Sem. Errol Salcedo
In the age of the fast changing society which everything must have to be "instant", the word preparation would seem to be neglected. When i was a child, i was introduced to instant milk, coffe and noodles, which eventually, becomes an instant relationship, instant decision, and instant action. Now, the results are we have instant baby, instant breakup(separation), and instant happiness. Then we discovered that there are no better results for the quick-inconsiderable judgements. It is tempting to take the easy way than to challenge ourselves. It is easy to cheat than to study; to drink or take drugs than to face problem; or to covet than to be faithful. However, are they really good ways to make us better individuals? Sometimes, we no longer see the beauty of hardship and the value of sacrifice for the better purpose. Hardship and sacrifice, actually, makes us grow and better persons.Thus, if they are needed just for us to be prepared, then why not grab the opportunity to grow and be patient of our own process.
After all, life is not a competition (who would win or loss?) but a mature use of one's freedom so that when the time comes, facing our Creator, we could say, "i have lived meaningfully and use conscientiously the life you have entrusted to me."( see 2 P 3: 9) I remember my parents who are working hard so that we can eat and go to school. Now my mother will always say, "I and your were able send all of you to school and that's the greatest gift we offered to you".
Second, when we prepare, we also plan. We plan because we want to make the encounter with "Other/s" more satisfying. Though, we do not have the grasp of what will happen, our plans will give us the confidence for a meaningful encounter. I was a youth minister and organizer for more or less 15 years. Every now and then, we have to plan and organize activities and programs so that we can have a beautiful and meaningful encounter. From those experiences, i discovered the beauty of "planning" or "plan of actions" in preparation for a meaningful encounter of young individuals and their personal encounter with God. Perhaps, it is also good to ask ourselves, "how do we prepare ourselves for a meaningful encounter with our Lord?" so that this meaningful encounter would also be a wonderful celebration with God.
Lastly, when the preparation becomes an expression of our personal relationship with God. Preparation becomes an expression of one's being when an action no longer comes from self but from the will of God. In this way, we can relate to Paul when he said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."(Phil. 4:13 ) "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me."(Gal. 2:20) It is a mystical longing when God and I(you) becomes One like the fiat of the blessed mother - her entire being becomes One with God. Therefore, as we continue to prepare ourselves for Jesus' coming, let us make the path of the Lord straight, by preparing ourselves meaningfully so that when the Lord comes we can celebrate with Him wonderfully.