I WAS happy to hear from a priest-friend, whose family suffered greatly from the Yolanda disaster, that we should not just be contented with Tindog (Stand) or Bangon (Rise) but that we should rather Uswag (Move on).
This shows a fine spirit of faith and hope that we badly need these days, even as we are given a another chance to begin again with the celebration of the New Year 2014. This should be the attitude to have.
It’s true that the difficulties and challenges are big and even overwhelming. They are like a gaping hole which we do not know exactly how to plug. But what would brooding, floating in idleness and inactivity, if not sinking in self-pity do to help?
This is the time for belief and trust in God to directly lead us the way. As someone would say, “How God will transform my troubles, I do not know, but that He will transform them, I know for sure.”
This is no mere wistful thinking, empty, idle, gratuitous. It is rooted on solid ground that cannot be shaken by any earthquake. The basis for this attitude is precisely the omnipotent, wise and merciful providence of God.
God never abandons us, even if we feel he has left us. He has us, all of us, in his hands. He allows disasters and calamities to happen for a good reason though we, with our very limited mind, cannot fully fathom it.
He’s asking for belief and trust, the way Christ asked the apostles that led to the multiplication of the few bread and fish to feed a big crowd of hungry people, and to the miraculous catch of fish when in the previous night the apostles caught nothing.
This belief and trust is not inhuman at all, as some atheists and agnostics claim. These non-believers already have a fundamental handicap when they say belief is the death of intelligence. I don’t know where they get that non-sequitur.
Belief is unavoidable since the reality that we have to grapple with simply cannot be tackled with our reason alone, no matter how brilliant and high our IQ is. This has always been the case since the birth of any man up to his death. Without belief, we cannot move forward at all.
A toddler learns to walk because he believes and trusts his parents who egg him to walk. A child never discovers his hidden talents until he believes someone who tells him he has got what is needed to do a certain thing. Etc., etc.
There will be baby steps and awkwardness in the beginning, falls and mistakes too, but it seems like a law of life that it is precisely through these moments that precious lessons are learned and skills developed.
And faced with a predicament that as of now we don’t know how to handle, to whom else should we go to believe and trust that everything will just be fine? If we cannot anymore believe and trust in our present human capabilities, we go to God.
We should not forget that with God nothing is impossible. This is a truth of faith that should sink deep in our consciousness and made to motivate, shape and direct our thoughts, plans, words and actions.
We have to reinforce this belief continually, especially when we are assailed by doubts, fears, questions, failures. In fact, we have to turn this belief into a formidable conviction, and market it as widely as possible.
This is not at all engaging in a Pollyana attitude toward life. Yes, we need to be cheerful and optimistic all the time, but with the cheerfulness and optimism that is properly grounded.
We just have to make sure that the grounding is authentic. It should be on God, on our faith, on our belief in the spiritual and supernatural realities that should go beyond the material, temporal and natural dimensions of our life.
Obviously this is easier said than done, and that is why we need to be patient and persevering in working out the many details we need to do to acquire a true belief and trust in God, and not get derailed into superstitions, which are a continuing threat to us.
We are starting a New Year. Let’s make it another chance God is giving us to put things in order in our life, both the personal and the collective. Let’s get back on our feet and start to move on. There is no other way to go, but grow, develop and progress toward God, our ultimate end!