When I was asked by the parish’s Strategic Planning Committee to do this weekly reflection, the last thing I expected was that so many of my spiritual or intellectual musings would be triggered by my own experiences. News media, literature, current films or observations about y’all were going to be the stuff of a thought for the day.
So here I am again translating personal experience into a thought about who and what we are (and hope to be) as a parish. Most of you now know that I am down with Shingles which is as painful and as annoying as all the TV commercials for the vaccine claim! Once again, I am staring at the limitations of my body and the futility of making long term plans. My reluctance to take prescribed pain medication is now weighed against a total inability to function without them. I have made so many plans, must attend at least two conferences, am dying to get back into some reasonable (for my age) physical shape that two eye surgeries (with their mandated rest periods) have taken away. So much for my plans!
It is good, indeed humanly reasonable, to live one’s life with some kind of order. Haphazard decisions based upon momentary feelings are things I have always disdained because I truly believe that to live and act in such a way makes a person less than human.
But then the Lord has a way of revealing Himself in my life. I am being told “slow down” or “not today you won’t” or even better, “stop being so judgmental when others don’t live up to your expectations.”
The renewal of this parish will take place as all of us respond to doing what the Lord is calling us to do in the places we are meant to be and with whom He wishes us to work. It is on the Lord’s schedule, not mine. None of us can force anyone to walk with us, pray with us, come here and be with us or think as we do. All we can do is return to God our best as it has been given to us and to love each other as much as Christ has loved us. It is good to plan. It is good to live an orderly life. But we have to be reminded over and over (or at least I do) that we are not in charge of our own lives or anyone else’s. OK, Lord. I think I get it. I need to slow down!