Monday, May 19, 2014

Take a Chance on God

Dear Friends,

You know as well as I do that change is a staple of life. Just look in the mirror and think of yourself five years ago.

India has a new prime minister. Crimea has moved to become a Russian annex. The obituary pages of the newspaper tell of people who have crossed over. Death. Divorce. Job loss or gain. Last weekend area colleges graduated students into the public sphere. A fork in the road. A new possibility.

As native Hawaiians grow through adolescence, they are free to change their names to match their emerging self-understanding.

The people who died in the capsizing of the South Korean ferry did not will to die. They were taken down a path they would not have chosen. Life went askew that day for more people than those who died. Unwilled change. Costly change. God was holding them close.

The forest fires that keep eating away at the West are also costly. Then, new growth appears one day, much later. New growth means life bursts forth where there was once only death. It happens. God is there.

Next week, our liturgical calendar celebrates the Ascension of Christ. No longer would the Risen One be visible and tangible to His followers. Jesus, the Risen One, will hand over His community to be shaped by the Holy Spirit. The Ascension begins the process . The Holy Spirit will be given at Pentecost. Will I recognize You then?

Personally, I can choose to change- or I can say No. I won’t. And die.

God. Are You in the change? I always thought You were an unchangeable God. Do You change? Will you pass through the changes of my life with me. Will I recognize you when You are there?

Sometimes, when I want to change in a particular way, I find I cannot. I cannot lose weight, break a pattern, begin to read Scripture daily with understanding. My will, not Yours.

But when it’s Your will, not mine, then change becomes real though not immediately apparent. You offer me discovery, exploration into life, the stretching of myself beyond myself.

We don’t always change for the better, but we can. What it takes is clinging to God, trusting the Risen One, taking a risk that God is sufficient.

~Joan Sobala, SSJ