Luab: Better things are yet to come-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
I ONCE loved an old Belgian nun in St. Theresa’s College. Mother Adolphine was an extra-ordinary English mentor. Whenever she asked us to read aloud in class, whether it was a poem or a few lines in a classic piece of literature, she would always caution us to “Take your time. Don’t hurry!” I found her advice a very wise one.
How many of us just breezed through 2012? Can you remember a memorable happening in 2012 that you savored to the fullest? Think about my question. Or did you just go through mechanically doing your thing without thought of the pleasure and the happiness of the moment? Did you remember that the giving of your total attention to the one you love was the most precious gift she or he would treasure?
Today is the second Sunday of January. We have the rest of the year to make up for all the things we forgot to say or do in 2012.
I have an old male friend who is about 90 years in age and he loves to quote these lines which come from a poem written by Robert Browning. The lines are inspirational: Grow old with me. The best is yet to come. He says these lines with a naughty twinkle in his eyes and an impish smile on his face. He says these lines to every woman who comes to visit him, yet when we look directly into his eyes, we know he means what he says.
He is terminally ill but he believes that going to the next world is a journey everyone should look forward to. Sensing his deep spirituality, we envy him. When I visit him, the possibility of entering heaven is no longer remote.
Coming back to the present, last Jan.4 was a red letter day for the Ayala Hiking Group. It was Jordan Chua’s birthday and he surprised us with so much food at the Ayala grounds. As an opening salvo for our regular Friday breakfast meetings, my thoughts went back to Robert Browning’s the best is yet to come lines.
Knowing the strong bonds of friendship that have kept us together for so long, we can only look for the better things to come from a group who are buddies, pals and co-partners in the things we love doing best. What are these things?
Hiking is one, eating is another but the best thing that has ever happened to us is the fact that we enjoy each other’s presence and we savor the laughter, the intellectual repartees, the political discussions and the ribbings, which are borne and tolerated by the target of the teasing. All of us can truthfully say, “We savored our Friday meetings all throughout 2012. We are looking forward to better things to come in 2013.”
The Christmas season was rather hectic for me. There were times, due to a crazy schedule, that I could not make the 7 a.m. Holy Mass at Redemptorist Church. So I would either go to the 5:30 a.m. Holy Mass at San Isidro Labrador Church in Talamban or catch the 8:45 a.m. at Sto. Rosario Church. Actually these instances when I attended masses at different churches gave me insights for a better 2013.
In these churches, I noticed the presence of a lot of men, simple folks who would just slip quietly into a pew and who would stay in church long after the Holy Mass was over just to pray. The second observation I made was the fact that even on week days both churches (i.e. San Isidro and Sto. Rosario) were full. When people start the day with prayers, with allotting time for God, then how can things not get better?
I have had my share of ups and downs. We win some. We lose some. However, the beautiful thing about the wheel of life is the fact that we cannot lose all the time, neither can we be down all the time. So how’s that for a pleasant reminder to make life easier for us in 2013?
I am now reading an inspirational book by Frances J. Roberts. This book contains different paragraphs from different parts of the Bible. I was touched by the part which says, “Give yourself to a life of prayer, reduce your activities and dispose of the nonessentials.” In the past, we went into so many activities because we couldn’t say no to requests especially from close friends.
We dabbled in the nonessentials, like buying items just because it was on sale, attending affairs even if these were not at all necessary, having new clothes made because what we had were already seen by our friends! (Oh yes! Some women are that flimsy!)
Most of us, however, have grown up during the calamities, the disasters (man-made or otherwise) that occurred in 2012. Many of us have learned that the ultimate goal of this life is to live it to the fullest while loving God and neighbor. Having complied with this goal then we can prepare for the “best is yet to come” when we finish our journey. Let the journey be full of inner strength.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 13, 2013.