Luab: There are no instant solutions to problems

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Evelyn R. Luab
Light Sunday

WE HAVE so many instant items. To name a few, we have instant coffee, instant cereal, instant noodles, ready-made dresses, etc. However, there are no instant cures for broken marriages, for humiliation, for rejection, and even for broken hearts.

Solutions to problems such as these take time in processing, in debriefing, in waiting it out.

We have to allow time to take over and for us to sit with God and ask why. We really do not expect God to answer the "why." We only raise our “why prayer” heavenwards so we can ask God to be with us in our time of crisis, to embrace us as we cry. It is never wrong to let teardrops fall. When we sob the way children do, they do get cuddled and comforted. This is what we hope to get as we cry: God’s consoling embrace.

Today is so near Christmas that our little ones are dreaming of gifts under the Christmas tree. We can help them lower their expectations by saying, “Santa may not give you what you really wish for this Christmas because Santa first had to attend to people who needed food, clothing and shelter in places hit by the big earthquake and the super typhoon. Whatever Santa brings, we will receive with shouts of joy because we know he had to use part of the cash to help others, to buy gifts, to make us happy this Christmas. Santa still wants to make everyone happy!”

Helping each other is one way of distributing cheer this Christmas season. I’ve sat down with a friend who poured out her pain because someone whom she thought loved her, turned out to be just playing with her gullibility. To quote my son-in-law “the problem with women is they fall hard for sweet talk forgetting that some men enjoy flirting!” Sad but true! Solution to my friend’s pain will take a long time to cure but if she helps herself by facing reality, then the cure to her heartache will come faster. All this kind of processing needs is a listening ear as she goes through her pain.

Our priorities are often misplaced. Why? We think of ourselves first and then we fall flat on our faces. Why don’t we shift our attention to others instead?

Many times this past week I’ve opted to handle prayer groups instead of attending parties. One beautiful thing about service to others is that whatever disappointments we’ve had in depriving ourselves of the presence of old friends are erased by pure joy. At the end of the day, when silence reigns in our hearts of service, we hear a sigh of satisfaction.

One other thought to help get a faster solution to a problem is to believe in the old saying that “there is no use crying over spilled milk.” (“Nayabo na, mapunit pa ba?”)

We wish of course that things had been different, that broken pieces can be glued back; however, wishing alone is not enough. We just have to deal with shattered trust, collateral damage for taking a risk and live with the pain, until a wiser man or woman emerges.

We always learn through hindsight. Lessons gathered from pains, hardships are always seeds for growth. We learn to recognize the dangers of pitfalls and we simply step around it. We don’t turn back. Neither do we stop our travel into paths less traveled by. Good relationships are worth keeping. However, if people put up a “Do not enter sign,” then I suppose there must be a good reason for putting up that sign. At least that’s honesty! Transparency is always an ingredient worth keeping in any relationship.

Problems in life will always come up in the same way that moments of precious joy also do arrive. There are no instant cures to problems but a cure to any problem will come.

With faith, and surrender to God’s amazing grace somehow things will get better. We’ve all gone through a lot already. Survival alone is a lesson which experience, that great teacher, has fortified us with. Christmas day is a day worth preparing for. Let us give birth to the Christ in us and appreciate the Christ in others too.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 15, 2013.


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