I am feeling just a bit worn, my emotions seem as if the have emerged from the mud pit after and intense tug of war battle! In the last couple of weeks there have been no really earth shattering events in my life, but certainly an immersion into the study of Human behavior. Through professional challenges at work, to youth hockey playoffs, to everyday personal encounters I have seen some of the best – and worst- of our behavior as human beings. Some behaviors I observed in others, some in myself. Upon reflection, I find myself in a fog of understanding. I mean, I know we are not perfect, but what is it that so often brings out the ugly in us when our intentions are more often loving and well meaning? I do not ask this question with an answer in my back pocket, waiting to whip it out and astonish everyone. nonetheless, I have a couple of thoughts in my head ( typically garbled thoughts!) that I would like to throw out there, maybe more questions than thoughts really? See what I mean about garbled… make up your mind! Are they questions or thoughts!
Maybe this brain confusion/tug of war is part of the answer, speaking for myself anyway. I am coming to realize that I am often my own worst enemy when it comes to choosing the humble, peaceful, Christ like option, when any number of daily occurrences provide me the chance to do so. For example, I opportunistically use the moments before an important playoff game to remind my son that no matter the outcome, it is his chance to do his best, have fun, and in the end realize it is simply a game and he should be humble and respectful either as the victor or in defeat. This is a good, responsible, Christian dad thing to teach your son. In other words, loving and well meaning. Now flash forward into the third period of the hockey game. His team is behind by one point, time is running out! He steals the puck from the other team and passes it to the teams captain! This is it, a breakaway, they are going to tie the game! But then… the referee blows the whistle, the teams captain is off sides,the chance is gone, the game ends in defeat. At this point you would need to look out on the ice at the two teams to see the (although disappointed) humble son, shaking hands with the other team. You would not however want to look into the bleachers at the “well meaning” dad turned ugly, reminding the referee that his eyeglass subscription needs to be reevaluated! Yes ” I” wanted the team to win, ” I” wanted them to experience that joy. Forgetting that real joy was what was unfolding in front of me. God turning my sons disappointment into a lesson on what it really means to be Christ like in the midst of the disappointment!
In the end I guess I have one question and one thought. My question, what do I need to do, to let you God, shine through me, in all moments? My thought, in answer to the question, get my own desires out of Gods way. After all, as Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote, ” If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because he himself is the way”
Brother Juniper, pray for us!