Karekwaivanane

There was a fulltimer from Africa a few years back – George Karekwaivanane. You have to admit that with a last name like that, you’d be curious if it meant anything. And it does. George said that it means: “The past is better”.

I’ve never forgotten that.

My initial reaction was sad. Why would anyone look back to the past and think it is better than the present. Maybe someone who is going through great sadness – like the survivors of Ondoy, Pedring, Sendong. Like the families of those teenagers hit by the rampaging truck along Sumulong Highway. People who remember good times with family, and see what they have at present – and are depressed by what they see.

Or maybe not even in those big life-changing moments, do we sometimes catch ourselves karekwaivanane-ing. Thinking that I was a lot thinner when I was in High School. Or that we were more liquid when we lived in ALPADI. Or that I got to travel more when I was still in the Ministries. And those things aren’t bad, but we can get stuck thinking the past is better, if we do not look at the present and live for the future.

The past may have been good, the present may not be as good (for some), but the future is definitely better. How can I say so? Because we have hope in the Lord that He is thinking about us and has great plans for us (Jer. 29: 11). And all we need to do is make the right decisions, follow the less-traveled path and fight for the choices we make.

For people in CDO, Iligan and Dumaguete, the term karekwaivanane is real. And it is felt with every ounce of their being. But there is a term that is stronger than that. And that term, no, that name, is Jesus.

With Jesus, the future is better.

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