Vince Ragay on "Becoming a Child Again":(Taken from an article by Rodel Rodis in the PhilippineNews.com)
Beyond the half-century mark, one becomes more and more aware of the passing of time. Time seems to move faster, as if you are in a car that approaches its destination and you become a bit jittery over the prospect of arriving, wherever that may be.
With so much experience in life and with so many memories, one also spends more time reminiscing and evaluating whether the past was what we wanted it to be or simply regretting it totally. With the acquired wisdom of age, we somehow adjust our lives accordingly.
Some slow down. Some change careers or spouses. A few embark on some unthinkable or even perilous adventure (like getting married again) to re-energize their souls.
They begin to live again. No, they are reborn.
Whether age and its vicissitudes of learning or the conveniences of modern life do this to humans is not clear. We know the human spirit contains that divine spark that cannot and must not be bottled in decaying, retarding clay.
The power to overcome the limits of this physical world abides in us all. It only depends on how much we recognize and develop our ability to do so.
Sixty or seventy can bring as much fruit in life as twenty or thirty. Even at 100, Abraham was just becoming a parent to a son and to a nation still to be born. Age then, as proved by this exemplary man, is a mere passage in time and not the ultimate destiny of humans. When we refer to the "bosom of Abraham" we confirm the fact that he still lives and in fact is where we hope to be someday.
And so we do not necessarily grow old. Heaven designed our spirit to go back to where it came from, ultimately and temporarily. Ultimately, since our spirit will one day return to God. Temporarily, for those who are blessed to go through it, since we can become like children again.
This is probably why reunions are becoming such pleasurable pastimes nowadays, whether done physically or virtually through the Internet. School batches from elementary, high school and college are documenting their memories for the simple joy of remembering and feeling young again.
Technology has made it an easy and enjoyable interactive endeavor, complete with mpeg-movies, animation and high-resolution photos. In a way, we have become creative, digital chroniclers of our lives. For good measure, since no one else knows about our shared lives than the group or the mini-colony itself.
Social reality involves the individual consciousness connecting with others like it to form an entity or consciousness that is greater than the individual parts.
Call it synergy. Or group dynamics. It simply describes the natural convergence of spirits finding meaning and stability not just in the real present but also from the treasured past. An accurate documentation of history then is requisite in this process.
Consequently, we learn to become more sensitive to one another. The rough corners around our relationships become smoother, not because we are older but because we have acquired more patience and greater depth of character.
As we then retrace our steps, we come to recognize truths and principles we overlooked when we were young. We learn more from the mistakes of the past because we are now brave enough to face up to them whereas before we tended to disregard them.
We now value some people more (even enemies) because they helped us to become what we are now. We come to accept life now not as a burden to be carried on our backs but as a gift to be held gently in our hands.
It seems that the desire to be young once more is such an exhilarating thought that it makes gray-haired, wrinkled friends act surrealistically like adolescents in school without feeling guilty. A few lucky ones fall in love with each other and find themselves revisiting Shangrila. As the song puts it so well, we are "people...acting more like children than children", in the positive sense.
Unfortunately, the innocence of our childhood and the idealism of our youth are often sacrificed in the pursuit of mundane matters. That is how we grow old. Yes, we may lose childhood and youth but not necessarily innocence or idealism. And even if we do lose them, we can still reclaim them.
"Unless we are converted and become as children, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven," the Lord says.
If so, reminiscing allows us to rechart our lives through the eyes of a child. We begin to forget our hurts, to forgive our enemies, to forget ourselves, to cherish life and to love others more. The kingdom can and does exist on Earth through people who have gone through such a transformation. What a wonderful vista it would usher when more and more people discover the value of this principle. This world would become a splendid portal to Abraham's Paradise.
Give it to me anytime.
Read more of Vince's writings at http://vinceragay.blogspot.com/