After taking three written comprehensive exams in one day, I decided to treat myself to the nostalgic pleasure of Meteor Garden. Nice thing about the series was that it was fun and long. Season 1 has 19 episodes, and season 2 has 30; the pleasure could be extended to a great number of days or weeks. What's not so nice about it was that I had much too fun far too long. As each episode ran, I enjoyed the thrill of running alongside it. The race was long and it was a torture to cut it into shorter laps. On certain occasions, when I could find a tiny bit of self-control in my system, I'd turn the DVD player and TV off. Even then, I couldn't keep my thoughts from racing back and forth. I realized that this Taiwanese series had its claws sunk deep within me. They took hold of my flesh and my thoughts. Even while reflecting and meditating, I was distracted with the popping images of F4 and Shancai in my head. Funny, eh?
I had finished the last episode last night... and was thinking of starting the Korean version titled "Boys Over Flowers" today. However, I had this odd, guilty feeling when I woke up. I opened my Bible and stumbled upon these familiar words "Remember your creator in the days of youth" in Ecclesiastes. I read and reread the chapter. Alas, before logging in youtube, I was convicted.
Solomon, probably the wisest man who has ever lived, had sought wisdom, pleasure, toil, riches and knowledge in his life just like anyone of us. He provided us a very important insight about life, that we can live by, on the last chapter of Ecclesiastes. "Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true." (Ecc. 12:9,10)
The 12th chapter is telling us that life is short, it is fragile and easily broken. Before you know it, grey hair would start sprouting on your head (if you are fortunate enough); new lines could form on the edges of your eyes; your back would start to hurt; your knees may start to wobble. Before you know it, time has passed...wastefully.. and your end has come.
Solomon's telling us that while we're still "youth," we must act wisely. For our actions today (i.e. watching TV series) are definitely affecting our tomorrow. Will your tomorrow be a (1) fulfilled, fruitful & joyous life, or an (2) empty, lonely & bitter life? Here are three things to have the (1) fulfilled, fruitful & joyous life:
1. Remember Him... or in other words "think of Him" or "seek Him." This is the first step. It is filling our minds with His beauty, His Word, His burdens, His promises and His love... filling our thoughts of Him. It is setting Him as the first priority. Here's a quick priority test: What comprises your thought pattern today? Is it your business? Or is it a TV Series?
Upon watching this Tsinovela, my thoughts of God paled in comparison to the colorful and interesting characters of F4. I found myself having more thoughts of the series, cherishing each kilig moment as if it was my own, "prioritizing" it over God-ly thoughts. This is when I realized, I've committed a sin that in the olden times was called "idolatry."
2. ..in the days of your youth. There are a lot of exciting activities that can use up our time during these youthful days. The trick here is to discern whether an activity is meaningful or meaningless. To attain the (1) life, avoid activities that will cause you to develop bad habits. These bad habits can make our hearts grow calloused towards God.
I realized that if I were to watch Boys Over Flowers (again) soon, I might get used to the habit of entertaining myself with spiritual junk food that would not only waste my time but would also distract me from growing in my relationship with God.
Be wary, sometimes, a simple guilty pleasure can lead to an addicting, destructive, habit.
3. Honor Him. Honoring may include respecting, speaking well of God, speaking politely & following His teachings. While we still have the strength, and while the doors of opportunities are still open, let's honor Him with our whole heart, body, mind and soul. Let's honor Him with our all.
You may think, "Oh Mitzi, but this is too simple! What about work? What about business? What about getting married? Aren't they supposed to lead us to a fulfilled life too?" Dear readers, all these things will follow. The things that we need to do, God will make it clear. The things that we need to be content, God will provide. Before asking all those questions, ensure that you are doing these three tips.
At the end of the day, when we sit on the rocking chair, with our white hair tied in a bun and our eyes needing a pair of far-sighted eyeglasses, we can still smile and say "... the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
~ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14