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Oct 7, 2022

It Is My Birthday Again 2022

By Ianpassion
Picture at the viewpoint in Manang, Satun, Thailand 


On my birthday, I already make it a habit to write a birthday reflection. I usually reflect on my past experiences and give thanks to the Creator of life for giving me another year to live.


But today, after reading the news about the 34 people murdered, including kindergarten children, at one of Thailand's daycare centers in the northeast, I found it difficult to write a reflection. Piyalak Kingkaew, an experience emergency worker, heading the first responder team told to Reuter, "We've been through it before, but this incident is most harrowing because the victims are little kids." Read more here...


And....this year, I attended several funeral services.  Although the ceremony was very different from what my family back home does, there was one thing that is similar which made me pause and reflect: LIFE IN THIS WORLD IS TEMPORARY and LIFE IS FRAGILE. Whether we like it or not, we will leave this physical world and return to where our souls reside eternally. But the day or hour is a mystery. No one knows. 


Nobody desires to leave early from this world. Everybody is scared. But it's a fact that we all have to live with. It's important to remember that this world is not our permanent residence. If we place too much importance on it, we may find ourselves unwilling to go since our hearts are here. It makes sense why the Son warns against hoarding wealth on earth and instead advises doing it in paradise, where it will be safe from thieves and moths. Because where there is a treasure, there your heart will be as well (see Mathew 6:19-21).


Yes, when we are sick, our money can help cover the cost of quality medication and hospitalization to help us recover. Yes, money is very helpful. However, money cannot buy life. It cannot make us be immortal.


Consider some wealthy people in the world. With my respect and appreciation, consider the Queen of England. Of course, England has vast resources to pay the best doctors and medical scientists in the world to treat the Queen. Yes, they could treat her, but they couldn't make the Queen live forever.


Why am I bringing this up? It is because I am eternally grateful to our heavenly Father for the gift of life. I'm not sick. I also don't want to get sick because I don't have enough money to pay for good medical care. Some people died during COVID, but I am still alive. On my birthday, I may not receive gifts from people, but having another year to live is already a huge gift from Above. I have no desire for more. I am already very grateful that I can still stand and walk on two legs. I can still eat my favorite foods. I can still feed myself properly with my two hands. And there are many more reasons to be thankful, so I should not take this life for granted.


On the other hand, I am saddened by the deaths of 34 innocent people, including very young children. This morning I cried. I felt so sorry for the families who had lost loved ones, especially parents who had lost their children. These victims did not deserve to die. But it happened. I asked a question, why? But I found no answer. Which I don't really understand. So I cried. I sobbed....what if it happened to me, my family, or my children?


LIFE IS A GIFT, as I said before. This life is precious, and we shouldn't take it for granted. Every day is a blessing. A favor from above. It is a blessing that we can still get up from our bed today. 


In this regard, I constantly evaluate myself in order to remain humble in all circumstances and not take advantage of others. I try not to hurt people, but if I do, I ask for forgiveness.
 



I would like to conclude my birthday reflection with this idiom: 

When the bird is still alive, it eats ants.
But, when the bird died, the ant eats the bird.


We must remember that time is more powerful than us. Time can shift at any time. We may be strong and powerful today, but we may not be tomorrow. Nothing lasts forever. So don't use our power to diminish or harm others, especially the little ones (see Mathew 18:10).  Instead, we should use our power to empower the weak by loving and caring them. 


I'd like to thank Thailand and my Thai family and friends for welcoming me into their beautiful country. Thailand is my home. And I want to thank everyone who has been so kind and loving to me, especially my family and friends (you know who you are). Grace and blessings to you and your family.


Above all, on my birthday, I give thanks and honor to our Almighty Great Great Father (The Great I Am).


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