Ah, yes. It’s that time of the year when a majority of us are winding down, while some are looking to get a shot ahead of 2019 by doing all sorts of things, such as (get this) vision casting. Ooh.

Vision ba, ‘ka mo? Here’s a vision I have right now.

The air-conditioning did not help to cut the tension on the runway in the vast convention hall. On one end where the judges were supposed to be seated were souls – billions upon billions of souls. The lighting in that area was just enough to show the literal sea of people, the multitudes of the rich and poor, the vile and the virtuous, the famous, the hated, and your average John and Jane Does.

On the other end of the runway were three men. The first one on the right side was a heavy-set Nigerian with a low and equally heavy African accent. He had all the frills and dressings of your run-of-the-mill dictator – complete military uniform with all sorts of awards and achievements, mostly made up.

The man on the left was one of mixed descent. I’ll put it this way. One time I read how Escoffier took all the best ingredients, put them all together and created his masterpiece dessert and presented it to an equally renowned Australian soprano, who, upon tasting his offering, said that she felt as Eve did when she ate of the fruit at the garden of Eden. The looks and build on this guy were as if all the colours and flavours of the world came together in harmony to form humanity’s own version of Peach Melba. He was as smooth as his hair, tied back, but not too tight. He had on a custom navy blue suit with a matching tie. His stature showed that he was one not to be trifled with, in terms of raw power.

The centre guy was a long-haired dude who was exploiting his curl-treated hair for long enough. He wore a generic grey round-neck shirt bought off of the printers, black jeans, and grey Adidas sneakers.

Military dictator on the left was sweating bullets. Antichrist on the right was focused, but maintained a smug smile, as boy-in-centre walked to the middle of the runway.

There stood Tyra Banks, who did not wait for this guy to stop in front of her to tell him ever so unceremoniously, ‘JB, you’re still in the running towards achieving world domination.’

I love a good vision.

We just finished Thanksgiving last week. How was my long weekend? Well, the food was better. No turkey, or nothing fancy, but just… better. Nothing beats Tim Ho Wan. But that’s not what I valued. No, I just appreciate how, at least in this day and age, we are influenced enough by the Americans to also somehow celebrate Thanksgiving here, by designating at least one day in the year for us to intentionally sit back and count our blessings, and to express thanks explicitly.

Like I told my mom how I appreciated her and how she stuck with Dad until his last breath, and how her strength and fortitude remain to be her sons’ pillar. I told her I was thankful that though we have countless disagreements on our approaches to theology, we have a solid common ground, none other than Jesus Christ, firm foundation.

See, in the process of being thankful, and explicitly, intentionally expressing gratitude, we are certainly doing more than just dusting off the trophies of the past and inflating the mundane details of the present. No, we are setting ourselves us, putting ourselves into a position which has us focusing on assets over liabilities, revelling in victories instead of wallowing in failures.

Oh, and if you happen to believe in Christ and God’s consequent love for you because of His finished work, thankfulness and gratitude bring us back to our default mode of flowing and flexing, chill in acknowledging our own/the world’s fuck-ups, but operating, no – absolutely overflowing in the power of perfect love.

Lemme tell you this. Take advantage of the seasons. While most people are relaxing at this time, and while others are trying to be a step ahead by planning for next year, you can start 2019 right now. Who says you need to start working out next year, when you have the initiative and the drive, right now?

You’ve just been thankful for everything that you have, and consequently, you’ve quite possibly assessed your situation. In your gratefulness you have seen your assets and liabilities – are you going to wait until next year to act on it? There are strengths to improve, and weaknesses to exploit, no matter what the season!

Vision is overrated. Foresight from a stance of gratitude – now, that’s practical.

I feel, as always, that there’s more to say. But I am happy with this for now.

(To be continued?)

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