Friday, November 4, 2011

Paper Towels

We don't have paper towels in the Philippines. I mean the big rolls, for "kitchen-use" type paper towels. But I'm not too sure about now since I've been away too long. And I say this not to be mean in any way nor to be offensive to my fellow Filipinos, it is just how I remember growing up in a house with 6 children and with extended family who occasionally visits us. We used washable, reusable rags for our everyday cleaning and wiping. I also remember cleaning our house the "old school" way --with soap and water, maybe a splash of chlorine bleach, using rags and brushes, down on our knees scrubbing all the grime and dirt away. It was hard, back-breaking work. And we did this regularly, like 3 to 4 times a week. And I thank my mother for all the training she provided her children while growing up because these kinds of skills do come in handy now that I have my own family to take care of and a home to clean and manage. I salute all the working moms who work full time and yet still maintain a spotlessly clean house. That's never a small feat. It's a miracle by itself.

It's funny how we live a long time without the need for some things yet after we discover that thing, we suddenly can't live without it! That's exactly what happened to me and with those paper towels. I can't live without them now. I have to have them at my house and in the office at all times. I can't do any cleaning without it. Rags are unheard of for me now. I'm so helpless without my paper towels.

Okay, okay I am exaggerating quite a bit. The world continues to turn even without paper towels. There are much more important things in life than having rolls of paper towels at home. But having them ready at hand, just in case of a spill or some sort of soiling, is the best way to go. Ahhh, the pleasures of modern living. We have machines to help us do our everyday chores, we have appliances to assist us with our everyday duties, and we have all types of luxury like having vehicles when our forefathers used to trudge several miles on foot. Now we have electricity and gas to keep us out of the dark and make us warm on cold wintry nights, and we do have those paper towels always ready to wipe off any mess and we just dispose of it after each use. Aren't you glad we are living at this day and age as against to living in the past? So why do we still complain a lot? Why aren't people any happier now as compared to our great-great grandparents? Why are the paper towels not enough to make life any grander than before?

Humans are so near and narrow-sighted that we easily forget the past and we always neglect to focus on the future. Paper towels are immediately available these days that they're almost considered as next to nothing. It's not one of the most valuable goods in the market. People are not lining up to buy them off the shelves. Paper towels are not even part of the stock market on which people can invest their money with the hope of multiplying their profits. It has no inherent value. The value of the paper towels is based only on the user's need, like mine. I can't live without it. It is valuable to me, but the world doesn't seem to think the same way. Gold is what's valuable. Diamonds are priceless. Money is the center of life. Money makes the world go round, they say. What I'm trying to drive at is this: people do what they want to do, people think what they'd like to think, and we value things that we want to value no matter what the reality is and what the truth really is.

God says that earthly wealth and riches are nothing in eternity but people still beat themselves up just to get "an ounce of gold" because for them that's what has real value. God says that storing up treasures here on earth is pointless but people still have vaults and coffers filled with goods that perish at the sound of His voice. We lose focus in a snap. We forget that life is too short to be focusing on things that have nothing to do with our eternal life. I do love my paper towels but I'm also glad that I can let go of them as easily as I want them because I know that I have the best "mess picker-upper" in the whole universe --my God. He forgives me for my big messes all the time and He purifies me from all unrighteousness. And He doesn't need any paper towels to do that.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." -Matthew 6:19-21


  1. News break: we now have kitchen paper towels in our mother land. Lol! But it's not that common. People still prefer the goody old washable rags. I guess some things never change :-)

    You are so right about not getting too attached with earthly riches, but to focus on what is eternal. After all, we can't take paper towels to heaven...but we know that all we ever need is there.

  2. The things we take for granted here in the States. Although paper towels are not essential in my life, I sure would hate to do without them. Great application on how we spend too much time and affection on earthly things, and not enough on spiritual things.

  3. Your post is very timely at this time Mara! Sadly, the world, and sometimes even the best people in it, seem obsessed with making wealth for themselves, often at the expense of other people, their own morals and even their own health in the process. We need money to live, but it is God who gives us life! Therefore, worshipping money is a fool's errand; we must place our trust and hope in God; He will see us through all the shadows of our lives.

  4. Thank you all for your comments, I truly appreciate it.
    BC, thanks for the update. I'm so glad we finally have those "treasures" back home. I love my paper towels! =)
    Thanks, Stephanie. Yes, we get so spoiled here in America that we often forget other countries don't have it going good at all. I try to always be grateful for even the "small" blessings in life.
    Tim, thanks for visiting my blog regularly. Your comments are always a blessing. I pray God will spare me a life of a "fool" & instead be focused on Him always.

  5. Amen! Many Christians have become very materialistic nowadays. Reality Check... God says it's all going to burn!

    Take care and have a nice day :-)

    Thanks for your recent comment on My Blog

  6. You're welcome, Ron. My pleasure indeed. And thanks in return. God bless! =)


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