Dropping A Manna and Features


    I slew the “dragons” last summer. Shoo, temptations! I was not tempted to be lazy primarily because summer was fascinating. Most of the time, the sun was up above with its golden rays, freely shining down and through the windows, doors and other apertures. There was no time to dillydally in my work. I had fun though. Lots of activities were done like singing and composing a song for my mother on her 8oth birthday, attending FEASTS and retreats, cleaning, nature-tripping, blueberry picking, having my nose on my notes and books, and walking around in the garden. And when maybe the main attractions in the garden were flowers, I had time to appreciate the lush grasses. OMG! It is a euphemism that stands for Oh, my God! In this article, may I first use OMG for Oh, my Grasses!?

            Absolutely, there are several kinds of grasses which I’ve seen with their issues. However, I won’t be discussing the number of varieties and the problems they can give us. Just thinking here that altogether, grasses symbolize the power of growth. They profusely grow anywhere in a steadfast manner, creeping and thriving in all seasons. Considered nature’s auxiliaries perhaps, they play a very important part in nature.

            What could be their significance? Well, they are green first of all. Being green would mean LIFE. They give us the “go” because it is a life force and substance, more than form. But they pacify us, making us slow down in our activities. They significantly reduce the noise and haste in our lives.  They let our eyes rest and our bodies join in the vital sparks of coolness and stability. Remember these grasses cool the air? Hence, we feel its cooling effect. They also are deeply rooted under the ground; therefore, we are assured of strength of the soil which will not shake us up or distress us all at once. They naturally filter dust, pollutants and other tiny matters from air, land and water. They provide us food, lawns, fields, breathing space and recreation.  

            Uttered mostly by people, “Bad grasses live long!” And so I began to ponder, “Are there good and bad grasses?”… “Do they impersonate saints and sinners?” Great poets and great essayists, famous writers imaginably have written about this idea. Furthermore, there’s another OMG!... I read a book about a simple guy who was not a “bad grass” but he became known for turning ordinary things into extraordinary.

            OMG! This is a substitution for Oh, my Guy! I am emphasizing here Fred, the main character of Fred Factor, the powerful book of Mark Sanborn. Have you met Fred? He is an ordinary, American postman. He delivers mail passionately to motivational speaker Mark Sanborn’s residence. Sanborn described him as a kind postman who exemplifies everything that is right with excellent customer service. He is a role model for anyone who wants to make a difference in his life. He is a picture of a man attaining his relationship goals.

            How I wish I could be like him- to remember, to value and to do these principles that he practises:

1) Everyone makes a difference. – A reflection: “What kind of difference did you make?”

2) Everything is built on relationships. – Go out of your comfort zone. Interact with people, with your customers and co-workers. Make new friends and build relationships.

3) You must continually create value for others, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny. – Simply, it means you don’t have to spend a lot of money, use your imagination. The objective is to outthink your competition rather than outspend them.

4) You can reinvent yourself regularly. - Sanborn speaks of renewing, recreating, refreshing oneself. No matter what job each of us holds, where we work, where we live, let’s wake up with a clean blank slate and begin anew.

            Be a Fred is the message. Lead like Fred! It is equally accorded with the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “The power of doing one small thing with great love”.

            There’s another OMG- on GIVING. Referring to Oh, my Giving Tree and The Velveteen Rabbit: A Comparison! Last summer, I wrote a comparative analysis of those two books; it was entitled, “Happy At The End”. My instructor gave me two thumbs up for that and he said that it was very nice and well-written. Oh, my golly wow, a tickle and chuckle! Here’s an excerpt of it…

            “The Giving Tree”, beautifully written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein is for Emergent Readers. There were so many interpretations given to this book. Values like communication and relationship (to God, to nature, to parents, to friends), friendship as well, charity and the significance of giving benevolently were altogether seen. One thing is sure, the gifts of giving and loving are offered unconditionally. Though it may hurt the giver that much as portrayed by the Tree, at the end it’s still a joy to the ever generous “The Giving Tree”- Best seller, indeed!

           “The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real)”, written by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson is a First Chapter Book for the middle grade children. In this book, I like very much the idea of becoming REAL. One becomes REAL bit by bit… through the wisdom and experience of love, and that most of the time, though it hurts, we still treasure the experience. I learned that “When you are REAL you don’t mind being hurt” and “Once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” Those words were shared by Skin Horse, another character in the story. Very inspiring! I admire the timeless and highlighted wisdom of Skin Horse. Readers could relate to this story primarily because everyone of us was once a young child with toys around us. Sometime in our young life most of us have favourite toys, In fact, my three sweethopes even christened their own soft toys. “Pink Pink” was the name of the first cuddly, stuffed doll of my first daughter who is very active in Light of Jesus (LOJ), Vancouver.

             OMG! This is my special centric abbreviation of Oh, my Goldie!... Modesty aside, I’m the proud momma, telling everyone that she is my first daughter who can do small things with great love. She is the smart and gorgeous lady in LOJ’s Multi-Media Ministry. With a scholastic background of AB Multi-Media Arts from De La Salle University, Taft, Philippines, four-academic year DLSU scholar, also a Muntinlupa City Scholar and a Cum Laude graduate, she’s got what it takes to be a certified artist or graphic designer. She is the woman behind the lay-outing and graphically designing of the past issues of our official newsletter named as “The Quarterly Manna”. Maybe next time, one of you would also be featured here because LOJ, led by the Feast Builder, Edwin Cruz and his wife, Carmen, has gotten lots of talents.

             Summing up, I could say that the Grasses, the Guy whose name is Fred, the Giving-themed books and Goldie have an X–factor in their own nature and ways. Each of them has God-given qualities that I couldn’t just fully portray, one is due to limit of space here. I tried to get close into each of them much more and indeed their significances are beyond words. At this point, I put down my pair of gauntlets, challenging you to look for some more like them. Pick your brains and pop the What’s and the Who’s. Look around and name people whom you can include in our OMG! Look for great things around you, especially this Thanksgiving Day. Garlic is one, the wonder food… Oh well, it doesn’t necessarily have to begin with letter /G/. We can have Michael Phelps, Hidilyn Diaz, etc. Take note: Turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving season.

            On top of the mountains, under the sea, at the neck of the woods or even in the hole of the hobbits, anywhere, anyone of us could find someone or something that would excel, in spite of the fact that they had life’s groans yet, they used their gifts and reached their goals. Each has the importance or meaning of their existence by the power and grace of God.

            Meanings do change, depending on the usage, based on the linguistics knowledge or our cultural orientation. The final OMG is for Oh, my God! A slang expression which is usually said when one is surprised, delighted, shocked or even angry. Oh, my God may run the gamut of level of analysis of language, from individual experience of sounds, to phrasal expression, to order in the sentence and up to influential utterances.

            Down the road, we will use this OMG… to be repeated because this is a cultural discourse. I hope that it won’t be inserted into conversations for nothing or in vain. Let’s elevate it, like when we say- “Oh, my God, in you I trust…” (Psalm 25: 2). Another example is Oh, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you…that’s the Act of Contrition’s beginning sentence.

            OMG, as in Oh, my God isn’t just a euphemism but an aphorism. It is a blastoff dictum of a prayer to exalt and thank the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Lucy Lombos