Teresa Lo

My colleague had been contemplating how he could bring out team spirit in a team building activity he was invited to lead.  A week before it took place, he gave me a preview of his design and its related purpose, hoping we all could fit into it seamlessly.  “All is fine,“ I said.  “Our colleagues are high in IQ and EQ.  They can do it.”

Knowing the design of the activity is one thing, however, experiencing it can be remarkably surprising. 

The day came.  It was a mellow June morning in a vast and quiet retreat place. 

To begin, he asked us to put down a personal belonging on the table, whatsoever that was.  Given five minutes to contemplate in silence, each of us had to take turns and relate a story between us and the chosen item. 

I closed my eyes, moved inward to my heart.  I moved out again, back through the chosen object, to where I was, in-and-out of this subtle and gentle mindful exercise. 

I found myself reflecting on the story of this classy Guess watch adorned with tiny crystals – how we found each other, the feelings I have had for it during years of possession and the ongoing messages it continued to deliver other than time. 

The watch was a dear gift from a friend who loved watches.  With it came a warranty that assured maintenance and battery change free of charge – with no time limit.  I have enjoyed their service in these seven years or so.   

A few months ago, I noticed the watch going out of battery and meant to take it to the shop.  Well, the watch shop was gone!  Just as I felt like there was no hope any more, I went into a shoe shop opposite and made a simple inquiry.  The salesgirl then said the watch shop had moved up to a few blocks, close to the packed tourist zone. 

Had it not been the help offered, I would not have found the watch shop again.

A timepiece to me has always been treasured for its durability and aesthetic value.  For the first time, in this short moment of contemplative silence, sharing and listening, it made me see myself and my relationship with the Divine more closely.

The watch, like an old friend of mine, reminds me that I can meet God at every corner. As it has occurred in the life paths I have walked, I notice that many countless encounters – past and present– are full of surprise, like meeting the right people in times of need, discovering an answer I have been looking for and seeing light at the end of a dark tunnel. 

What revealed to me too was the promise of God’s eternal love, as I held onto that timeless warranty that assured me my watch would always be taken care of.  Even in times I felt like the inner world of mine shattered into tiny pieces, the God of eternal love and mercy repeated untiringly His overwhelming protection and care in mysterious ways beyond imagination. 

Just as this watch story nourished my soul, I was indebted to the precious occasion my team members created, and the generous feedback after attentive listening.  They assured me of my gift of seeking answers daringly as well as the gift of noticing moments of surprise in daily life, which were another way of God revealing to me through them how He acknowledged, too, these gifts with appreciation and satisfaction. 

The watch story was a story of hope, and more of it, a ceaseless search of the Mystery that goes beyond time. 

Have you noticed the way God speaks to you through your personal belonging?  They do matter to those who are seeking a greater life, a greater dream and a greater love. 

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