Sunday, March 4, 2012

Promise - Problem - Provision ("Triple P" or "พ.ป.จ."))

Here is a little nugget of playing with acronyms that the Lord taught me some years ago. It works in English as well as in Thai! (PS: If you find strange letters in this post, make sure your browser's encoding option is set to "Thai")

The acronym "พ.ร.บ." (read "Pho Raw Baw") is probably the most widely used acronym in the Thai language. It stands for "พระราชบัญญัติ" (read "phra raat cha ban yat"), and refers to Royal Decrees/Acts, e.g. paying annual fees for car or motorcycle registration and mandatory insurances. Practically every household in Thailand has to pay various พ.ร.บ.'s throughout the year, and thus many small and large businesses offer a service to pay พ.ร.บ. fees at their shop/branch, so that the payee does not have to go to the actual government office. As this saves the payee lots of time, as well as transportation costs,  "พ.ร.บ." signs are a common sight throughout the entire nation. Interestingly, these signs are so common that many Thai people don't even know what "Pho Raw Baw" actually stands for!

Okay, so as we have established the cultural background, let's have a look at "Triple P"/"พ.ป.จ." (read "Poh Baw Djo") - what does it stand for? Does it have anything to do with the ever name-changing internet service here in Thailand (at some point it was, and maybe currently is, "Triple T"), or with Thailand's biggest gas-station chain, PTT (in Thai: "ป.ต.ท.", read "Baw Daw Taw")? NO! "Triple P" stands for "Promise, Problem, Provision" and the Thai equivalent "พ.ป.จ." stands for "พระสัญญา ปัญหา การจัดเตรียม"!

What I mean by this is the simple truth that whenever we receive (or become aware of) a Promise (ระสัญญา) from God, we will face some Problems (ปัญหา). Problems can come in a huge variety of ways, including physically, emotionally, financially, relationally, etc. Practically, that means that we will have to overcome some obstacles before we receive the Provision (การจัดเตรียม) from the one who gave us the promise (พระสัญญา) in the first place! If we flunk out and give up rather than holding on to the promise and persevere, we will not receive anything! But way too often, I am afraid, we just shut down even at the very first sign of opposition and conclude, that the promise was not meant for us. Dear brothers and sisters, let us continue to encourage one-another not to give up, but to hold on and persevere!  Wait, Persevere? I guess I should completely revamp this little article and call it "Quadruple P"!? Uh, well, ohm, let's leave it as it is for now :)
First published on my web site (summer 2011)