Conquering routine and banality Print
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 14:14

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

LIFE cannot help but be marked if not filled with routine and banality. We do the same things everyday. We follow more or less the same schedule. Any change, especially for the better, seems to take an eternity to happen. If we are not careful, we can fall into a deep, even irreversible state of boredom. It’s like being dead while still alive.

That’s just how the cookie crumbles, and we just have to learn to live with it. But there’s actually a way to handle this existential predicament. It is to be with God who is always around in the first place. It is to be filled with his presence and the greatness and grandeur of his love that includes his eternal mercy and compassion.

With God, everything will always be new even if things are the same. Things become fresh even if they are aged and moldy. With him, we will always be in an exciting adventure even in the midst of the harshest storms in our life.

For this, we need to enliven our faith, hope and charity, and develop the proper attitudes and practices. We should not allow ourselves to be led and guided only by the dynamics of our human systems—biological, physical, emotional, mental, economic, social, political, etc. We should not just be at the mercy of our hormones, feelings, passions, insights and the external trends around.

Rather, we should see to it that these natural dynamics of our human systems be inspired and infused with the spirit of God. In other words, it’s God and his grace and everything that is involved in that grace, that should be the living and moving principle of how we think, feel, react, behave, etc. Short of this, we cannot help but be swallowed up by the inevitable wave of routine, banality, boredom.

For this, we certainly need some discipline. This is what Christ himself referred to when he said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily...” (Lk 9,23) In another instance, he said something similar: “Whoever does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14,27)

We should know how to detach ourselves from our feelings and even from our own thoughts, and simply allow ourselves be guided by what our faith teaches us, regardless of how it feels or how we think about it.  It’s not a matter of suppressing our feelings and our human faculties, but of going beyond them, letting ourselves be led by God’s grace.

Many times, we have to take the so-called leap of faith when we have to ignore the inputs of our own thoughts, feelings and the trends around in order to accommodate the tenets of our faith no matter how mysterious they are to us.

This is not going to be easy, but just the same we have to understand that Christ has already given us everything for us to be able to live fully by faith and not just depending on our own thoughts, feelings and the trends around.

Everyday, if we make an effort to conform ourselves more and more to what our faith teaches, we can grow more and more like Christ who knew how to handle all the predicaments in life, including death itself.

That way we get to see and understand things the way Christ sees and understands them. We would know how to make things new and fresh, and avoid the pitfall of routine and banality.