Once in a while we learn things from people around us and that these things become somewhat our foundation as we go along our path called life. It is in this view that I would like to share with you an article which I wrote a few years ago (with minor editing on some parts) hoping that it may give lessons that you need in life or just to cheer you up on a cloudy day.
I was having a chat with my good friend Tristan one Sunday afternoon. Whenever we have time to talk, I would always tell him how grateful I am that he was my best friend and that I will always be there for him (either physically or emotionally).
The Kind of Friend
Tristan is a very good friend of mine. We became friends when we both served in our Church as missionaries in the southern part of the Philippines. I cannot forget how I admire his generosity and charitable heart towards everybody.
Since we are missionaries that time, we have a partner who we call as missionary companion. Tristan’s companion was having a hard time to read and speak in English (even in Filipino I think) since he did not have higher education. If I am not mistaken, his companion was not even a graduate of elementary education. But this missionary was really faithful and his faith made him one of the best missionaries in our mission.
I can still vividly remember that one Monday morning; I visited their apartment as part of my responsibility as their Group (Zone) Leader that time. Upon entering their apartment, I thought I was lost upon seeing their walls full of educational posters for children like Alphabet, Numbers, etc. I learned afterwards that every morning Tristan would teach his companion the English Alphabet, samples of each letter in the alphabet, and others. What a remarkable effort from a missionary! I can’t help myself but utter, “Tristan is the kind of friend that everyone would like to have!”
Trying to Uplift, Motivate
During our chat, we got to talk about his plan to resign from his current job and doing a business full-time. Then we started discussing about expenses as he is already married and has one child. He mentioned that it may be hard given his circumstances. This is where I tried to uplift and motivate him, but to my surprise I was the one who was motivated and inspired because of what transpired next.
The Picture Chat
As we were chatting, adding his funny side, Tristan would send me images via skype describing his condition or somewhat future condition.
Regarding his resignation, and making it full-time doing a business, he then sent me this image with the text written on it: “Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.”
Tristan is really a very patient man. He would always find beauty in hardships.
Then we started talking about our experiences, from the very first day we started doing business together, our personal stuff, and others recalling every challenges and heartaches we experienced. He then sent this: “Everyone comes with a luggage. Find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack”
And I can really say we do this to each other. We joyfully unpack each other’s baggage in life.
As we were talking about our difficulties in life, and to further make the situation seem bearable, he sent this: (A man who has no arms and yet is carrying a cart)
Of which I was reminded to be grateful with what God has given me each day. Lucky enough, I have my hands and even other people’s hands to help me ease my afflictions.
While we are thinking of all the time we spent chasing our dreams, Tristan then sent me this which showed how family-oriented he was and in no doubt loves his wife and child:
From the very start, he would excitedly talk about the future with his family and how he would spend his life with, most of the time with them.
At one point, we have also discussed about people who disagree with us in many principles. Sadly, a lot of these people are those we consider as our friends but and have the gut to cause us harm. In this view, he sent me a reminder:
I fully agree and added that lack of respect and gratitude can make a person do things without carefully thinking. And Tristan said, “buti na lang ito ang meron tayo [good enough these (attitudes) are what we have…]” – a guide that would lead us into a more fruitful life:
And he added another one which basically summarizes the difference between a bad day and a good day: ATTITUDE and your choice towards goodness!
Tristan then said, “Kaya ako I choose to be happy with my baby and my wife… kaya heto ako ngayon (here’s what I am now)”:
With this, I am convinced that Tristan is a perfect example of a person whom despite of what he only has, is prepared and is still enthusiastic to face the future!
He even gave me a naughty piece of advice:
I really laughed hard on this one. But true enough, it is very effective! Hahahaha
And being a man of God and a positive person, Tristan sent me these:
And we both agreed on this – to believe in God’s promises.
Ending our conversation he then sent me a picture collage of people who is grateful of and whom he calls as his FAMILY!
—end of conversation.
At the start of our chat, I aimed to motivate Tristan and let him feel my support as his friend during the difficult times. But it was I who got inspired and motivated.
We may not see each other that much but the lessons we learned from each other, from our experiences together to this simple skype chat, will never fade away. Thank you Tristan…
“Let your LIGHT so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:12)