2016 Reflection and Review



If 2016 taught me anything, it's that we can't have everything we want, we can't control everything, we are not the center of the universe, death is real, and we're not making things better by promoting hate. We're more connected than we realize and the impact of our choices do go beyond the radius that we've set up in our minds.

We can no longer say that by doing nothing, we are not harming anyone. You live your life, I live mine. But precisely by doing nothing, we contribute to the ills of the world by refusing to act within our means. On the flip side, we can have this messiah complex that makes us feel better than anyone else because we care about everything, and therefore we care about nothing. We drift and base our identity on our piety but our priorities are out of whack. The reality is that we will never solve everything and we will only be constantly burdened by the perpetual and multiplying problems of the world.

Truth:


We are imperfect, we have to work with that and clearly we need saving. Humanity is so sick and I can't see any other cause than the darkness in the human heart. Sin. It corrupts.

We are being driven to the end of our rope. Maybe it's time we pay attention and realize that we can't save ourselves. But in hope against hope, we believe there is a way.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
- Zephaniah 3:17

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On a more personal note, 2016 brought with it about as many changes as 2015 did.

Q1: Carlo and I were in the final stages of our immigration process. We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary.

Q2: We visited Palawan for our last local mission trip before heading to the US. I got my third tattoo, the biggest one yet. In May, we made the move back to San Diego. I turned 25. I reconnected with relatives and started meeting new friends who have known Carlo for a long time.

Q3: Carlo and I went on a road trip to NorCal. We started looking for a new home church. I found a job quickly, lost it just as fast. I revisited the idea of vocation and what it means to follow God's call in my life. Also, I started learning to drive. Gained nearly 10 pounds, lol. #merica

Q4: First Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US. Ending the year with a new California driver's license. Still job hunting. Still grateful. Still excited about life. Still by the grace of God.

When I start to think about all the crap that happened this year, I go back to what I wrote above. I will allow myself to grieve what's to be grieved, to celebrate what deserves to be celebrated. One day God will heal and renew. But today we do what we can with our God-given resources and do the hard work of love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and cultivation of this Earth for his glory. 
A busy man must make up his mind to do what he can, without afflicting himself if he cannot do all that he wishes. You must have patience and not think that God our Lord requires what man cannot accomplish...There is no need to wear yourself out, but make a competent and sufficient effort, and leave the rest to him who can do all he pleases. (Ignatius, on the subject of work)

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