A famous greek philosopher once said that the only thing constant in this world is change. At the start of this year, I told myself that this year was going to be a year full of changes, and it could not have been any more true. 2020 is just full of changes, both big and small. We are about to reach our 9th month in community quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic and this pandemic alone was a big change that we have all experienced. We had to change our set-up for studying and working. I myself had experienced a lot of changes in the past months. I began to be part of the working class around the same time as we entered the community lockdown last March. Later on, I started to work the night shift which changed my sleep schedule. It was also during this time when I was called to lead an area in our youth ministry. A lot more changes happened in the past months—studying or trying out new things during the pandemic, learning how to use video conferencing softwares to continue our mission work, understanding how each person is handling and coping up with the pandemic, saying goodbye to loved ones, and many others.
In the past months, I kept on praying and asking God with a heavy heart why these experiences and challenges are happening. I kept on asking myself, “Was this the change that I told myself would happen this year?”. I felt burdened. Slowly, I realized that what I was feeling was brought about by disappointments and unexpected outcomes. I understood that the changes happening around me were changes that I did not want to happen, and because I chose to resist them, it only made the burden harder.
The past few weeks have taught me that not all changes are good, but at the same time, they aren’t bad as well. Changes can help you improve yourself, to become better, but there are also changes that can be stressful and really difficult to cope with. I also realized that though there are changes that we can control, there are just some changes that are not in our hands, sometimes they just happen, whether we are ready for them or not.
“What’s important about change is how we anticipate it and react to it. Change can teach us to adapt and help us develop resilience, but only if we understand our own capacity for growth and learning. When change makes us better, it’s because we have learned how to turn a challenging situation to our own advantage, not merely because change happens.” – Rick Newman
I wonder, how were the apostles able to cope with the abrupt change after Jesus resurrected? How was Joshua able to lead the Israelites after being appointed as the one to replace Moses? How was Saul, who later on became Paul, able to accept change despite all the weight of killing Christians in the past? How did Job, after losing everything, even his loved ones, remained faithful and obedient to God? There were a lot of changes that happened in the Bible, from simple people called to become prophets to the nations, to the conversion of sinners and persecutors who then on became missionaries of God. During times of change, these people remained faithful to God. Though changes are constantly in their lives, they remained faithful to God, whose love remained constant for His people.
What’s true for them can also be true for us. Though there may be constant changes happening in ourselves and around us, let us hold on to God’s constant love, constant grace, and constant strength as we cope and adapt to all of the changes around us.
I do not know what will happen to me; I only know one thing for certain, that the Lord will never fall short of His promises. – St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
RJ Joquico is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the area of NCR Central.