It looked like an idyllic scene, calm and serene. But there were strong gusts of wind constantly sweeping over the landscape. A few seconds after this photo was taken, my precious Batanes pandan hat was blown away from my hand, It rolled down the hilly slopes, flew over the cliffs and sooner than I realized what had happened; it disappeared behind the cliffs straight into the ocean below. I felt terribly sad. Such a beautiful hat to add to my collection and barely an hour yet in my hands, gone into the crashing waves below.
Then, a thought struck me: what if it was your life you lost over those cliffs? Is the beautiful hat you just lost more precious than your life? And a light bulb turned on over my head. That is what sacrifices and sacred offerings are all about.
What am I willing to give up to keep my life? To what extent and effort am I willing to go to save a life, mine or that of a loved one? Life brings to me a whole lot of presents I can never be thankful enough. That is why I willingly set aside some of those gifts as offering for all the bounty I receive. And even when I feel I have nothing to give, I still can give something out of my nothingness. “For the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.” I have received and therefore I give; and the more I give, the more I receive.
Life is such a precious gift no one has the right to take it away or snuff it. And yet, there are people and situations where a person willingly sacrifices his life (or parts of it) for the sake of a loved one. And the paradox of it all is that it is in our willingness to lose our life that we keep it and it is in our readiness to lose everything that we gain all things.