By Juan L. Mercado
(Sundays, we all need a breather from the Monday-to-Saturday political slime. Then, there have been extra grim reports victims of Burma’s cyclone and China’s earthquake. The first item below is about Pinoy’s first day as a Canadian immigrant. The second is from an author whose book sold over 15-million copies. He writes about his wife’s cancer – JLM)
“Parents Board Flight, Forget Toddler at Airport”
WINNIPEG, Canada — Air tickets? Check. Passports? Check. Luggage? Check. Baby …… oops.
A Filipino immigrant and family boarded a flight in westernmost Canada. But they forgot their tot at the Vancouver international airport. .
The 23-month-old boy’s family had just arrived in Canada. But they repack their overweight bags before catching a connecting flight to Winnipeg. This caused them to run late. In their sprint to the gate, the family became separated.
The boy’s father Jun Parreno, thought his son was with his wife and the boy’s grandparents, who ran ahead. They thought the boy was with his dad. On the plane, family members were seated separately. So, they didn’t realize they left the child behind.
A security guard found the boy, who speaks no English, wandering near the departure gate. Air Canada officials tracked down his shocked parents on the flight.
Because the boy was so young, he was not issued a boarding pass. He would have sat on a parent’s lap during the flight. Airline personnel didn’t notice a passenger missing.
The Vancouver Sun reported that airport security found a Tagalog-speaking Air Canada agent who looked after the child. His father, meanwhile, flew 2,300 kilometers back to Vancouver to pick him up. He then returned to Winnipeg to rejoin the immigrant family — on their first day in Canada.
Air Canada’s staff found him some toys. “Air Canada took good care of him,” Parreno told the daily Winnipeg Free Press upon arrival. “I’m grateful.”
Remember Rick Warren? He wrote the best-selling: “Purpose Driven Life.” Here is Warren’s interview about his book sales wealth and his wife’s illness.
“People ask me: What is the purpose of life? And I responded: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. One day my heart will stop. That will be the end of my body, but not the end of me. I may live to 100 years; but I’ll spend trillions of years in eternity.
“Life is the dress rehearsal. We were made by God and for God. Until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.
“Life is a series of problems: Either you’re in one now, just coming out of one, or you’re going into another one. The reason for is: God is more interested in your character than your comfort; in making your life holy, than in making (it) happy.
“We can be reasonably happy here on earth. But that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ-likeness.
“This past year has been the greatest year of my life. But it’s also been the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.
“I thought life was hills and valleys: you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. ( Now) I believe it’s like two rails on a railroad track. At all times you have something good and something bad in your life.
“No matter how good things are, there’s always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are, there’s always something good you can thank God for.
“You can focus on your purposes. Or you can focus on your problems.
“If you focus on problems, you’ (spin) into self-centeredness: my problem, my issues, my pain.’ What’s an easy way to get rid of pain? Get the focus off yourself and onto God and others.
“We discovered quickly that, in spite of prayers by hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay. Nor would He make it easy for her. It’s been very difficult for her. And yet God strengthened her, given her a ministry of helping others, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
“You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad. Actually, dealing with the good is harder. When my book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought notoriety that I never dealt with before.
“God doesn’t give you money or notoriety for your own ego. So I asked God: What do you want me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two passages that helped me decide: II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72
“In spite of all the money, we did not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Then, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
“We set up foundations we call “The Peace Plan” This plants churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
“Then, I added up all the church paid me in the 24 years I (served). And I gave it all back. It was liberating to serve God for free.
“We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or will I be driven by God’s purposes ( for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I say: ‘God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.
“God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do. That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.”