Songwriting by the pool

My sister-in-law and her husband were here in Bacolod from Canada for a vacation. My wife and I, together with other relatives, took them to a beautiful subdivision in Dumaguete (around 5 hours drive from Bacolod) which had a swimming pool. While they swam in the pool, I took out my notebook and pen, strummed chords on my Yamaha guitarlele, and started writing a song.

My sister-in-law came near. She seemed fascinated. She told me later that it was the first time she saw the process of songwriting unfolding before her eyes. She was impressed by how easy it was for me to do what I was doing. The words and music seemed to just flow out of my head.

I don’t claim to be a great songwriter. But what she said made me realize that we tend to take our natural gifts for granted because we find the things we’re gifted at easy to do. But those who don’t have our gifts find what we do miraculous!

Moral of the story: Don’t take your gifts for granted. Be thankful for them and use them to bless others.

Occupy, Don’t Encumber

Yesterday I received the news that my aunt died. She was more than 90 years old. Her brother, i.e., my father, died when he was only 66 or 67 years old. That was more than 15 years ago.

No matter how long we live on this earth, one day we will have to leave it. Someday it will be my turn. And the question is: How well did you live your life while you had it? Did you live to merely encumber the ground or did you “occupy” it? “Occupy till I come,” said the Lord.

That means we should make good use of the talents he gave us while we have life in us. In other words: Be useful. Be a blessing. Serve. Redeem the time. Work while it is day because the night is coming when no one could work anymore.

Life is short. Let’s not allow the talents God has given us to go to waste. Let’s not bury them in the ground. Let’s use them for his glory.