God the Father Almighty. His commandments and teachings give life and answers for all life's problems. Only He, the Supreme Creator could offer the best solution.

It is therefore the best expression of love to family, friends, peers and strangers to impart the knowledge about the Wisdom of God the Father to them so that they will adore and glorify Him in truth for He is the Author of Life. Once faith and personal relationship between God the Father Almighty and people are established their prayers will be answered in His own perfect time.

As one true example, our ancestral house and lot, which was supposed to be repossessed by a bank, was sold to an unexpected buyer who just seemed to come from nowhere. The timely sale of our ancestral property enabled my mother to build a small but new and better place for her to spend the remaining years of her life. Of course this is no magic that come from nowhere but a sure miracle from Heaven because in the many years and months when we were burdened by this problem I always told my mother to stop the wrong ways and practices in worship but instead have strong faith and trust in God the Father Almighty.

And we did came out victorious in this battle without even applying the delaying strategy of law just to regain the property for to me a new beginning inspired by forgiveness, is better than remaining in status quo fueled by hatred, bitterness and lies.

This has a parallelism in the divine teachings that one needs to be born again in Spirit to have eternal life. One has to get rid of the old one to claim the new one. So the old house where I grew up as a child, with all its good and bad memories, is gone to make room for a new structure built on strong spiritual foundation. It is a product of faith.

And what better way to prepare my mother for her inevitable departure from this world but to teach her about peace, love and forgiveness...and most of all true worship.

With this I have one example too.

We went to visit her elder brother in a faraway mountainous town in Iloilo. In their 80's and have not seen each other for a long time, they missed each other a lot. Tears were silently flowing as they embraced each other. But after a few minutes of pleasant exchanges what ensued was the ever-expected sibling dispute about inheritance of ancestral properties.

Those pleasant smiles were soon replaced by anger and bitterness and loud voices. As expected in probably all disputes, one will accuse the other as the liar. I and my brother, together with our cousins, listened.

After giving them enough time to finally become tired of talking I broke my silence. I reminded them that they are already old and that there is neither enough time nor enough evidence from people long dead to testify the claims of falsity or truth of the other.

I reminded them about their faith in God the Father Almighty who sees all things and judges all things and that they have to prepare for their afterlife instead of fighting in this life and sadly die in bitterness and unforgivingness.

The best answer for disputes is forgiveness because, even if the aggressor will not recognize his mistake, sadly one day he will regret that he refused your offer of peace and forgiveness for judgement will surely come bitter and fearsome.

God the Father Almighty is not asleep and He is not deaf to the cries of the innocent and the oppressed. But what He values the most is our recognition of His place in our hearts, in our thoughts and in our whole life before He answers our prayers. And this is the truth that we need to impart to those who are close to our hearts as a measure of our love for them. In contrast, a worldly kind of love will only lead to death.

It is not how much we materially give but how much we gave up just to love and serve others. We give up worldly pride, positions and power and the image that the world expects of us. Instead we accept divine humility in becoming servants of God the Father Almighty to spread His Words to the needy, rich or poor, in the midst of mockery, ridicule and persecution by an unbelieving and unfaithful multitude.

Spiritual and material wealth will come to those who recognize, accept, adore and finally love God the Father Almighty.