Friday, October 14, 2011

Such Great Heights

Last Sunday, my sister Kato jumped from a plane. She turned 22 yesterday, and that's what she wanted for her birthday. There's much to be said for the free-falling, and while I am scared stiff at the thought of it, B. wants to go too and asked me earlier when we're going.

Do you ever feel like life can be a series of leaps?

Post-college life is not what I imagined it would be. I planned to be out East. I planned to be working for a big newspaper. I had come to terms with being penniless and loving it. I looked forward to catching the metro home after a long but fulfilling day, perhaps calling to catch up with my family on the walk home.

Life, as I know it at least, has turned out so differently. It is easy to look at success and think, what luck. That person is in God's good graces. Perhaps so. But along the way, I bet they've made choices and sacrifices. We as humans cannot walk around this earth expecting life to be handed to us. We cannot expect another to fill in the missing pieces. If you're trying and it's not working, it's God's little nudge for some creativity.

This is not to say you haven't been working hard. This isn't to say you haven't been earnestly seeking your vocation. But God does not have our finiteness. God thinks big, and desires for your greatness. It is we humans that tell ourselves things can't be done. Ever? Or just in a short period of time? Why not? Richard Bach wrote, "Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours."

I cringe when I read that. I think faith can feel like that during the harder times. Hey you, God! Why...? is usually the question at hand. We may feel like Job; we didn't do anything wrong, and still we suffer. Or perhaps Jonah, who simply want to be left alone when greatness beckons with no certainty of survival. Maybe you have a twinge of feeling like Daniel, suffering persecution for refusing to forsake God. Or are you like Ruth, faithful in a foreign land?

If we accept that we are sinners, then we must equally accept our inability to grasp the bigger picture. God has a plan for us. We may not see it now or ever, but we are part of it. The Old Testament is a good example of this; it is only in retrospect that we see the Israelites and their plights as parallels to our own modern problems. What if the little and obscure shepherd boy had not plucked up the courage to slay the mighty Goliath?

In Boondock Saints (1999), Connor asks his dad how far they are going to take their justice of killing legitimately bad people. His father replied, "The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far is as needed?"

With no certainties and no guarantees, we can feel hard-pressed for trust in our Lord. But perhaps the question should be switched: what have we done from God lately? Have we offered up our discontent with joy? Do we choose to trust, despite our doubts?

Top of the Tokyo Tower.
Psalm 145:3 says, "The Lord is great, highly to be praised, His greatness cannot be measured."

If you are afraid, be not so. Life is more like tandem jump skydiving than a solo jump. If you are unsure, spend more time with him. Frequent the sacraments. Pray more. Listen more. God desires your company, so do not deny him such a pleasure.

In times like this, I remember St. Faustina: "In whatever state a soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer."

I also remember the words of Dicky Fox, sports agent:

Have a blessed weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Lovin' it! Tell your sis she's my kinda woman...I skydove, skydived? with one of my best friends for her 19th birthday. :) But I agree, some of life's decisions on the ground can be far more terrifying and seem longer reaching. Thanks for the reminder to keep prayer as our go-to tool for peace of mind/heart/soul