Written on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, at 11:01pm
These first three days of the week have been full of interesting insights. They have not all been pleasant nor have they all been invited. But the insights were nonetheless received and mulled over…and like I always seem to say, it got me thinking.
Mass on Sunday reminded me that sometimes we ask for God to give us what we need, and sometimes we ask for what we want. God clearly possesses the wisdom to give us not only just what we need but when we need it. During the homily Father said, if you ask for patience, sometimes God responds with more frustrations, to teach us patience. But we kick and scream and demand our satisfaction, ignorant of the gift we have been given.
Sometimes we are let down so terribly hard that we can’t begin to imagine that there might be a gift in amongst the rubble around us. It is us up to us to search around like a kid digging in the sandbox until we find all that we were supposed to find. We do need to sit there and look for the gifts. But we don’t.
Most of us are too busy complaining that we don’t understand why something isn’t going our way, or that we deserve better, or that it just isn’t fair, to ever see that in fact, it is fair, we get what we need, and that just because WE are lost, doesn’t mean God doesn’t know where we are going.
God provides us with free will; the ability to choose how to be. We are not like the bettas I so love, that react to their own image without the ability to discern that there is no danger to get all puffed up about. We have the ability to make choices and to place value on our choices. We get to decide what we value. We get to decide how we look at things. We get to decide whether or not to be happy or grumpy.
The issue is, do we have the wisdom to discern that what is painful today, may be what we needed in the long run?
Norman Cousins said, “Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.” My friend told me that it took a catastrophe to make her understand that what she wanted, wasn’t what she needed. Such wisdom. That lesson was well learned and likely not going to be as painful the next go round.
Can we anticipate the consequences of our actions? Can we anticipate that we need not react? Can we anticipate and plan for a simple accepting response of those consequences? We can.
But it takes a lifetime of practice. We cannot live with fear of the future or with regret about the past, and still be happy in the present. Not possible. So we live the best we can and we try like crazy to anticipate the consequences.
We need to be gentle with each other while we practice, and in doing so, we can learn to be wise.
Thanks for being my friends.