Monday, August 8, 2011

Starting Over

The 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Sunday's Word:
1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a (The Lord comes to Elijah not in wind or fire or earthquake, but in a whisper)
Psalm 85 (v.9: I will hear what God proclaims)
Romans 9:1-5 (Paul explains Jewish heritage and the Covenant with God)
Matthew 14:22-33 (Jesus - and Peter - walk on water; a leap of faith)

Starting over.

With all that is going on around me at present, that's the first thing I thought about after hearing these passages yesterday. Starting over - and the leap of faith that is necessary to make everything come together.

As I write this morning, there are forty days remaining until we leave our dwelling place of the last 9-1/2 years. My wife and my son and I are all anticipating this move. Much has already been done to reduce the amount of 'stuff' we have accumulated; I've made four trips to the Goodwill donation center and the car was full each time. Much remains to do; the arduous and slower process of packing what we can ahead has begun, and other tasks which must wait until closer to the moving date continue to stare me in the face.

There are several objectives about this move that we hope to accomplish. Some of them will be easy, such as additional space, access to amenities and public transportation. Others are a bit more elusive and will require time and reflection. My wife and I had decided on the area to which we're moving because it is in the same Catholic diocese as the parish in which I serve as a music minister. But it is the diaconate, and the faithful horse waiting for its rider, that is among the factors that is taking us where we're going as opposed to elsewhere.

Milestone events - the big events in life - put us in the position of taking a leap of faith. Every change in location from the time I left my parents' home, every new job start, my marriage, my ordination - all have been accompanied by nervousness and anticipation. Have I made good choices? Have I planned well, accounting for potential problems or hangups? And from a spiritual perspective, am I leading the charge or being led?

Considering all the thought and prayer that has been raised going into this move - something that started while going through the last move - and for all the reasons my wife and I considered in making this move, I genuinely believe I am being led this time. Looking back, I can't say that about every big decision. The choices to which I've been led have been the most fruitful - being married 30 years to the same wonderful and thoughtful woman is the #1 example. To make that commitment took a leap of faith. To maintain it takes more leaps; most of them small, but several of them have been large, and I make them all gladly.

There is less of an agenda in this new move. It is more about 'we' and less about 'me.' It's why I believe I'm being led to do this now. Further, my family is taking a larger leap of faith in the sense that they must trust me in taking care of the pre-moving arrangements apart from packing. In the end, I am reasonably certain all will go well; still, I pray that there be no unknown situation that will short-circuit the process. In short, I pray that God continues to lead me.

With that, we jump into these next 40 days. It was my wife who said first, "we're moving into Lent again." In a manner of speaking, we are indeed. We are climbing the mountain, as it were; and the to-do list looks like a rocky climb, indeed. I am no mountain climber. I rely on my faith that I will be shown the correct and safest path.

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