I was stuck at home for two weeks caused by a muscle spasm on my lower back. Standing up, sitting down, coughing and even laughing gave me so much pain. “Maybe this is how it feels to be 70, or it could be that my back needs rest”. I realized the ache to rest is more true, not only for me but for you.
This year had been a tug-of-war of sorts. As most of us eased to getting back to normal routines, we were pulled back again by another threat- another C-19 variant, and a new hurdle- the aftermath of Super Typhoon Rai (known as “Odette” in the Philippines).
Like the muscles on my back, majority of us are feeling the strain; our bodies are tired, our minds’ exhausted, our spirits’ down. Fears and worries are building up. “How can we get past this?”, some people from my hometown asked. “I don’t know. But maybe it’ll make a difference if we learn to shift our focus”.
If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a gardenFrances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Yes we all have struggles, and they come in different forms-financially, spiritually, physically, mentally, or emotionally. But the struggles don’t have to steer our life.
If you think about it, life, as much as the world, is a garden too. There’s a time to cultivate, to plant something and to water it. Soon enough, we see blossoms and growth, certainly a gift we take in and enjoy. We do so not because we have to, but because it’s time.
A Time for Everything, Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
I got what I prayed for this Christmas day– healing. But more than that, God gave me what I needed, a time to slowdown and a nudge to shift my focus.
Today is all about His Son and what His birth brings to all mankind: hope and redemption. So for me, today is a time:
- to celebrate
- to be grateful
- to honor life
- to pray for all those who are suffering, in whatever form; and
- to give
It is also a time,
- to remind our loved ones they mean the world to us
- to acknowledge how far we’ve come
- to rebuild, start anew; and
- to rekindle our faith in God, in humanity, and in ourselves.
“God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If He gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.”Pope Francis
God speaks to you this Christmas and He brings you a gift. Set aside everything else for now, and let this day be about Him.