Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God's Way

(inspired by one of Paulo Coelho's novel)

I just read a short novel by Paulo Coelho recently. The prologue of this novel was an eye opener. Here is the part that took my breath away

“A Spanish missionary was visiting an island when he came across three Aztec priests. “How do you pray?” the missionary asked. “We have only one prayer,” answered one of the Aztecs. “We say, God you are three, we are three. Have pity on us.” “A beautiful prayer,” said the missionary. “But it is not exactly the one that God heeds. I am going to teach you one that’s much better."
The missionary taught them a Catholic prayer and then continued his path of evangelism.

Years later, when he was returning to Spain, his ship stopped again at the island. From the deck, the missionary saw the three priests on the shore and waved to them. “Padre! Padre!” one of them called, approaching the ship. “Teach us again that prayer that God heeds. We’ve forgotten how it goes.”
"It doesn’t matter,” responded the missionary, witnessing the miracle. And he promptly asked God’s forgiveness for failing to recognize that He speaks all languages. ”

How many times we feel that our way of life, including religion, faith and custom, is better than everybody else’s, especially of those whose life and faith are different from ours. We often forgot that God has created His people different from one another - to complete each other. Human tends to judge anything that’s different from them as bad and threatening. In that limited point of view, we end up missing out a lot.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baby! It's Karaoke Time

The Journey of the Clown Kids

The first time going to a karaoke place with my kids was like the first time taking them to school. Excited and nervous. They were a bit hesitant at first because the place was dark and small. After a while, they relaxed a bit and began surveying the equipments and the food menu. My Clown Prince must’ve thought that this place was a junk-food restaurant, because his face brightened seeing pages of his favorite-but-off-the-limit-food offered. “Wow, Ma, I want French fries and Oreo. Then if I am still hungry, I want spaghetti and ice cream.” They each got a bottle of water instead.

Since this was my first time too (after 20 years) in a karaoke, I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of my snappy judgmental kids. My husband was out of town that time so it was just the three of us. I asked the helper to find me children songs. The helper – a friendly young boy - stayed with us for a while, helping me tune up the sound and teaching me how to use the computer. I saw a great selection of the children songs. I immediately selected a long list of familiar songs, like Twinkle Twinkle, Row Row Row, ABC song, Five Little Ducks, Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, You are My Sunshine and many more. My kids weren’t that thrilled. Even Nina – who was age appropriate for those songs - looked bored. Mike sighed and started asking me about the junk food again. Boy, singing karaoke back in my high school time was a lot simpler than this.

I panicky browsed through the selection again. Accidentally I clicked the best song category instead of children’s. Michael quickly caught the title on the top. Justin Beiber’s Baby. Voila! They kicked off the session with the Baby song. Both of them were at their feet, singing, dancing, feeling the beat. Without further ado, came along Kelly Clarkson’s My Life Would Suck without You. Then followed closely by Jason Mraz’s Lucky, Michael Buble’s Haven’t Met You Yet, Taylor Swift’s Love Story, Rolling Stone’s You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Rihanna’s Take a Bow, Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror, Lionel Richie’s Endless Love, and Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. In between this line-up, Justin Beiber’s Baby got a few repeat orders. And everytime I sang along Baby, Nina frowned at me and said, ”Mama, don’t sing! This is my song, not your song.” What ???