TODAY’S MANNA: Contentment in Christmas PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 December 2014 11:29

BY Berlie G. Yap


Merry Christmas dear readers and avid followers of this humble column. Today’s Manna has been in the page of Daily Zamboanga Times (DZT) for 19 years already. Its first publication was on December 1, 1995. I thank God almighty for giving me the chance, these 19 years, to speak to your hearts in a personal and practical way.

One of my reminiscences of the humble beginning of Today’s Manna was that I wrote my first pieces using my small type-writer and with plenty of erasures. DZT’s proofreaders, I believe, was so patient to help correct my earlier flaws in my articles.

MS Word was also yet new that year and the common people, like me were a bit stranger still in those introductory years of the age of personal computers. Fast forward present time: everyone enjoys and benefits its usability and friendly applications.

I’m doing a daily program in eMedia, FM frequency 105.9, for this Christmas season at 1-3PM. I play clean love songs and yuletide music. From a Sunday disc jock I go to the mainline regular days. Praise the Lord for my freer schedules today because it’s the timely vacation break, thus, I’m not so pressured. I might as well invite you to check my radio show. I present a cool approach.

On Monday, December 22, I shared to my listeners if what they think is the meaning of contentment which perhaps is appropriate in today’s season where commercialism seems to already overshadow the real meaning of Christmas. At least I opined 7 points, quite a list because my show is a 2-hour program. I thought to also share them here.

First, contentment is basically a sense of satisfaction to either what little or more you have. Little—if like your resources are not that much to enable you acquire the more expensive materials your eyes would wish, that you’re willing or satisfied not to be able to get them. More—if you have the better privilege in life then are content to what you have and not to seize others’ properties like classic stories on the 70’s where corrupt politicians, in their power, grabbed poor farmers’ lands.

Second, contentment is gratitude or is simply the ability to thank God or any human benefactor who has been good to you. When we wake-up each morning bother to whisper a prayer of thanks to our Creator for giving you again the gift of life. Literally and audibly also say thanks to the people who showed you goodness. It’s a bad attitude when you still whine to a gift given to you by saying, “why only this?”

Third, contentment is also sharing. Stinginess is always the counterpart of contentment. When one prefers better to dole-outs than to contribute a little despite that he has the means, something must be wrong to his values and his very character. In this world, a true and genuine increase is always a result of the natural law of reciprocity—when we “give, it is given back to us; pressed down, shaken together and running over…” Luke 6:38

Fourth, contentment is as well an investment. Investment ain’t just a word to business people. It is for everyone and is simply meaning preparing your tomorrow by sacrificing a little today. Talents, treasures, and time are mostly the three assets that we can invest to secure our tomorrow.

Like the ants, they invest their time and energy to gather food during the summer season that when the rainy days come they can have the necessary provisions. It’s a lesson worth for lazy individuals to ponder. Laziness is another enemy to a real contentment. Others though confuse them. Laziness and contentment are not synonymous.

Fifth, contentment is particularly giving to the less fortunate people. God is explicit by saying that, “when we help or give to the poor we lend unto the Lord” (Prov. 19:17). The less fortunate persons can be your neighbors who are already orphans, or a widow, where Christmas to them is lonely, or a relative who is not that blessed like you, or literally the different government institutions in our City which house the aged and the orphans. Well, also the IDPs.

Sixth, contentment is also an education. This can be particularly for the youths, don’t and never ever be satisfied until you can finish your studies. Complacency due to a one’s circumstance is a weak or a lousy response for a limitless possibilities our God offers despite any poverty. Ask my good College Dean, Atty. Eduardo Sanson, who came from a poor family in Isabela City, Basilan. His father was only a garbage collector and his mom doesn’t know how to read, but he attained the heights everyone envies of.

Seventh, contentment is giving all your energy to increase the little you have to accomplish more. All big started from small, a holy man said “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” (Zech. 4:10)

But I still would want to add a last one, contentment is to be satisfied to how God wants you to be, or simply contentment is the satisfaction to nothing but only to what God wills in your life. God wants, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2, NKJV) Once again, Merry Christmas and God bless you.