Lessons from my 2yr. old Daughter in this COVID-19 Situation
LESSONS FROM MY 2yr OLD DAUGHTER IN THIS COVID-19 situation.
By: Atty. Jeremiah Belgica
(Warning: Long Post Ahead, but if you finish you will not regret it)
While having my dinner, I was incessantly reading Viber and Telegram messages from different chat groups. Due to Covid-19 we were all forced to work from home which actually also mean that we are on cyber operations. It also means that working hours is stretched out so long as you have your smart phone and internet connection.
The matters I was trying to handle through my phone seemed to be of paramount interest since I was trying as much as possible to steer my agency (ARTA) towards helping government agencies and offices to strategize streamlined service deliveries for the people in this time of global emergency.
I can hear that the News on TV is all about Covid-19 and social media was even more draped by the news on the pandemic. What concerned me the most is the need for food and nourishment to the most vulnerable sectors who cannot not even work due to the ECQ. I was also trying to coordinate with friends from the private sector for donations and other services for the depressed areas. Indeed everyone’s world was now consumed by this virus. And so I thought.
Suddenly in the midst of my cyber engagements, our 2 year old daughter, Tori, came up to me and gently pulled me out of my chair. She started leading me by holding on to pointing finger with her tiny hands like a leash on one of her toys. She wanted me to come with her to the other side of the room because she was watching one of her favorite kiddie show”Hi-5”. (For those who don’t know, Hi-5 is a very colorful kids show that features 5 entertaining adults who combines dance, music, arts and games in this edu-tainment).
Only to realize that she was actually rounding up everyone in the room (Me, my wife, and my Mother-in-law) to dance with her and the entire Hi-5 crew. These 5 dancing adults on TV were dressed colorfully and they were happily surrounded by toddlers and kids dancing with them. But of course our little Tori decided that she was also joining in the fun with her Dad, Mom and Lola.
My daughter was teeming with joy and the three of us tried to be as supportive as we can by flapping our arms and clapping our hands to cheer her on. As I looked at her I realized that Tori was in her element, and she was the only one untouched (unmindful) by the worries of this world.
Her world was right there infront of her and it was very colorful and happy. This world in her mind was insulated from the on-going worry of the killer virus.
Her happiness was there all the way until the show ended. After the show we sat her down again and face reality that she had to finish her food, face her regular clean-up routine, say our prayers and be tuck to bed.
Then something profound came to my mind. I realized that all of us have our own little version of Hi-5s. It could be the Hi-5s of work, ministry, businesses, politics, sports, showbusiness, education, training, other ambitions, and similar others. What I mean is that we all have perceived realities that keeps our world in perfect symetry and equilibrium. We all have our colorful little worlds set-up in our minds with lofty goals and dreams whose music we dance around to. We even pull everyone and everything to line-up according to our world and perceived reality. Our own Hi-5s has captured our fancy and attention so much that we have thought the world of it and allowed our lives to revolve around it. We live for it and languish in these things.
These things have become our life and we got used to having our lives go on “as usual”.
But what happens when life is no longer life “as usual”? What happens when our own versions of “Hi-5” ends and we now need to face a bigger reality?
What happens when suddenly the very preoccupation that makes up your world suddenly stops? Only at that time do we wake up and realize that there is a bigger matter and greater reality that over rides those things that have run our worlds.
Relating this to where we are now with this Pandemic, suddenly all of our little worlds stopped and has been taken over by a greater concern for survival, personally and as a community of people. Hunger and survival is no longer in the news but just might be next door and could possibly be knocking on our doors anytime.
We are now forced to re-think our priorities because suddenly our lives and our family’s lives are at stake. Our perspective towards life “as usual” have been changed as our consciousness were brought to a higher plane.
And that conciousness is not really about Covid-19, but it is being concious of a greater reality that trancends life here and now. A persective that brings us beyond space-time and matter and straight into the eternal dimension of the creator God himself. This eternal dimension though unknown to our physical senses could however be pondered and surmised through the eyes of faith.
Yes, eyes of faith. Without faith it will be impossible for us to overcome seemingly impossible challenges both in our lives and in our nation. The uncertainty is too great that it actually takes faith to believe and say that things are going to be better as we overcome this together.
I remember that the Holy Word of God says that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”. Faith in this context is not blind, but it is something grasp in the spiritual dimension and seen first through spiritual eyes. Because only until you see it (vision) by faith in the spirit can you actually move your self accordingly to achieve what is impossible.
The fact is we are fighting an invisible war as we speak. Covid-19 is ferocious and merciless. But faith is a secret weapon in our arsenal that cannot be infected by the virus but always is effective against it.
When we give it a second hard look, there are actually some upside in this trying times.
This Covid-19 stepped in and stopped our worlds and suddenly political agendas and differences has to take a back seat (a rarity in our politically charged society). Even taxes and due and demandable obligations were suspended for a later date because nobody wants to be troubled or to trouble anyone about something so petty compared to what is before us. Maybe because in the face of a life threatening situation debt, taxes and other life gripping issues loses their power and urgency. Now we only need to not lose the faith.
This situation makes me believe more. Because I know that God has plan for our country, the Philippines. I believe that God in His sovereignty has already seen everything before it happened and he has placed our President and the leaders (administration or opposition) in position for such a time as this. We need to pray for the President and all our leaders as they make critical decisions and receive critical informations. Pray for our Mayors and all local chief executives. At this time we also have to have faith in our leaders as we have faith in God’s wisdom.
Now we have time for what really matters: Family and reflection for life hereafter. In Christ we can be sure of eternity. By faith we are brought beyond fear and into an eternal boldness of safety and security.
Because of this lockdown we are indeed being cleansed, but not only from the virus, but from the worldliness of the urgent and the slavery of the mundane. We are being taught to go beyond politics and see the greater need and act for everyone’s good. More than that, with the call for national prayer and repentance all over, our souls are being cleansed and spirits being reborn.
I remember Pope Francis when asked the difficult question “Why do children suffer?”, he tenderly and profoundly answered, “Why do children suffer? It’s a mystery. We need to call on God as a child calls his dad and says: “Why? Why?” to draw the gaze of God, which will tell us one thing: “Look at my Son, He too.”
In this trying times we call to God in faith, but before we get to the answer or solution it is important for us to remember that He understands because He too suffered. That we are calling on someone who became like us, suffered and overcame. That Jesus sees us and understands. That our heavenly Father loves us as He loved His Son.
2000 years ago Jesus Christ gave His famous Sermon on the Mount and had this to say about our worries in this world,
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
My heart breaks for the suffering and for the most vulnerable in our country as the government tries to resolutely answer their immediate needs. At this time, daily grind for the poor has caused so much uncertainty for them that feeding their families would only be possible through the “bayanihan” of those in the community.
More than food I pray that they continue to keep the faith because Christ has said, “'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.”
But for us who have more than enough to share let us all unite with our suffering brothers and do what we can to be the answer to their prayers.
I pray that all our leaders continue and not lose the faith and remember that when things seem to be impossible, still “with God, all things are possible”.
With the Covid-19 still looming, I will continue to work from home to contribute for my country but I will not miss the chance of spending my time and awareness of the greater realities of family and faith. For now, I will take a break for a moment and dance the Hi-5 with my beautiful daughter and wife. Because when all this is over, we might just forget the greater realities of life again.
Atty. Jeremiah Belgica
Director General, Anti-Red Tape Authority