"No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
--The Gospel according to St. Luke 9:62
This was the Gospel reading at Mass yesterday and it really touched my heart and soul. As all of you know, I've been having health issues of late and that has been interfering with my time with you other than commentary on the Jessie Davis case which, for reasons I'd rather not share, I feel compelled to address. I've also been struggling with issues in my life as well.
This Bible verse reminded me that I can't look back and dwell on past mistakes. I think a lot of us do that. We look back at the the crises -- and joys -- that have punctuated our lives and, too easily, fall into the trap of allowing those things to control us instead of moving forward. We all have had experiences that have been important to defining our lives. The trick is to move ahead either because or in spite of them. My sin in that is that sometimes I backslide to those life-defining moments. I don't think I'm alone in that -- we all are guilty of what I call would-coulda-shoulda syndrome aka regret. Right now I'm trying to collect my thoughts and face the future so bear with me, my friends.
On my walk home from Mass on a gloriously sunny day, I stopped and picked up the Sunday paper as is my custom. As expected, the headlines were about Jessie and Chloe's funeral. On reading the article, I was touched by an anecdote that her mother related. After services a few Sundays before her death, Jessie turned to her mother and said, "I really feel like God has spoken to me today because I need to get my life in order." I understand that all too well. When Father K. read the Gospel this morning, I felt the very same way. I've been in a rut and need to regroup and let go of some baggage. I have a lot of time off this week so there's time to do that -- I hope.
Yeah, I have regrets and yeah, I'm scared but this quote from Vincent Van Gogh gives me pause and hope: “There may be a time in life when one is tired of everything and feels as if all one does is wrong, and there maybe some truth in it, Do you think this is a feeling one must try to forget and to banish, or is it 'the longing for God,' which one must not fear, but cherish to see if it may bring us some good? Is it 'the longing for God' which leads us to make a choice which we never regret? Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.”
Between, St. Luke, Jessie, and Van Gogh, I think my work's been cut out for me. I hope I can muster the strength and courage to follow through. Wish me well and pray to whatever God you believe in -- this old gal needs all the help she can get!