Greets fellow travelers on this world!
Been a heck of a month here. Have been through some serious soul searching of what I am to do, what I think God wants me to do and how I am living up to fulfilling myself. This year has been a graced period of time for me in that I have broken down so many of the barriers that have hindered my "being still and knowing the true and living God" to paraphrase Isaiah. But none more than this month in which I finally decided to let God lead me and let go of what I wanted to do and then was told that it wouldn't happen with the province I wanted; at least not this year.
As I drove away from the city, I had to force myself not to judge those involved; including myself. I realized it was what was meant to happen, and that the reasons for it were just, and that I had indeed grown from dealing with my problems. I also had to place my broken heart in front of the Living God and ask for it to be healed and for love to flood my soul. This happened faster than I thought it would. I don't blame anyone for my problems and I don't blame people for enforcing application regulations. I know where I am now and that is enough.
The trick here is to not to lose sight of the fact that God loves me and not to become bitter and angry over what happened. God gave me the grace to get to the point of letting go and accepting, and this is just another step on the journey. It is as if God has said "OK Drew. You have gotten to the point of acceptance, now accept the fact that I want you somewhere else, doing something else entirely than what you wanted. Can you accept that?" And I have to answer "Yes Lord. I will do what you say, go where you want me to go. Lead and I will follow". Getting there was the major battle, struggle, and journey of my life up to this point, and has prepared me for what is to come.
As I talk to others in the faith, and those new to it, I realize how far I have come in seeing the world and those in it as lovely souls, and that they too need the nurturing that my Franciscan community gave to me. I am also drawn to the example that my community showed me of non-judgemental and unconditional love. They accepted where I was when I arrived, and helped me to grow. This is the legacy that I must now pass on to those that I meet. To accept them where they are and not to judge and not to make them into something I want them to be. I have to remember that God is in charge and I am given the opportunity and privelage to interact with his children and that is a sacred responsibility.
I talk often to my Father who just joined the Church at Easter. I have to tread very carefully because of my attittudes and my views, I tend to make pronouncements that may or not be right. Whatever they are, they are not appropriate for someone just finding their way around 2,000 years of Catholicism and working on their own personal relationship with their Creator. It is a humbling experience to be with people newer to the Church than myself. I see them finding things that I found earlier, and I wish I could feel the excitement again. I have to be careful not to say anything about their insights lest I quash something in my ignorance.
The longer I try to discern God around me, the more I see the terrible things we do when we don't place God first. I see the suffering from harsh words, neglect of children, fear and hatred, hunger and lonliness and the despair of those who do not know God. This is what the Church means when she says that sin affects everyone, not just the one who strays. Our sins spread out in a vast pattern and have affects we can't even see. Even failing to pray, which certainly is not a sin, affects others because we are not able to intercede for others and thus are not helping. Judging others, hate, anger, fear all have their affect because we do not interact as we should while we are feeling these emotins, even if we do not over harm. The mere emotion, undealt with, causes harm.
This is not to say that mere passivity is the answer either. That way lies the heresy of Quietism. No, we must love. Unconditionally and without reservation. Only love can bring about the changes needed in our world and help us to be the children God wants us to be.
God asks each of us to care for one another while we are here on earth and to show each other the love that he gives to ourselves. We will never bring about the Kingdom of heaven, but we can act on the guidance that we have been given and do what we can to alleviate suffering where we find it.
When he is not on-line, Drew teaches computing, installs networks, surfs the Web, and does some HTML authoring. He lives near Everett, WA.
You can contact him at email@example.com
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