Someone taught me that people view life in different ways, and the way we view life determines the way we handle it. Some view life as a competition; they spend all of their energies to be the best and to have the best, to win at all cost. Others view life as a battle; they fight their way to get their voices heard, their convictions upheld, constantly defending and securing their positions, relationships and possessions. Then there are those who view life as a soap opera and live with passion all the joys, heartaches and drama that a life could possibly hold. Some see life as a continuous feast with no other purpose but to “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die.” And for others still, it is just a business, nothing more than a skillful way of maximizing your profits and minimizing your losses. Life can be seen as a curse or a blessing depending on how we choose to view it.
As I pondered upon my own perspective today, I was faced with a more important question: What is it that makes one’s life beautiful? Can I say with honest conviction that “the longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes?” Can we say life is beautiful when we are down in the valley as much as when we are on the mountaintop? Is life still beautiful when “flood waters” are high, when our lives are disrupted and displaced by all sorts of problems and we struggle to stay afloat?
Perhaps not very many people can say life is infinitely rich and beautiful in every way, in every dark or happy moment and under all circumstances. But those who can are people who understand that life is a blessing and allow themselves to be used as channels through which God’s love flows to others. They see a divine purpose in everything and feel privileged and honored to see those purposes accomplished in and through their lives.
And in this context I see a life that is endowed with so much beauty that radiates from a heart overflowing with the love of God. She acknowledges that God is the Giver of all material and spiritual blessings and celebrates His provisions by allowing others to partake of them in big and small ways. Her life is not perfect but the gracious way with which she handles her struggles encourages others to be strong in the face of opposition and difficulties. The warmth of her smile gives people a reason to smile even through their tears. Her presence is enough to encourage the weary and the bedridden. The sincerity of her love is manifested in noble acts of kindness and compassion. Her words are often simple but they can move others to help carry the load. She doesn’t see herself as just one person but as one person who can make a difference.
And for one who chooses to carry God’s love to the people and places she is led to go, the blessing comes back to her tenfold as she experiences nothing less than pure joy in everything she does for others. This is what I would call a truly beautiful life.
On your 28th birthday, I salute you, Marian Rivera, for living your abundantly blessed life with beauty, purpose and meaning; and for reminding me that in my own life, my daily prayer should also be “Lord, make me a blessing.”