Learning To Say I Do
Sara: Springtime always calls to mind how our lives are ever changing. Last year, Justin and I were so excited for all the changes that were taking place. Finally, we would be married! That transition outshined everything else.
This year, while we’re obviously excited to welcome Baby, there are some more difficult transitions. My boss of the last four and a half years (a priest) will be reassigned to another place in June. As Justin and I wonder about all the “what ifs” and how EXACTLY life will be different, we also wonder how my new boss will change our lives.
In addition, one of Justin’s colleagues has accepted a job in another state. We know he is not only losing a good colleague, but we are also “losing” good friends in him and his wife.
Throughout these experiences, it has been, at times, hard to be upbeat. In most instances, human nature is to cling to what we have, even though the new situation may have much to teach us. At times, upcoming changes make it hard to trust in God. Justin can attest I’ve had several sleepless nights wondering what life will be like with a new boss. However, I keep remembering the words of Jesus on the cross, “…Into your hands I commend my spirit” in Luke 23:46. This reminds me of our hope in the resurrection and our Easter joy.
Obviously, it’s a lot easier to SAY I’m going to trust in God than it is to actually do it. When life is going well, it’s easy to be at peace with our vocation – both our vocation of marriage (with a big V) and the vocations of our jobs.
However, when we see these upcoming changes, or the better-sounding situations others have, it’s a lot easier to second guess if we are truly where we are called to be by God.
Justin: It is a constant temptation to dream about easier times, more exciting work, or the fulfillment of our passing fancies. However, this makes living our daily lives as Christians more difficult. It can leave us dissatisfied with the choices we’ve made and fearing commitment.
It is a problem for us as young people. We are constantly being told to keep our options open, but the only way to do this is not to say “yes” to anything. This leaves us free to dream (which is a good thing), but also afraid of the sacrifice that comes with commitment.
Meeting Christ in the mundane was part of the great example of John Paul II. We watched him love and live life even as his body began to break down. We watched him meet Christ in the ordinary. We watched his saying “Yes” to each aspect of his call and commitment to us, the people of God, even when his body said no.
Saint Jose Maria Escriva also tells us that God is calling us to meet him first in our ordinary daily lives. Thinking that the Christian life is only lived in our churches is a “deformed vision of Christianity.” He tells us, “Sanctify your everyday lives. And with these words I refer to the whole programme of your task as Christians. Stop dreaming. Leave behind false idealisms, fantasies, and what I usually call mystical wishful thinking: If only I hadn’t married; if only I had a different job or qualification; if only I were in better health; if only I were younger; if only I were older. Instead, turn to the most material and immediate reality, which is where our Lord is: “Look at my hands and my feet,” said the risen Jesus. “Be assured that it is myself; touch me and see; a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” (Passionately Loving the World homily given on 8 October 1967 at the University of Navarre, Spain, previously published in Conversations with Monsignor Escriva)
Sara: Hopefully, these words, and the example of Pope John Paul II and others can inspire us to trust in God, even when it’s not easy.
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