EDITORS NOTE: John Gilbert Arceo needs no further introduction. He is a household name in Bacolod City. An accomplished film and theater actor and acting coach, John is now an entrepreneur with his Tapa Ni Juan, a meat-curing business that is fast earning a solid reputation for taste and texture.
The last time I remember feeling scared that the world would end was when I was around nine when people around the globe started to fear that the space station, Skylab, will crash to Earth.
That impending catastrophe caused a lot of panic here in the Philippines since its projected trajectory could hit our country.
That was 1979, and I know my fellow Gen-Xers can strongly relate to this.
Fast forward to 2020, we are now in the midst of a global health crisis with the emergence of this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This crisis has brought a lot of uncertainties, fears, anxieties, and struggles in people’s lives.
We worry of getting the disease. We fear for the lives of our family members.
We are uncertain about of our jobs. We struggle with our finances. We even struggle with adjusting to the new normal like wearing masks, wearing face shields, social distancing, no mass gatherings (meaning no hosting jobs for me!), and so forth.
Nevertheless, life must go on.
The kids have to be sent to school, only this time, they do it online.
The wife has to report for work; at least two weeks onsite and two weeks offsite (work-from-home).
I have to continue looking for ways and means to make ends meet.
Since I don’t have hosting stints, no movies, no band gigs, I have to be resourceful and look for other means of income to support my family. I love to cook and God has given me the ability and skills to make good food.
I decided to make sun-dried “tapa” and sell it to my friends. This has somehow helped support us financially.
“According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”- Prof. Leon Megginson
I believe this is what we should do now; adjust and adapt to the changing times.
We should open our hearts and minds to the changes that are happening and be prepared to do things differently.
However, and most important of all, we should not be overcome by fear and worry but we should trust our Almighty God to take care of us and to protect us.
So what actually happened to Skylab?
Coincidentally, it hit Earth on my 9th birthday, July 12, 1979.
It crashed in a small town in Australia, a remote spot seven-and-a-half hour away from Perth by car.
No one was injured. I wish I could say the same for COVID 19.
As I was reading the devotional, “A Remedy During Difficult Times” by Diane K. Hiltz Chamberlain, I am inspired by her words when she said, “God’s ways aren’t always easy to understand but that is where trust comes in. When we can know Him, in such a deep way…enough to trust His ways, then we won’t worry, fear or dread the unknown. We will be able to sit within the sunshine of His presence; knowing that in His good time he will help us to understand His ways and reasons, for the difficult moments we experience in life.
So let us all cling to God’s promise in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.