It’s that time of the year again.
Like people awakening from cryostasis, Christmas trees are brought out from old boxes covered in dust along with their matching trinkets, balls, and accessories—cleaned and polished to be set up just in time for the Holiday Season.
This is what I did throughout my long weekend beginning Friday. But unlike many of you who have old Christmas trees, we opted to give away our old one to a relative, and instead, bough a new, 7-foot tree from Divisoria. Being the only guy in the family, I was tasked to take charge of designing the tree with the help of my sister. Last year’s theme was gold; Hence, we decided that silver will be this year’s motif.
I was in for a surprise lesson in life with this weekend task.
Out of leftover silver ribbons from last year, I made bows to fill up what looked like a barren tree. Bows were never hard to make since I’ve always had a thing for arts and crafts—it was like tying shoelaces. But the perfectionist in me would always find something wrong with a thing as tiny as a bow. After cutting the ribbons into identical lengths, I tied them to knots one-by-one; and each time, the other half of the bow is either shorter or longer than the other one. I had to untie some of them before knotting them again to the proportion I desired. Some bows had to be cut on the edges in order for the length to be the same. All in all, I came up with 19 bows out of 3 yards of ribbon which I attached to the tree using a handy glue gun.
Wondering where the life lesson in this anecdote is? Some of you might have already figured it out.
I would like to believe God has made ribbons out of us. He chooses which ribbons he will tie into a bow and hang on the Christmas Tree of Life—two people for each bow. Sometimes, the way we are knot with another person into a bow isn’t as proportion as God hoped it to be, either one side is longer or shorter than the other. Hence, He will untie the knot and loop it once more, repeating the process if needed to get His desired bow. If He has to clip a few inches from our ribbons just to produce a perfect bow, He’ll do so. The perfect bow hangs on the Christmas Tree of Life, where opportunity, happiness, and contentment grow.
God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Hence, He knows very well that change is the only thing that is permanent in this world. And just like any season, Christmas ends too. He will have to bring down the Christmas Tree of Life and untie the bows He had decorated the tree with. Not that they don’t deserve opportunity, happiness, and contentment, but rather to give chance for other bows to be tied and hanged on the tree next season. He could do the same motif again if He so desires, He may not. We will not know for sure.
I know some of you can relate to this as it reminds us of those moments when we felt we were part of a “perfect bow” with someone really special. I’ve felt these moments before, ever so more recently. But sometimes, God throws a caveat by untying the bow we have with these people and/or by trimming our ribbons. Don’t be discouraged by these caveats, as God never lets any of His ribbons go to waste and wants all of them to hang on His Christmas Tree of Life. He ties these ribbons again at a different time until He gets the “perfect bow” He and all of us desire.
God is the ultimate quiz master, much like Alex Trebek in Jeopardy. Sometimes, I cannot tell the difference between God and Trebek. While God won’t definitely chase a robber wearing only His underpants, Jeopardy-wise, He and the host are the same. Like an episode of this ubiquitous quiz show, He let’s us pick a category where our “questions” will come from and which “value” of question we want to answer. He then lets us place a wager of how much we are willing to endure and sacrifice in order to stay in the game. Sometimes, we win. Sometimes, we lose. But the great thing about God being our quiz master is that we can always take the test again. He won’t judge us no matter how much we fail in His quiz; He will always find a way for us to win on our own.
This is how I experience God in my day-to-day existence. I cannot label it Christian, Catholic, or otherwise; I would like to define Him in my own terms, much like most people today. Hence, I won’t question anyone’s religious beliefs, let alone, impose my own. If your experience of God brings out the beauty inside of you and helps you reach the maturity and nuance you desire, then more likely, your experience of God is right and true.