One day as I sat in the sister’s quarters living room waiting for someone who had made an appointment to see me, I had a chance to appreciate the 80-gallon aquarium we have a the EDSA Shrine. I realized that the aquarium had been there for years, and I never really stopped to look at it, much less appreciate it. I admit: I am always rushing in and out.

Well, this time, I attentively watched the fish swim, and I tried to notice the many little details that went into putting up this aquarium. I thought, how would it look if I had a free hand at fixing the aquarium? What plants will I put? Will I put real plants or plastic ones that can pass for real? If I had to clean the aquarium myself, how would I go about it?

I realized that since I had never tried to do it, I did not know where to start. I did not even know what types/ kinds of fish I would put in there if I had the choice. I guess I never quite appreciated the aquarium because I do not understand the amount of time and effort required to keep it clean, attractive, safe for the fish, and worth all the time and money put into it. I never did it myself.

Perhaps that is pretty much the case with anything in life. I have heard many adults appreciate their parents more when they become parents. I guess we never really appreciate the good things we have unless we do them ourselves. We will not appreciate the joy a baby gives until we care for the baby ourselves and see the baby respond to us. We will not appreciate good cooking or good bread until we try to get our own hands dirty and do it ourselves.

We will not understand the concept of love unless we stick our heads out and really risk loving someone.

“Do it yourself.” This sells in the United States. Almost everyone does everything himself in a country like the U.S. All the possible “Do it yourself” kits and tools are available at the flick of a finger. That does not seem to be the reality in the Philippines, though. Here we have a wealth of people to do anything for us. We have cooks to whip up our daily dishes. We have drivers to drive us anywhere we please. We have “yayas” to enjoy our children for us. We have tutors to help our children with their difficult assignments. So what is left for us? I hope we are left with the loving. But do we do that ourselves too? Or do we send all kinds of things to our loved ones instead of lavishing them with our presence? Can’t we tell people we love them ourselves? Must we hire a singing telegram or make the florist’s delivery boy have the joy of seeing the bright smile of the recipient of the flowers the florist picked and arranged for us?

Not only are our meals not cooked at home anymore. They are also not bought at the local outlets personally anymore either. There is a delivery service for every need or craving.

A good manager, it is said, is one who delegates work well. He cannot afford to do everything himself. Otherwise, the job might not be done well because of the many details that go into a project.

Can you imagine if the world were created by God using different creators? Maybe some species will have varied editions. In fact, sometimes I cannot help but feel a tinge of envy when I think of the Old Testament times when God spoke to His people directly. At that time, He worked well with prophets. He delegated work to them. They were His mouthpieces, his foot soldiers. I think He realized that the system did not work too well. So He decided to do it Himself. He came in flesh and blood and lived in our midst. He became like one of us. He felt everything we feel as human beings. He did everything we do, except sin. He did it Himself. All the lessons He taught us, He taught by examples, by His life. He did it Himself. That is why His teachings are so effective, He lived it all Himself. He came Himself not only to tell us He loved us but to show us.

He knew how it was to be tired and in demand with people still pressing Him for more. He knew how it was to craft a chair. He did it Himself. He knew how to fish, He did it Himself. Suffer the weight of a cross He knew too well. He did it Himself. He carried His cross without complaint, without hurling an insult at another. He did it Himself. He only spoke words of forgiveness and love.

How can we claim it is impossible? Christ did it Himself. Even if He were God, He prayed. He prayed for guidance, for strength, for grace. He prayed so that He could always be attuned to the Father’s Will.

Now, how long do we pray? How often do we catch ourselves asking others to pray for us? There is nothing wrong with that. It is nice though if we check ourselves before we ask others to pray for us. How long have we prayed on our own? Can we make sure we do it ourselves first, so that we can reap the fruits of prayer: KNOWING AND LOVING GOD HIMSELF? Do it yourself.

Jesus Our Light

One Reply to “DO IT YOURSELF”

  1. Wow, what an inspiring message I got today Most Rev. Bishop Soc. Because lately I am discerning if I will do it myself doing the massage of my painful knee, or ask our PT to do it for myself.

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