the second time i went to portland, oregon to visit my childhood friend, rhea, back in 1993, i forgot to leave behind a peculiar filipino nature that would do me no good in a country like america.
i was ecstatic to be met by rhea and her american husband, gerry, at the airport after the long transatlantic flight. feeling a bit famished though, i was relieved that Gerry had gone through Burger King’s drive-thru for some quick food. when he asked me if i wanted a whopper, instinctively, being the filipino that i am, i said, “no, thank you. i’m alright,” presuming that he would ask again and i would get to say, “okay then, thanks.” ( to us, it is polite to say no the first time.)
to my astonishment, gerry simply took my word for it, did not ask me again nor get me anything. good Lord! everyone in the van had a whopper, chips, and soda. not only did i feel bad and stupid, i was salivating the whole trip for a bite. i was starved. i learned my first lesson the hard way.
we prefer the act of giving. we feel proud and good but it doesn’t necessarily follow with the act of receiving. with the latter, i always find myself declining. i like to show that i’m good, i’m okay. no, thank you.
similarly, when it comes to graces from above, we lose out on many because we act like we’re fine on our own. like, we don’t need anything. like, we can handle things.
“The greatest spiritual blessing we receive is when we come to the knowledge that we are destitute. Until we get there, our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us as long as we think we are sufficient in and of ourselves.” — My Utmost For His Highest
“My Lord God, grant me the grace of humility and modesty. Bless me with all the graces i need to overcome difficulty, lack, and fear… yes, Lord, i want them all. and also, to accept You permanently as my Savior. bless me tonight and all whom i love, dear Jesus.”