An Idea Whose Time Has Come

By Wade Anthony Cornelius

It was the summer of my junior year. In my youth, school-free days were intended for working and playing ball. I was fortunate to find employment quickly with a construction company. The days were spent renovating houses and the nights on the baseball field. In many ways it was a typical summer for a boy of 17. It had its moments. I especially remember one week at work that reminded me of the uniqueness of our culture.

There were several newcomers to our crew that were not native New Mexicans. It was their first time in the southwest. “What’s that?” one of them asked a fellow worker during lunch. He was referring to the man’s burrito. “Is that like a rolled up sandwich?” 

The crewmember chuckled and explained exactly what a burrito was. He described the practicality of eating burritos for breakfast or lunch. How easy it was to warm a tortilla, fill it with food, and roll it up. “I used last night’s dinner,” he explained. “This is beans, rice, and some cheese. You can use almost anything like potatoes, eggs, bacon, sausage, and meat.” 

This impressed the man who was genuinely interested in learning how to make burritos for himself. A few days passed and lunchtime comes around. The newcomer calls attention to his bag. He made himself a burrito and was very proud of the work he had done. “I took your advice,” he told his workmate. “I warmed up the tortilla and filled it with last night’s dinner.” 

“Nice work!” His coworker smiled. “What did you put in it?”

The newcomer smiled, “I used spaghetti.”

The next ten minutes were spent in riotous laughter. In a way, it was a type of initiation for him, a welcome to the culture. That day, the newcomer developed a new appreciation for our food and sense of humor. 

Latinos enjoy laughter. We relate to people through humor and look for it in all situations. We laugh about adversity, everyday events, and anything that doesn’t go our way. We joke about ourselves and even about death. Music, good food, and humor are present in our daily lives. We create moments of joy because circumstances of no emotion are unbearably empty to us. 

As a native of this land, my mother raised me in the beauty of our people: the joy we have in dancing, the guilty pleasure of our pan dulce, the love of our food, the spirit of our music, the closeness of our families, and the inner faith that sees us through difficult times. It is truly a unique blend that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. 

In fact, it’s the reason you are holding this magazine and reading these words. Ten years ago my father and I sat in the office of Tu Media and listened to Gloria and Junior Vaquera explain their ideas and vision for this publication. They intended to celebrate our culture by capturing its moments in Tu Revista Latina. 

It was an idea that has blossomed into 40 issues of memories. From the lives of people that have worked our lands, to the history, events, food, and faith of those that inhabit it. 

Victor Hugo once wrote: 

“All the forces of this world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

That’s exactly what has come to fruition for the Vaquera’s as they took this idea, nurtured, and grown it into the publication it is today. They have networked throughout our community and given our land and its people a platform in which to share, remember, and celebrate their culture. 

The ideas that inspired the creation of this magazine come from the same place as the ideas that inspire each and every one of us in our personal lives and in our most private moments. They are not our own, but God’s way of guiding us to His purposes for our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” God expressed through the prophet Jeremiah, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you."1

Many times we may not know exactly what it is we are intended to do. God is not forceful in His direction of our lives, but will place us in circumstances, surround us with people, and bring ideas to our minds in order to direct our paths. These ideas become more apparent when we pray and seek God’s will through Scripture. They will distinguish our own thoughts and the assaults of the enemy from the Divine will of God. 

“Your Word,” King David exclaimed, “is a lamp to my feet and light on my path.”2

At times, ideas will to come to mind to help someone in need, share our faith on social media, or proclaim and evangelize among friends. When we act upon these ideas we are fulfilling the Divine’s purpose for our life and helping to proclaim the Kingdom. 

“You are the light of the world,” our Lord exclaimed. “A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”3

God speaks to us often in the smallest of ways. In difficult times and trying circumstances, withdrawing from our phones and others to seek a place of silence may be what we need to hear our Father’s voice and listen to the ideas that He brings to our consciences. 

The prophet Elijah withdrew to a mountain cave and listened for the voice of God. There was a mighty wind, an earthquake, and fire, afterwards, there was a whispering of the wind and Elijah heard the still small voice of God in it. This is often how God speaks to us. His voice is gentle and patient and exists for the one who attentively listens for His perfect direction. 

Throughout His life our Lord Himself withdrew to lonely places in order to pray and listen to the voice of His Father.4 It’s how He began His ministry, dealt with troubling emotions, and prepared for His death on the cross.

Coming back to the theme of this article; the ten-year anniversary marks the fulfillment of a dream, an idea that was placed in the hearts and minds of our editors by the Holy Spirit. In their success we are inspired to follow the direction God puts in our own hearts. You yourself have a purpose. Listen to the still small voice of God as He continues to speak to you through the ideas that come to your mind. 

1 Jeremiah 29:11
2 Psalm 119:105
3 The Gospel of Matthew 5:14 - 16
4 The Gospel of Luke 5:16; The Gospel of Mark 1:35

Fall 2017

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