Much of the work I do in the prisons consists of teaching people how to respond to things that happen, rather than reacting to them. We all make poorer choices when we fail to step back, take a little time, and try to gain a larger perspective on the situation. We tend to forget that we’re not the center of the universe, but are in fact just one, tiny, limited being who can never have to whole picture. Stopping to recall that, when practiced regularly over time, can develop into a habit that saves us, and those around us, a lot of grief.Bad judgment almost always arises from self-centeredness.
It is God who has made us, and not we ourselves. Give it to God, and be still.
Baya Clare CSJ is a Sister of St Joseph of Carondolet. She lives in the Minneapolis-St Paul area and is a frequent and generous contributor to our Lenten and Advent blogs.
In the scripture readings for today, there’s a mismatch between some expectations of God and what God actually does and says. The mismatch occurs when people anticipate that something special is going to happen, create an idea of what that special thing is going to look like, and think it’s going to happen because of some particular status or quality they possess. And then they’re disappointed when it doesn’t turn out just as they had fantasized. Meanwhile, the work of God, whose healing and love is available to everyone regardless of particular status or quality or expectation, manifests itself in some quiet, ordinary, non-spectacular way, and they’re disappointed when they realize it didn’t happen they way they thought it would.
Can’t you just imaging God shaking her head ruefully over us every time we do that? Good thing her love for us is steadfast and never-ending!
Baya Clare CSJ is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondolet from the Minneapolis-St Paul area; she has generously contributed to our blog over the years.