Sharon wrote about something ("A Long Trek") on her blog yesterday that helps me to take a step. I am going to quote the entire thing (because it's short), but follow the link anyway, so that you can see the great photo she posted with the text:
I keep thinking of what Kay said at the Advent Retreat last weekend. After a year of trials, she could perceive a greater awareness of herself as a complete person. Whereas at one time she would have said all this happened so that she could learn patience, she instead saw a deeper relation with God through these difficult events.This same movement has happened in my life, as well. It was such a habit of thought to come up with explanations and reasons for why God was making this or that happen in my life. I hadn't noticed that I had not been playing this interpretive game quite so consistently or completely, until I read the above paragraphs this morning. Now that I can see the two ways of understanding the meaning of my life, I really wonder...
I understand her. In my case, my life can seem like a repeat of fifteen years ago. My grandkids take up most of my time lately, and I can barely get three pages read all day. Is it because I didn't learn what I needed to last round? I don't see it that way Instead, it must be that now I can really enjoy this extravagant effort of caring for kids as I couldn't so easily before. It's a different vision that others point to: "a gaze on life that restores your breath, with a way of entering into relationship with everything so that nothing's banal, everything has the weight of the eternal" (Julian Carron).
- First of all: what chutzpuh to imagine that I know the particular purpose of God's actions in my life! As if God's work is devoted to giving me what I think I need? As if the sight of his eternal face could render me a service, one that I approve... [this rhetoric is not in any way directed at Kay, whom I've never met, nor at Sharon -- I'm certain that both of them have far more humility than I -- which is why they are able to point this out in their lives while I needed their witness in order to see it]
- How much more God has in mind for me than I could ever hope for or imagine!
- That having a defined explanation for God's presence in my life means that I am the ultimate generator of meaning in my life. It is the kingdom of Suzanne all over again.
- That there is nothing greater in all the world than allowing oneself to be surprised by love, by infinite tenderness, by beauty.