Friday, July 25, 2014

Children Are Heritage From The Lord God

 This is a sequel to my last article published in our July 19, 2014 issue.

Looking back half a century ago, I worked very hard leaving no stone unturned in my studies, especially in my quest to become a lawyer, hoping that a fulfillment of my dream will make me successful and joyful, as I have observed from my lawyer-boss, the late Atty. Leopoldo M. Abellera, the classmate in the University of the Philippines College of Law of our late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, and who was awarded the accolade “Lawyer of the Year” in Davao City. Pres. Marcos graduated at the top of his class and passed the bar exam in 1939, the year I was born, as number one, obtaining the highest recorded general average up to this day of 98%.

My boss, out of his diligence and industry, toiling day and night, was able to build a lucrative law practice; organize the Rizal Memorial Colleges in Davao City, one of the leading school of learning specially in law education during those yesteryears, and where I graduated my law degree as valedictorian in 1962.

As the Secretary-Stenographer-Typist of my late boss, I observed that he was very diligent in the practice of his profession. He would be in his office usually at 7:30 A.M., will break for lunch at a little past 12:00 noon, back to office again 1:30 P.M., and go home normally beyond office hours in the evening, especially if he had to prepare briefs and other pleadings to be filed in court, as there are deadline for filing of pleadings in his numerous cases. He became my “idol”, so to speak, that when I became a lawyer, I tried to follow his footsteps, believing then, as I did not know the Scriptures, that is the way to be successful in life!

In Psalm 27, authored by King Solomon, the wisest of all men that no one is wiser before and after him, the Bible tells us:

Psalm 127

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    its builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
    children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”
I will focus on what the Bible says, “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, - children a reward from him” (vs. 3 NIV). In the King James version (KJV) which theologians say is a translation nearest to the Hebrew original in which the Old Testament was written, this is how the verse is expressed: “Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD; and the fruit of the womb is his reward”.

In the book of proverbs, authored by Solomon, this is what the wise King said: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6 NIV). In KJV it is expressed this way: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

I was privileged to head the Thompson Christian School in Davao City as its President and Chairman of the Board for several years, which was established way back in 1959. All our four children are alumni of this modest Christian School. Susan became a lawyer garnering the 9th place in the 1991 bar exam; Bienvenido, Jr. garnered the 12th place in the Mechanical Engineering Board Exam and who also became a lawyer, graduating as cum laude from the Ateneo De Davao Law School; Neil, an Electrical Engineer and who became likewise a lawyer with a grade of 86% in the bar examination; and Vilma a Registered Nurse (R.N.), with postgraduate course in Nursing in the U.S.A., as Nurse Practitioner (NP), who is now working in a hospital at California, U.S.A. The NP is significant because the NPs could prescribe medicines to patients like Doctors of Medicine (MD). In the U.S.A. by the way, unlike in the Philippines, no one can buy even a Cortal (tablet for headache) unless there is a prescription by a physician or NP.

The first one to respond, among our children, during my family’s misfortune of being a fire victim last early dawn of July 6, 2014, was our daughter Susan who occupies the basement of our burned house. Perhaps noticing my agony, physical and emotional suffering at the moment, she brought me without delay to the Davao Doctors Hospital, only a few meters, away from our home. Praise God, after three hours in the emergency room, the medical result was, I did not suffer a heart attack, so I was released. The second to respond was our son Neil. He gave me several underwear. The third one to respond was my Junior who is in Chicago, U.S.A. He promised to bring to the Philippines in August what I lost in the fire which were my usual blood pressure monitor gadget, and much more. The last but not the least was our daughter Vilma who sent immediately $2,000 to meet our immediate needs and who purposely came home to the Philippines from U.S.A. bringing with her two pairs of shoes for me, and my usual vitamins from U.S.A. to keep me healthy and strong.

Lest I be misunderstood, I relate these incidents not to brag, for I have been devastatingly humbled already, but rather to demonstrate the truth of Psalm 127 that children are a heritage and reward from the Lord. “Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them” (Psalm 127:5).

Heritage is likened to an inheritance. When someone inherits something, it is a blessing - from the LORD God. We feel very good and are joyful. In my case except for the sentimental value of the properties that were burned, the immediate response of our children and my associates in the law office, friends in Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, from the Davao City Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the automatic response of our Pastor in seeing me in the hospital and the short prayer, were more than enough Christian gesture to make me joyful in spite of the misfortune that I suffered.

Though I suffered devastation both material and physical as well as emotional beyond description in words, yet I am joyful because our children responded immediately to our immediate needs. Being trained in the way they should go, they have responded properly in our time of need. Praise God for children, when properly trained in the ways of the Lord, they are God-given and great blessing, help and inspiration to move on in time of our need.