God has a plan for us–even in our twilight years | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Just as Typhoon “Ruby” was threatening to invade Manila, our class of octogenarians was getting ready to gather for lunch, our usual last quarter birthday celebration made special because it is also Christmas. Listening to the weather reports in the news, I feared a no-show on Saturday and thought of canceling.


But our tenacious (read that hard-headed) organizer refused to budge. She said the ladies were all but getting their faces and hair done as early as Thursday and would be very disappointed.


I asked the caterers to stand by. We had a Friday noon deadline. I looked at the sky—bright sunshine, no clouds and balmy breezes. It looked like thumbs up to me.


And Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day—at least in Alabang. I am glad we stayed with the plan.


It is always a treat to see old friends, to remember (those of us who still can) old times. We update each other. Someone just had a new great grandchild. Another one has a brand new cane.


How have we kept so close? We are blessed with a handful of classmates who work hard to keep us in touch. We get together, rain or shine, every quarter. Most of the time, we lunch in Kamayan, still the tastiest best buffet for the money. It is our one “cheat” day.


For our yearender we had an inspirational speaker. She spoke about Christmas and reminded us that God has a plan and a purpose for us, yes even in our twilight years.


Many of us have given up on ourselves, thinking it is all over and we go around feeling kawawa, moping aimlessly, wondering and worrying.


Take heart! Live it up.


Another candle?


A few days after the deluge, I blew a pink candle on my little birthday cake, a token reminder of the 82 wonderful and fantastic years of my life. Who’s counting? In spite of a few aches and pains, even if I sometimes feel like the cereal that goes snap, crackle and pop, life is beautiful! God is good!


The children took me out to dinner at the City Club. Having never been there before, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it must be some stiff, private, formal social club. But it was actually warm and welcoming, replete with high-end restaurants offering different cuisines, for members only, of course.


We went Chinese. One look at the menu and I remembered my list of no-no’s. Aside from lentils and shellfish, the other goodies that make me hobble and limp are my two favorites: mushrooms and ice cream. Okay, I gave up mushrooms.


How I wish


Once in a while I come across an article with a message that resonates in my heart and awakens in me emotions that have been dormant and quiet for ever so long.


Case in point is a strongly-worded account written by Phillip Agnew, executive director of Dream Defenders, who received an invitation from US President Barack Obama to meet in his Oval Office. It came on the heels of days and nights of violent racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.


The writer shares his thoughts about the encounter and describes some of his expectations and uncertainties. But: “It was an invitation and you accept, period.”


Rooted in the belief that “silence is betrayal,” his small group, composed, he writes, of individuals “without power or position,” walked into the Oval Office and talked about “radical change” at all levels of government.


They knew that the chief executive wanted to know what was going on around the country and “we answered with clarity and brutal honesty.”


I like how Agnew describes the end of their audience with the American president. He said that his brave little group emerged “un-bought and unbowed.” They pulled no punches and there was “no code switching, no bootlicking, no concessions, no politicking or posturing.” Bravo!


When was the last time you heard this said about anyone here at home, in politics or of people who choose to breathe the same air as politicians? Why does a person’s demeanor instantly change when faced with the rich and famous? Is it so difficult to keep your composure?


Doesn’t it sicken you to see all the fawning, the bowing and scraping in the presence of power?


On the other hand, how many people in high places do you know who have stayed humble, in touch with reality and who have kept their principles and values intact? Sadly there are only a few. But they are there.


The good news is that they are starting to speak up. Please let us listen. Let us stop the bickering and mudslinging! Enough already!


There needs to be a change of heart, soon.


Christmas thoughts


For those of us who still wonder why some people hear from God and others don’t seem to, here’s an excerpt from “It Started in a Manger” by Max Lucado. He describes the scene at the stable.


“Off to one side sits a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and by a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear Him—and so on this cloudless night He went to simple shepherds.”


Do you have time? Think about it.