From surviving to thriving

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE need to see to it that we are not merely surviving in these trying times of ours these days. We should be thriving, for indeed these difficult moments when we are subjected to a lot of restrictions are good occasions with tremendous potentials to enrich us in ways other than what we are used to.

As they say, the worst of times can be and should be the best of times. Difficulties, trials, challenges are good stimuli for development and growth. They wake us up where we tend to be dormant. They point to us things that we tend to ignore. They open for us new horizons, new frontiers where we tend to just go in circles or to be contented with what we are having now.

Let’s never forget that our life is a continuous journey toward our definitive eternal goal. We should never stop at a certain point. We just have to keep on moving both in good times and in bad.

At the end of this pandemic thing with all its restrictive prudential measures to counter it, let’s see to it that we are convinced that we are truly enriched by the experience and that we are ready to face a new chapter of our life, a new leg in our journey.

At this time, when this menace is starting to subside, let us take a look-back, learning precious lessons from what we have gone through to help us have a practical, practicable and optimistic look-forward.

Let us see where we went wrong or were totally unprepared for a pandemic which can strike us again, much like a thief in the night, in the future. Let’s see what we can do, not only to correct the wrong things but also to improve on the passably working aspects of our life, both personal and the different levels of collectivity, when the vicious virus attacked the whole world.

It’s good that we ask ourselves in our different aspects of our life—personal, family, professional, economic, social, political, spiritual, etc.—questions like, did we have enough supplies? Are our savings adequate for a sudden change of living conditions? Do we have the appropriate support structures to help us when we find ourselves in an emergency situation?

How is our capability for adaptability and resilience when there are sudden, drastic changes in our living conditions? Do we have the means not only to protect ourselves but also to confront and solve the problem?

Do we have the proper sense of order and priority in life, knowing to distinguish between what is essential and what is optional, what can be given up under certain circumstances and what should never be at all costs?

In the end, do we know how to relate everything to God, how to sanctify whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, for this is what is absolutely necessary, irrespective of whether we succeed or fail in our human responses to our crises?

For sure, making these considerations will help us get helpful insights and lead us to formulate appropriate resolutions, so we can be more prepared, like good Boy and Girl Scouts, to meet emergency and crisis situations in the future.

Let’s always remember that we are prodded to be always vigilant, for as Christ said, “you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. But understand this: if the homeowner had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into…” (Mt 24,42-43)

Vigilance, to be sure, is not just a matter of doing nothing other than guarding. It is a vigilance of love where both the guarding and protective need of our life, on one hand, and the creative and productive requirement of our life, on the other hand, go together.