REFLECTION: Changing gears PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 August 2014 14:15

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

The way things are now, what with all the glare, blare and rapidity of modern, highly technological life, we need to re-study how to change gears not only in our whole life in general, but also in our day-to-day routine. What we of the older generation used to know and use about this skill may not be helpful anymore now with the Generation Y.

At least, we need to tweak it a little, if not do some major changes, adjustments and adaptations, or we may need to completely reinvent ourselves. This seems to be the call of the times. Yes, there are things that should not change, but we cannot deny there also are many things that need to change.

Virtues will always be virtues, and vices will always be vices. But the way they are established, expressed and developed have changed quite significantly. The terrain is now very different from what it used to be.

We have to be most wary of the almost irresistible pull of the modern technologies. They tend to rivet us to a particular field of interest, confining us there often with the sensation we are doing all right. We fail to realize we are neglecting other aspects that are even more important and fundamental in life.

This is when we can unwittingly fall into some bad habits and even addictions. We lose the proper sense of objectivity and get more buried under an increasingly invincible subjectivism, often driven and dominated by the blind impulses of the flesh and the passing values of the worldly spirit.

We have to update our skills in changing gears. We have to learn how to differentiate, blend and practice in their proper places and times our meditative and active modes, our prayer, work, study, hobbies and rest, our family, social and professional obligations, our private and public lives.

We have to learn how to pay due attention to our spiritual and material needs, our practice of the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity as well as the human cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. This should be given more teeth and made real, and stop being a mere theory and dream.

We have to be more discerning of the many facets and aspects of our life and to give the proper attention to each one of them in a healthy hierarchy of values that reflects our dignity as persons and citizens, as image and likeness of God, and as children of God.

In this regard, what is most helpful is for us to make use of some workable plan of life, a dynamic, living structure that puts some order into the many elements of our life as well as being open to new, unexpected developments that can come along.

Basic to this plan is to give due time to our need to pray, study, work and rest. We need to further specify how to go about these fundamental activities so we can truly say that they are functional and are clearly helping us in pursuing our ultimate objective of loving God and loving everybody else, whoever and however he may be.

What is also helpful is to continue purifying and disciplining ourselves so that we can avoid being held captive by mere  sensations and emotions, or by mere trends and fads. That’s precisely why Christ told us that if we want to follow him, we need to deny ourselves and carry the cross.

So we should have no doubt about the essential role that the spirit of sacrifice, mortification and penance plays in our life. When we are not open to this spirit, when we tend to shy away from it, let’s be convinced that we would be disabling ourselves to change gears properly and promptly.

The skill of changing gears in our life is ultimately a matter of our constant awareness that God is always with us, is always intervening in our lives, is speaking to us through all the events of our life.

It is therefore also a matter of always recognizing the presence of God in everything, and of discerning what is trying to tell us at every moment and situation. This will require tremendous faith and a strong, vibrant piety, which hopefully would be nourished by that plan of life we referred to earlier.

Let’s be convinced that being aware of God’s presence all the time, and actively corresponding to his will and ways is really what matters in our life after all is said and done.