IF WE ARE truly smart and clever, which is what Christ himself told us when he said, “Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves,” (Mt 10, 16) we would be preparing for the worst scenario every time we plan or launch a project, a business, an enterprise.
This is simply because despite our best efforts to plan these projects well, there is always the possibility that the exact opposite of what we expect would happen. There are factors and elements that are beyond our control. While it’s true that our prospect for success is always infinite, the same is also true with the possibility of failure.
We should just be ready and game when the opposite of what we desire happens, learning how to let go and move on, instead of getting entangled in the web of sadness, self-pity, anxiety, depression and the like. These latter conditions would only worsen things further.
By preparing for the worst scenario, we would be imitating Christ himself who, in redeeming us, prepared himself for the worst. In fact, he already knew about his death and how it was going to be. “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him,” he told his disciples, “and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” (Mk 9, 31)
Preparing for the worst scenario may mean that we come out with various alternative plans so that we can move on. This is always recommendable. But we have to remember that the most important way to prepare for the worst is just to be with God. It is always possible that even our alternative plans may fail. Yet what cannot fail is when we stick with God no matter what.
This point was highlighted in that episode of the sisters, Martha and Mary, welcoming Christ in their house. (cfr. Lk 10, 38-42) Martha was busy doing the chores of hospitality, while Mary simply sat at the foot of Christ, listening to him.
When Martha complained to Christ that her sister was not helping her, Christ reminded her that while what she was doing were good, there was only one thing that was necessary, and Mary, her sister, chose it, and it will not be taken away from her.
We have to be clear about this point. Yes, we will try our best, stretching ourselves to the limit, to make all our projects and endeavors succeed. Still things can turn out the opposite. Due to this possibility we make some alternative plans to move on. But still, these may fail. The last resort, and in fact, what should always be with us, should be the conviction that we be with God whatever be the outcome of our efforts.
St. Paul in his letter to the Romans assures us that as long as we are with God, everything will work out for the good. “We know that in all things,” he said, “God works for the good of those who love him…” (8, 28)
We just have to make sure that our love of God is always vibrant. We have to make it grow day by day. We have to feel that love so intensely such that it is actually what would energize us in any endeavor we have.
We have to see to it that we do not take this love for granted. This is the best and ultimate weapon we have to prepare for the worst scenario of any project we have. With this love, we would be willing to go through what Christ himself went through — suffering all the indignities of the world and ultimately dying on the cross.
But then, after death, there is the resurrection, the final victory that is meant for all of us, irrespective of how we fare in this life.
Fr. Roy Cimagala is the Chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise, Talamban, Cebu City (firstname.lastname@example.org/PN)