Francisco Uy, Youth Speak News

Old lessons for the new year

By  Francisco Uy, Youth Speak News
  • January 8, 2016

It was in my final year of religion class where I learned about Jesus’ sermon on the mount. The sermon, which begins in Matthew 5, is a good guide for self-reflection. What resonated with me the most from the sermon starts on Matthew 6:19 with Jesus’ lessons on treasure.

Though there is nothing wrong with being happy with what we get for Christmas, I think it’s important that we perceive it as just a thing. A purchased gift is not a manifestation of love but rather a small gesture of someone’s appreciation. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jesus said that we should not store up for ourselves our treasures on Earth for they will only be stolen from us and be destroyed by moths and vermin. The things that I once thought I treasured, whether it be the phone that I almost always have with me or the laptop that I use every day and the money that I’m always cautious about spending, they are all just things.

I think what we should treasure are our friends, our family and God Himself. So for this year, I want to continue maintaining the same discipline that I have for how I treat material goods and focusing on my own well-being.

Another lesson I constantly think about continues on Matthew 6:25, and is something everyone should at least be aware of, is to face every day with faith.

The Christmas break is a time for ourselves, for our families and for God. I realized that for much of my break all I did was worry about school.

Until I went back to Jesus’ sermon on worrying. He said not to worry about my life, what I will eat, what I will drink, about my body, about school, for the Lord will take care of it. He said it is best to be mindful of today because tomorrow will surely sort itself out.

It is natural to always worry about things in the future. But, does it help us? Of course not. In fact, I think it just makes everything worse than it should be because often the things that we worry about are things that we can’t necessarily do anything about until that day comes.

Sometimes, worrying can be a good thing. But, we should know the difference of when stress pushes us to do our best and when it takes over.

Allowing these lessons to enter my life has changed the way I perceive things for the better. I feel happier without being tied to materials that I had once thought were important in my life. And the constant practice of mindfulness has kept me from an overflow of overwhelming thoughts.

I admit that I sometimes falter in keeping true to these lessons, but reminding myself of them helps give me control and a sense that everything will be better. So I say this to you: let these sermons of Christ help guide you into the new year. Put your faith in God and in yourself.

(Uy, 18, is a first-year advertising student at OCAD University in Toronto, Ont.)

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