The tricycle ride to and from the office gives me enough moments to think and reflect about many things. The road is adorned with many things- children playing by the roadsides, animals grazing on the green grass along the road, rice fields in all and varying crop stages (and with the advertisements of commercial pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals used in the farm), and at times, especially after harvest time, some men having their simple joy of sharing bottles of Tanduay, or Red Horse, or Gold Eagle.
Yet what captures my attention always is the presence of children- elementary school children, to be exact- on their way to school in the morning and on their way home from school in the afternoon. Some of them take the tricycle for their ride. But most of them walk. They may be enjoying the walk and the walk may even prove healthy and healthful to these kids. Oh I love this sight. And I turn sentimental when I see these kids walking to and from the school.
As promised, I am writing about basketball. Not only to fulfill a promise, but really to expound on some lessons from basketball as a sport. I assume they are the lessons one can learn from any other sport as well, especially any team sport. Nonetheless, I will be writing about basketball— I play the game and, during my spare times, I coach a basketball team back home. In my coaching, I always emphasize the following points:
To most people, perhaps, the title sounds quite familiar, popular even. It is true that this is the title of one of the TV shows. But please don’t get me wrong. I am not about to promote the show in this blog, nor I am doing the same for the network that runs it. And mind you, this may be quite controversial to some. I am no authority to write about this art. I have never been a (good) dancer. I was forced to dance recently out of necessity and by sheer coercion. Sometimes, being a leader means swallowing one’s pride. Anyways, I might be carried and veer away from the subject…
It is one of those rare nights where I was glued to my seat and my eyes fixed on the TV set before me. Most of my friends know that there are just few chosen channels I watch in the boob tube… and ALL of them are basketball channels (Promise I’ll write one about basketball soon). But I could not believe it when I found myself ‘enjoying’ this particular show featuring real-life partners dancing to a variety of music – from from tango, jive, waltz, to hip hop, contemporary, bollywood dance and more. Then, after every performance, each of the judges in the panel would comment on the performance of each couple. The comments range from the most flattering to the most devastating (yes, they are). In this particular night, the couples were asked to do three routines. And I found myself enjoying the show. Again, I am not a dancer, I am not a dance enthusiast. Now, you ask me why. I can venture only timid answers.
Today is the third Sunday of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. It is also called the Gaudete Sunday, meaning Rejoice. This means that Christmas is just several sleeps away. The liturgical readings remind the faithful to be a rejoicing people as they prepare to welcome the Greatest Superstar of all times- yet such rejoicing must come from the knowledge that we are righteous people because the Son had shared his divine righteousness with us.
While I am writing this, a Huey chopper of the Armed Forces keeps hovering above our serene Sunday noontime— hours after Gloria Arroyo backpedalled with her Presidential Proclamation 1959 putting the province of Maguindanao under martial law for more than a week. This small lady has the penchant of challenging the constitutional limits and the democratic institutions, only to fool around when caught red-handed. It is true that the country is reeling from the November 23 massacre— a man slaughter of bestial and barbaric proportions.
I am partly citing these ‘events’ to put context into what I wish to reflect on. Christmas is a very great Christian mystery. It is God’s humble act of sharing our human sinfulness. This is certainly the reason why there is so much rejoicing for the occasion. That God made the humanity worthy of His great love. Still, the question is how can a people rejoice in the midst of darkness and bleakness brought about by human greed? I think all the more that we should become a people of love, a people of hope. It was one of those dark winter midnights when the Saviour was born to a sinful world. It was to the lost people undergoing persecution, oppression and abuse where the Saviour was born into. It was a time and a society not different from ours. Yet on that very night- a silent night, a holy night- the promised Saviour from the ancestry of David came into a desperate world.
The Christmas story must be the story that must be retold over and over again if only to find meaning into our present situation. Yes, we are lost today, we are a hurting people- no small thanks to our leaders, we are a desperate people. Yet our God is more than the sum total of our predicaments and problems.
And He assures us that with His Son coming into our sinful world, it will surely be a Silent Night… it will certainly be a Holy Night…And we shall all sleep in Heavenly Peace.