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Restart or reset?

Since we do not know how this whole Covid pandemic will play out, how long it will take before things get somehow settled down, and what lasting effects it would make, we should be, of course, hoping and praying for the best while preparing ourselves for the worst.

We know that there must be some kind of normalcy when this menacing virus would be in some acceptable level of containment. But when that comes, would we be asked to simply have a restart or a reboot of our ways of doing things, or would we be required to do some drastic reset?

I suppose the possibilities are just between these two options. There will always be things that would simply go on, because they are essential, though they may be done a bit or quite differently.

These are usually our spiritual duties which hold priority over all the other duties we have, since these spiritual duties refer more to our needs that correspond to the imperishable nature of our humanity.

Our duties toward God and others, especially our family, should be our first concern. Yes, the necessity for prayer and sacrifice will never wane. But they may have to be done in some novel way that is consonant to the new conditions.

In this regard, how to meet the need for continuing spiritual and moral formation should also be studied well. This need will never become obsolete. It, in fact, becomes more relevant the more mysterious and daunting the challenges of the new normal become. It should never be sacrificed.

All the other duties, while indispensable, belong to the perishable condition of our life. And so we have to be ready to drop certain things, since they are not anymore relevant to what we expect to be the new conditions in these coming days or weeks, months and even years.

We should try our best to face the new challenges with strong faith and hope, with bold and not cowardly prudence, with a good sense of resilience and adaptability accompanied with a great desire to achieve the pertinent competencies.

We have to learn the skill of distinguishing the often confusing values between what is precious and pressing, what is essential and incidental, what refers more to the end or goal and what are mere means, etc.

This is not an easy thing to do, of course. We should expect mistakes to be committed, since very often we have no other alternative but to go through some trial-and-error process even if we study things well.

We should just be game and sport about the whole affair even if we should try our best to be serious in tackling the challenges. Let us assume the same go-getter attitude that St. Paul once expressed when he said: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4,7)

Yes, we should have time for self-introspection if only to see how things fare. But we should avoid falling into brooding, sadness, self-pity and discouragement especially when we notice our weaknesses, errors and failures.

We have to remember that in this life what matters is that we should just begin and begin again. We should never lose hope because God never gives up on us, no matter how many times we fail. He does not only give second chances. He gives us an infinity of chances.

We should just be quick to have a rebound, wasting no time in indulging in useless lamentations. Like a good sportsman, we should be quick to learn from our mistakes, and like St. Paul, we should convert our weaknesses into strength by converting these weaknesses into occasions to get closer to God.

This is how we can develop a champion’s mind and attitude. Even our failures can be made into moments of glory!*

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April 2021

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