To you, reader
What would be the last thing I publish if today's the day I die?
I wondered about that while riding on the back of a motorcycle (my Dad was driving), the wind was blowing my hair away from my face as if I was the protagonist in an action movie. I know I've scheduled one scribble to go out today, so I thought, "What if that's the last thing I'll ever write?" I shuddered at the thought cause it was just some mushy, generic encouragement about trying before giving up. Nice message, but I wouldn't want it to be the last word you'll read from me in case I'll breathe my last breath today.
Usually, a euology is given when someone has already passed away—and it's given by a loved one.
But wouldn't it be nice to have one last letter from you that your loved ones can read? That's when it hit me: I will write my own eulogy.
Instead of talking about what I've accomplished or how great I was in this life, I'll dedicate a few minutes of my life each day to write to the people who have touched my life to make sure that when I leave earth, they know how much they meant to me.
If you've subscribed to my newsletter or have read a few of my social media posts before, you'll notice how often I talk about the brevity of life (which is why I'm obsessed with time mindfulness (I just made the term up) and making sure we're making the most of the hours we've been blessed with).
This is one of my favorite Bible verses:
"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." — Psalms 90:12 NLT
I don't mean to be morbid. Even the Stoics discussed death ever so often. But I don't want to talk about death in the lens of sophisticated philosophy.
I want to talk about death in the light of my faith.
13 Come now [and pay attention to this], you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and carry on our business and make a profit.” 14 [a]Yet you do not know [the least thing] [b]about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air]. 15 Instead [c]you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and we will do this or that.” — James 4:13-15 AMP
First of all, a confession:
I am a sinner.
Perhaps one of the worst ones—because I still do what I do not want and ought not to do, and I often do not do the good works I know I am meant to do. I desperately need a savior.
Amazingly, I am saved by grace.
"He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized." — Acts 16:30-33 NIV
As a modern-day Christian, I often get asked hard questions like the following:
- Do you believe the LGBTQIA+ community will go to hell if they do not conform to the teachings of the Bible?
- Do you think all divorced/separated couples have sinned and do not deserve forgiveness?
- Is [insert controversial sin here] really unforgivable?
- Will people who choose not to go to church or believe in God be eternally punished?
- If God exists, why does [insert very bad things here] still happen? Why does he allow trials and pain in our lives?
- Why should I believe in God when the people who serve Him are hypocrites, unrighteous, and sinful themselves?
- Can I believe and practice astrology, Buddhism, and other spiritual practices while professing to be a Christian?
- How do you even know which part of the Bible should be followed literally, and which ones only figuratively?
I used to shy away from these conversations. But now I want to be firm with what I believe in—after all, Jesus Christ laid down His life for me! How could I be ashamed of the gospel that has set me free and gave me new life?
- Honestly, I do not have all the answers to the list of questions above. All I know is that I am here to love others, to be a vessel of God's love to them—and not to force my beliefs on someone else's throat, be rude in conversations in trying to prove a point, or invalidate someone else's feelings. As for discussing the technicalities of it all, I'd recommend you seek a more qualified person (a Bible scholar, a pastor, a preacher) because I do not want to mislead anyone out of ignorance. NOTE: You might want to try to listen to this podcast episode about the trustworthiness of the Bible.
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." — 1 John 3:16 NIV
- I myself pray this prayer most of the time: “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.” While I boldly claim that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, I do not deny the days where I doubt my own faith. My faith journey is imperfect—it is only by the grace, patience, and mercies of God that I am still here.
- If I am still alive and you would like to know more about my faith in Jesus, say hi via email and let's chat. 🤗
To my family
Mommy and Daddy: I love you both.
The rest of the family:
To my friends
Japs: Thank you for the decade of friendship! Thank you too for introducing me to Blume and Dahl—I owe my love for reading today to you and your contagious passion for learning. I miss talking to you and hanging out!
Cinq (Pau, Anne, Bart):
Queng and Bev: Celebrating you from afar! Super proud of you. 🙌🏼
Vic: I'll always be grateful for our friendship—and for the midnight you kind of saved my life (or at least saved me from doing something stupid). Thank you for your patience, understanding, gentleness, willingness to listen, and wisdom to constantly remind me of what we have "established." 😉 I hope to make more memories with you and I would love to be there for you should you ever need a friend the way I needed one that night. God bless you always, Partner. 🏼
Gab and Ilyanah:
Alviela: That letter you gave me on my 18th birthday, telling me that you love how I seek both wisdom and wonder, is one of the reasons I keep creating despite the crickets all these years. Thank you for always being supportive of me and my pursuit of Wisdom and wonder. It means a lot—perhaps more than you know. Rooting for you too!
Genna and Shud:
The rest of my friends: