THE PASSERBY | When forced indoors

By Fr. Roy Cimagala
Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE)
Talamban, Cebu City

WITH all this talk about lockdown, quarantine and voluntary self-isolation for about a month or so due to this coronavirus, we need to learn how to make good use of our time when we are
forced to be indoors.

We have to welcome this rare opportunity. It at least offers us a chance to rehearse when due to some emergency situation we are made to stay put in a place longer than usual.

We can never tell what the future holds for us. So far, we already had a volcano eruption, some earthquakes, and we are still in the first quarter of the year. We can expect typhoons sooner or later.
And there might still be more. Who knows? It’s always good to be prepared for any eventuality.

At the very least, what we can do is to grow in the inside when on the outside we cannot do much and our movements are restricted, or when we are practically confined and yet we are still in normal condition physically, mentally and even emotionally.

Most important of all would be that we be spiritually fit and healthy, and still productive in a sense. This aspect of our life is fundamental and should not be compromised just because of these forced restrictive measures imposed on us.

Definitely, we can make use of the time praying and studying better than usual. These very important human necessities are usually taken for granted during ordinary days. Now is the time to ake up. Besides, we have a very good and immediate reason to pray and study more, given the current situation.

When we are more with God, we can see things better. We can always make good use of any situation that humanly speaking may be considered as a disaster. With God, we would know how to adjust and
adapt. With God, everything, including some negative events, will always work out for the good, as St. Paul once said. (cfr. Rom 8,28)

It would be a good idea to pick up some spiritual books, to know more about the life of Christ and those of the saints. It’s also a good time to live a more intense spirit of sacrifice and penance, and to practice the different works of mercy, if not directly then by virtual means through the Internet, by spreading good pieces of news or just good spirit. We would be doing a great service that way, given the conditions of people these days.

We can also attend to certain concerns to which we only paid a lick and a promise during our normal working days. There may still be some books to be read, some assignments to be done, some
repairs to be made in the house. The garden may need better attention and care than what was given it before. There will always be items that we left behind because we cannot attend to them during normal days.

Family life definitely can be given more attention too.

Parents who still have children at home can spend more time with them, though this would require of them more creative initiatives so that the children would learn how to take advantage of their forced
vacation. The parents have the grave duty to give good example to their children. They would also have more time to show affection to their children.

Let’s consider these days of confinement like the gestation period of a living being that needs to be well taken care of precisely at that most crucial stage for its development, so that when
the time comes for it to be born, it comes out very healthy.

Let’s have a very positive outlook at this turn of events. There’s no use lamenting over this somewhat drastic change of circumstance. That would only be counter-productive, a pure waste of

Let’s never forget that if we are forced indoors, God must have allowed it to happen. And if he allows it, there must be a reason and a greater good that can be derived from it.