No Substitute for You!

Recently, while driving home from one of our one-to-one dates, I struck a conversation with my eldest daughter Robelle.

“Robelle,” I said “do you think we’re rich?”

“No.” was her quick reply (she didn’t even think about it).

“Well, do you want us to be richer?”

She shrugged, “We have everything that we need Pang…Why are you asking me this question?”

“Well,” I said “If you want us to be richer, then that means I will have to work harder but that would mean less time with you. Is that ok with you?”

She gazed outside the car window for awhile and then replied, “No. I want you Pang. I want more time with you.”

Tears. My eyes glistened. I wiped it a bit as she looked away.

While my daughter appreciated all the fruits of my hard work, at the end of the day, she wants nothing and no one less than me.

Isn’t it the case that we often forget that for people, people are still the most important thing? Presence. Being there. Being together.

More than the new gadget or the latest clothes, what we want are to be with the people we love.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with working hard to earn. And for some, you will even have to leave your family, go abroad just to make ends meet. But let us never make the mistake of thinking that things can substitute for people. Whenever we are with the people who matter most to us, let’s really be there. Be present for them. Make the most of your time with them. Make a moment out of your times together. And don’t let your many cares rob you of your time with your loved ones. Do not let your ‘what ifs’ ruin your ‘what is’. Live in the present moment.

In today’s gospel, Martha committed that mistake. She was anxious trying to do many things to make Jesus feel at home. She forgot the more important thing: that Jesus wanted her more than her home.

Jesus said: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Today, decide to be there for those you value most in your life especially God.

Remember, there is no substitute for you!

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