I’m up early today, getting ready to go on a “long term planning retreat” with the pastoral staff. Sounds very grown up and professional and I’m a little nervous about whether I”ll have anything to contribute. Because of the retreat and a couple of other commitments, my posts this weekend will be brief.
I have no more resolutions – at least no more that I’m willing to share publicly. The five that I have posted provide more than enough challenge as I start this year. This morning I’d like to share with you an excerpt from The Jesuit’s Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin, SJ. It seem especially appropriate this week, as millions of us try to keep our resolutions and change our lives.
In the Gospels, Jesus often meets people in the midst of their busy lives: Peter mending his nets by the seashore, Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. Just as often he encounters people when they’re at their absolute worst: an adulterous woman about to be stoned, a woman who has been sick for many years, a possessed man not even in his right mind. In each of these situations God said to these people, busy, stressed out, worried, frightened, “I’m ready to meet you, if you’re ready to meet me.”
If God meets you where you are, then where you are is a place to meet God. You don’t have to wait until your life settles down, or the kids move out of the house, or you’ve found that perfect apartment, or you recover from that long illness. You don’t have to wait until you’ve overcome your sinful patterns, or you’re more “religious” or you can pray “better.”
You don’t have to wait for any of that.
Because God is ready now.
I keep that passage posted over my desk at church to remind me, week in and week out, that my current condition and circumstances need not keep me from God. Better still, they don’t keep God from me. And wherever you are – resolving and starting over, failing, giving up, skeptical that change is even possible, or perhaps blessedly content with your life as it is – God is ready to meet you where you are. Whatever else happens to you this year, I pray that 2011 is rich with encounters with the One who is the true source of all new beginnings.