Be quick on the rebound

By: Fr. Roy Cimagala

I BELIEVE we all commit mistakes and suffer some failures in life. And certainly, we feel bad about it. We just have to make sure that we do not stay long brooding over them and letting ourselves sink to sadness and depression. We have to learn how to bounce back to a happy normal life as quickly as possible.

There is much more to life than wasting our time getting stuck with our mistakes and failures. Getting stuck there can mean we are quite proud, too attached to our ideas and likes, and not seeing a wider picture that only God in his providence can give.

Life is like a game. There are rules to follow, goals to reach, deadlines to meet, issues to resolve. There are challenges to face and dreams to pursue. There are just so many tasks and other concerns to mind. Of course, we have to score as many points as possible, but life can have other turns.

We just have to come out with game plans and strategies, availing of the pertinent tools and instruments. And yet despite all the preparation and our best efforts, including the exercises needed to acquire a can-do attitude, we know that we can still fail.

We have to learn how to cope with this eventuality, quickly learning many lessons we can derive from our mistakes and failures. We have to realize that there actually are many precious lessons we can learn from our mistakes and failures that cannot be found when we are succeeding in life.

As long as things are always related to God, everything will work out for the good. (cfr. Rom 8,28) As a consequence, we just have to learn how to be sport and game about all this and move on as quickly as possible. No use spending too much time dwelling on why we committed the mistake or why we failed.

Like any sportsman, we have to have a good inventory of our assets and liabilities, our strengths and weaknesses and strategize them to our best advantage. Of course, we should try to do something about our handicaps, aiming at knowing how they can be taken advantage of.

This means that we have to undertake an ongoing training and formation program to equip us adequately for the game of life. And given how present developments are, that training has to be constantly updated. Yes, we need to always retrain ourselves to acquire new skills that are more attuned to the current needs.

We have to put passion on everything that we do, though we also have to put a curb on our anger and temper and the other undesirable impulses and outbursts. The art of offense and aggression as well as defense has to be learned properly. We have to know how to accept things as they are, yet always striving to make things as they should be.

We have to learn how to pace properly with the flow and the rhythm of the moment, knowing how to change gears at the right time, when to move fast and when to move slowly. When changes, even drastic ones, have to be made, we should be quick to do them, with due prudence, of course.

Of course, it helps that we bring all these considerations in our prayer so that we would not lose sight of what is most important in all these things. It is for the glory of God that we try our best to win in this game of life, though we should realize that if we truly follow Christ it can happen that winning this game may look like a defeat or even devastation if seen in merely human terms and worldly criteria.

With God, victory is assured regardless of how things are seen in human terms. That’s when we can echo St. Paul’s words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness is laid up for me…” (2 Tim 4,7-8)