Exodus 32:7-14 (The Israelites fabricate a golden calf idol; God intends to take vengeance; Moses intercedes)
Psalm 106:19-23 (Remember us, O Lord; we are your people)
John 5:31-47 ("Since you don't believe what Moses wrote, how will you believe what I say?")
One thing you can say about the world we live in: There is no place in it for anything stagnant.
I mean that. Just about everything goes through changes, even slight ones. And if something meant to change doesn't, it goes through the ultimate change: destruction and death. Don't read too much into the last part of that right now. It's important, but I don't want to dwell in what most people see as a negative at the moment. Even God and the Church are what the latter calls "changing, yet changeless." (How's that for an oxymoron?)
My wife and I had been married eight years at the time I decided to enter ministry formation and ultimately, the diaconate. In all that time we did not have children, and not because we weren't trying. When we were first married, we were both working, doing our best to make ends meet and still enjoy life. I always believed that if it were meant for us to have children, God would provide. My wife shared that basic belief; but her practices led to more action.
Over the next three years, the dearest person in my life took me on a journey to understand that part of the dynamic of life. Over that period of time, the origins of a personal paradigm shift would take place. One life definitely came and went. Another is thought to have done so. I could have also lost my wife. But we kept praying, each in our own way. All those prayers were answered. In two days our son celebrates seventeen trips around the Wheel of Life; the two of us becoming one of him. While I can remember life before him (even fondly at times), I cannot and will not picture life without him; just as I can't and won't picture life without my sweetheart, my wife. Even death in its many forms (and I have come to witness many a virtual death - no, I'm not talking the type you see in video games) cannot separate me from either of them; nor will it separate me from God.
If I could have thought to ask for one more thing back then, it should have been for a better sense of foresight. That might have prompted a different response to the lessons I was about to learn, one way or another. Still, learning those lessons, even as hard as I did, has taught me more about patience and compassion than I ever imagined. It has also served to reinforce the spiritual maxim related by Paul of Tarsus: that there are three things that last, faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.