‘Thank you!’

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Two basic words we need to be reminded of… This was my realization at one random moment.

I sat down, took a deep breath, and smiled. I just finished delivering a training module on Life Skills as part of the 4-day training for a group of government employees from the different offices, regions and cities in Visayas and Mindanao. It was held in a very nice hotel in Cebu. The meals were fantastically filling, the participants were engaged, and the experience was exhilarating. Speaking and giving training is something that I am passionate about. It is something that I love to do and this is my preferred path to be of service to other people.

As I was listening to my friend who was delivering the other module, I paused in awe. I looked at myself in the situation and suddenly realized that even though I haven’t reached a lot of my dreams yet, God has been giving countless gifts to me. They have been coming in different forms – opportunities to be of service, to do the things you love, to go places, to meet people, and to meet friends and mentors who are supportive and helpful.

Yes, I haven’t achieved much of my goals yet. There are many things I need and want to do, achieve, and become. I still need to work on many things in different areas of my life. But there’s something that just blew me away – it is how the good Lord blesses you and me in the little and great things. They really are gifts – gifts that are given even if we don’t deserve it.

At times, we may see them as results of our hard work. But those hard works are our way of cooperating to the Giver so that the gift would reach us. At other times, we may have been working so hard to achieve our aspirations but some moments come when you ask why things don’t seem to be materializing; suddenly something happens to your favour and you can’t explain how it happened. Have you ever been in those moments?

To me, it happened several times and I believe that in those moments, there is the hand of God working in the background (as always). It is God’s loving grace.

As I continue writing this article, I was seated at the Mactan Cebu International Airport waiting for our flight PR1850 bound to Manila. Beside me is an international Life Skills Trainer from the United States who we have been learning from and working with the past two weeks, then next week and (hopefully) more in the future. Together with friends and co-trainers from the Institute for Integrality, we were seated with a director from the Asian Development Bank while casually conversing with them and listening to their ideas and stories. (I had to close my laptop as I joined in the conversation.)

In times like this, I was reminded to ask the question, “What are the things that you and I could be thankful for?” Probably the places we’ve been, the profession we are in, the passion that we are able to share, our partners in projects, and the people we meet.

I was about to start writing again but then we were called to board the gates. Inside the plane, I began to finalize the piece I was writing. After several minutes…

I paused again and took a deep breath. I looked outside the window and saw the clouds, the blue ocean, and the view of the houses, buildings, and mountains from above. I was reminded that while I still have a long way to go and the destiny I am dreaming of is seemingly not yet within reach, there are a lot of gifts that have been coming my way.

The pilot announced that we are about to touch down in Manila so I closed my laptop…

Random thoughts in random places and in random experiences are not random at all. These are given to us as gifts. As receivers, I would say that one of the ways to respond with all of these is those two basic words, “Thank you!”

Life is filled with good gifts given by God through events and encounters with and through other people. Gifts come in different forms and in different ways. Our role is to receive them openly, with gratitude and with good sense of stewardship. I invite you to pause for a while and say, “Thank you.”

(Chris Dao-anis/CPA, as an author and speaker, helps aspiring and young professionals become better communicators and leaders. For info about seminars and resources, visit www.chrispoweracademy.com or email chrisdaoanis@ymail.com.)

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