The part few days have been hectic for us. Tes is working on a layouting project. I’ve been teaching ballet while working on my applications to teach physics in universities. To complicate things, my mother and sister-in-law are on vacation from overseas. One has to struggle just to meet this balancing act. Pay insurance online. Stock-up on cooked food. Re-schedule some activities.Write down appointments. The important thing is to have a frequent assessment of the importance, urgency and economics of every effort. At the end of the day, we have to question ourselves, “Did we accomplish something towards our longterm goals?”
Today I substituted for my Ballet teacher in her classes at the International British Academy (Imus, Cavite). Better (or worse ) than sales jobs, I once again got the chance to work with kids of different ages. I started the afternoon with 4 year old aspiring ballerinas. All went well until half of the class wanted to pee! I demonstrated an outburst to show these kids who was the boss and told them they needed to pee before class. Aside from this, the rest of the afternoon was quite pleasing. My 6, 9 and Teens were very alert and cooperative. Does it really make sense to put 4 year olds in a Ballet class? Do they really get the value of the training? I guess this question is answered case to case, but in general, 4 year olds should wait another year to dance.
I recently embarked on a radical sabbatical. Previously, I would leave home and go to some office or meeting somewhere. I would then spend the day sitting in front of computers or talking to people. Today, after I activate my car’s wireless security system, I walk into a special classroom: A Ballet Studio! Quite radical! After I hung my dancing shoes 14 years ago, I never dreamed of going back to this sphere. Goodbye sore butts! Hello sore leg muscles and screaming kids!
I get some strange reactions when I mention that this is one of the things I do. A lot of folks think that work and pleasure don’t mix. What they don’t realize is that Ballet is a stable business. As long as people have daughters, there will always be Ballet. On top of all this, you get to influence the development of the next generation. I guess its possible to get the best of both worlds!
Typically, summers in the Philippines are so hot. Its normally a good time to make sure your fire alarm works because of the number of fires that occur this time of year. You normally have good, clear weather that enables you to dry your laundry or cook outdoors. This year is weird. Rains and chilly spells have been coming and going. At times we had to dry our laundry indoors. This also tells me that climate change is indeed progressing. I guess we have to do our part and cut our fossil fuel emissions. The simplest way will be to be efficient in our energy use.
We have a tradition in the Philippines to commemorate “Holy Week”. For us this is a time to reflect on the passion of Jesus and consider how to be closer to Him. In this day and age however, people consider this as a time to get out of town and have fun. In itself there is actually nothing wrong with this PROVIDED that the spirit of reflecting on the sacrifice of Jesus is not thrown out. Taking an RV to go places while being thankful for what he has done for us would the right thing to do.
There are also others who would go the other extreme. These folks would go and have nails driven on their hands to “pay” for the sins they have done. While their faith is admirable, I believe it is misguided. The ability of Jesus to take away our sins was because he himself was SINLESS. No matter how painful your sacrifice would be it will not take away your sin nor will it change your life.
While not all people crucify themselves, a lot of us try to do our own sacrifices to make up for our sins. We do this by praying a lot more after accepting a bribe. Going on a long pilgrimage on foot after a year of womanizing. Reading the Bible more after cheating an exam. Whether our sins be small or great, any sacrifice of our own is useless.
For years I struggled with a stubborn sin in my life. The impact was devastating on me as a person and on my family. Even after setting external accountability systems to check me, internally I was in turmoil. It was only when I learned the ancient secret to freedom that I got my liberation. It was surprisingly simple: 1.) I recognized that my sin was crucified with Christ and was dead no matter what thoughts or feeling I had about it, 2.) my sin was buried as I was immersed in the waters of my baptism and 3.) I have resurrected into new life and have a relationship with God. When I realized this, it was only then that I understood what it meant to be “not conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
When I woke up this morning, I found my little girl all cuddled up beside me. A few minutes later she was exchanging arguments with her brother about a toy. I gave instructions to cease hostilities and to stop handling the contentious toy. My directives fell on deaf ears leading to my administration of discipline. This is mostly a form of isometric calistenics which serves a secondary purpose of developing their physique. (Makes me wonder when parents stop worrying about this and concern themselves with acne treatments.) After a post-discipline self-pity party, my daughter proceeds to the consumption of her breakfast. She engages me in a conversation during this meal. It wasn’t what she said that touched me but it was her eyes. A gaze at those innocent, trusting disks melts away any irritation, anxiety or anger I may have had previously. This little lady trusts me! She knows that whatever I do is for her good. Why can’t I be like her, most of the time, when it comes to my relationship with God? He has my best interest in mind but I only see the pain in my life. I guess it’s time for me to see his heart just as my daughter sees mine.