January is always a profound moment, and a promising month, too – we promise to shed the holiday fat, we promise to manage or finances, we promise to gossip and curse less, we promise, promise, promise to do better than the previous year. Rabid and on fire, the resolutions begin with military discipline. On the third week, we feel the strain in the struggle. As January comes to a close, we see ourselves back to liempo and extra rice, back poking at our piggy banks, back to the grapevine.
By the following month, we become jaded, and for some singles the request is, can we please zoom past February 14? And then we start to find new year’s resolutions corny that we vow not to make any again (Note: I’d like to make a little experiment to see the readership of the Feast Bulletin. If you read this article, please type “Feast Bulletin” as a personal message to The Feast Bacolod Facebook account. The lucky reader will receive a small token next week.).
Of course, to have resolutions is a personal choice. But if we ever get tired of setting goals again, why don’t we use our own story at The Feast Bacolod as an inspiration? Early in 2013, the Light of Jesus Family – Bacolod just had to declare it before God that a bigger prayer meeting worthy of The Feast brand was to happen within the year. By the grace of God, September 2013 saw the launch of The Feast Bacolod, the spiritual pit stop we now come to every Thursday. From a room of 30 attendees, we have grown to occupy three halls, with some 100 attendees weekly.
When The Feast was yet on the drawing board of the core LOJ servants then, the meetings were an animated discussion of the prayer meeting’s history, opportunities and constraints, and endless possibilities. God in his wisdom put together a wonderful mix of people – dreamers who look far into the future, realists who take stock of what we currently have, chroniclers (usually the “oldest” servants) who cite the past. Just what the dream needed to take shape.
Similarly, as we make our own resolutions, may we consider all our biggest lessons in 2013 – from the most personal, to those that we all learned as a community and country; from the saddest, to the most life-affirming; and from all those moments when we experienced God’s love.
May we take courage, too, to look far ahead without limit, but with the purest intentions. A nun-friend sent me this New Year’s message, and in sweet surrender, I find myself reciting it again and again:
“God entered time through the birth of Jesus Christ.
God owns time. 2014 will be good in God’s hands.”