I am sitting at my computer desk staring at a blank screen. Around me books and papers are piled high with little or no apparent order. Thoughts are racing through my mind; “Funerals to plan, Reconciliation services to attend, weekend homily to write, mission next week half way across the country, Easter is only three weeks away!” I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I crack open my little vinyl covered missalette and begin to peruse the readings for tomorrow. Slowly I begin to feel better.
The prophet Isaiah speaks to the people who have returned home from exile in Babylon. Everything they cherish lies before them in ruins. Their beautiful temple has been leveled; their culture is in tatters, their livelihoods are destroyed. In the Gospel a man approaches Jesus. His son is dying and no amount of money or power can change that fact. In desperation he begs Jesus to heal his child.
They say that if you think you have problems just take a moment to look around; chances are someone has it worse. But that isn’t why I am feeling better. I am feeling better because of the words that Isaiah has for those people who are facing an impossible situation and because of the act of faith shown by a man who had no where else to turn.
The former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.
It takes more then an optimist to be able to stand before the ruins of whole culture and country and see a glorious new creation. It takes more then a hunch that things will work out for a man to leave his only hope at a word just because he has been told that his son has been cured. It takes faith and faith will change how you view the world.
We become overwhelmed when we begin to think that everything is riding on us; that somehow things will only get done if we do them. We know that that is not always true. We can not always save a child who is dying. Experience tells us that directing the future of country which is in disarray does not always have its intended results.
Faith in a God who cares for his creation allows us to step back. It lets us release our tight grip on the reins and to give ourselves permission to be guided instead of always needing to lead. This freedom helps us move forward through life’s trials with the best possible attitude giving way to clarity of thought, openness to creativity and the ability to choose the best alternatives that present themselves to us.
Are you leaving any room for God in your plans?
Take time to pray about those big decisions; then stop worrying.