Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seeing God in the Rearview Mirror

How in the world did my life turn out as it did? Is life random? Sometimes it appears that way. But, when I sit and think about it, no it really isn't random. I can see a divine plan...sometimes.

I like to explain life in metaphors sometimes. I think of my dediscovery of the Cathloic Church in metaphorical terms. One metaphor or another makes life so much more understandable. Jesus did it in his parables, so if it is done right, it ought to be useful. I look at my return to the Catholic Church and my life in general as a journey. It reminds me of how I drive. I get in the car and I know I have to get to work in the morning. I used to live about 50 minutes from my job. That was quite a haul. Much of that trip was back roads, with occasional highway driving.

When I go to work I usually keep my eyes on the road in front of me (always a good idea). But, on a 50 minute car ride, I find that my mind wanders. I do believe that if we travel the same road enough, sometimes our minds go on autopilot. Well. one day I was travelling along and I began thinking about one of my many problems awaiting me when I got to work. I replayed probable scenarios of how to handle the impending issues at work. Suddenly, I noticed a herd of cattle walking down a side street and close on the driver's side of my car. Needless to say, my wandering mind re-focused on the reality at hand. I slowed the car down and immediately looked in my rearview mirror to see if my mind was playing tricks on me or I really did see cattle in the road. (I should mention I did pass a few farms on the way to work, but cattle in the road was never something I saw before).

I stopped the car and continued to look in the rearview mirror. Nothing! Then suddenly, from the side street, there was the first cow, followed by another, and then another. I got out of the car and walked toward the intersection. I saw that just down that side street a fence had broken and out came the cows. I immediately called 911 to get some help.

My life has often been like my ride that day. I usually went through life and just worried about everything but the moment at hand. Then suddenly I wondered how did I get to this point in my life? It was when I looked in the rearview mirror of my life that I saw God had taken me to this place or that place. God had brought this person and that person into my life. It was through the rearview miirror that I realized what was happening while my mind was on other things in life.

Take a look in your rearview mirror every now and again. You mind be surprised how you got where you are. My only suggestion might be, and I am still learning to do this myself through my new life as a Benedictine Oblate... live as much as you can in the present moment. But more importantly...keep you eye on God in each moment. After all, He is the one who is directing the traffic!



John said...

Yes, it is an interesting power of God’s plans that I cannot see that it IS God’s plan and how HIS actions control the outcome until I arrive at the intended destination. Then, as you say, looking back I can suddenly see how all the pieces fit.

Fr. Bud Pelletier said...

Thank you for continuing to let us in on your journey with God. I look forward to reading more.

Mikki said...

I’m so glad I found your blog. It's great! I am also a returning Catholic, but unfortunately, I’m not in good standing with the Church because of my marriage situation. I’m looking forward to getting some invaluable insight from you.


Jim said...

Thank you for your kind words Father Bud and Mikki. There is a need to reach out to those who feel they are excluded. I hope you will feel free to contribute to a better understanding of the love of God that can be found in the church.

Karen Williams said...

I'm enjoying your blog, Jim. Thanks for opening yourself up to this work. I, took a right turn from Lutheranism too and am so glad to see others writing about their conversions. Your courage will give others courage.

Jim said...

Thank you Karen! I think people often have a lot in common, or at least see a little of their own self in the journey of others. May God bless you in your journey.

Jim said...

Mikki, I know the feeling! Read my blog from Dec 17th. I will also write more on my experiences with divorce and the returning Catholic. I will be seeking an annulment soon. I certainly will let you know how that goes. I don't know what your marital situation is exactly, but hopefully in the course of this blog I may touch on your situation...or someone visiting will also contribute.
Blessings to you!