We all have down times in our lives. Perhaps we wish that we could be in the shoes of others. From our vantage point, others seem to be so much better off than are we. They enjoy good health, are endowed with skills for which they are generously compensated, are blessed with a stable and loving family, enjoy popularity and have a secure economic future.
What we can easily overlook are the burdens that people who seem to be well off have to carry. Heavy responsibilities often come to persons who are generously endowed. If only we knew what persons who seem to be well off have to carry, we would not want to be in their shoes.
Sometimes as we look around, we marvel at how others manage to carry on in such an upbeat spirit, given the challenging circumstances with which they have to live. I still marvel at how an outgoing lady who developed multiple sclerosis managed to live in such an upbeat spirit in her confinement to her home. Perhaps we say to ourselves that if we had to live with what Donna or Jack are experiencing, it would drive us up a wall.
Something that any of us can easily overlook is that persons around us are equipped by the Lord for the circumstances with which they have to live. The Lord never allows anyone to be tested beyond her/his strength.
Even as people around us are equipped for that with which they have to live, so are we. The Lord equips us in the following ways for the settings in which we live and develop. First, each of us is made for the time in which we now are living. This is what we have in common with all with whom we live and associate, regardless of our age. As one of us, the Lord Himself was made for the time in which He lived.
The Lord equips us in and through the particular persons whom He has placed in our lives. This includes our immediate and extended family, parishioners, classmates, fellow workers, friends, enemies, people in our neighborhood and through many others. We graciously accept the Lord’s guidance in our lives as we strive to relate to others as the Lord leads us to do this.
We are equipped for our common journey of life as we discover and work to develop and to use the skills and abilities with which we have been blessed for the common good. Prayer enables us to use our gifts and abilities as the Lord wants this to happen.
A most painful way in which the Lord equips us for living effectively in His eyes is in a growing awareness and acceptance of that which limits or restricts us. This was hard for persons such as Moses, our Lord, our Blessed Mother, St. Catherine, St. Maria Goretti, Pope St. John XXIII and for each of us. In our life times, as was the case with the persons I’ve just mentioned, we may not personally realize or experience that for which we have hoped and for which we have dedicated our lives. A goal for which I have yearned is that the Catholic and Lutheran faith communities will share together in the Eucharist. This will probably not happen in my life time.
As we graciously accept those ways in which the Lord equips us to go forward, we will not want to be in anyone else’s shoes. We will be able to embrace life as it comes to us. We will graciously accept that on this side of death, we may not experience that for which we yearn and for which we have worked hard. May our consolation and on-going basis for giving thanks reside in the hope that the Lord would work through whatever influence that we have in the lives of others to point them in the direction in which He wants all of us to develop.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor