By Sister M. Martha Pavelsky, MHSH
According to scientific calculations, the earth will be habitable for a billion more years. It could well be that we are in the early stages of God’s plan.” So says The Little Blue Book: Advent and Christmas Seasons, 2011-2012 from the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan.
A stray thought surfaces: what about God’s plan for my life? As I look ahead to this new year of 2012, how will “my life’s work” manifest itself? I think most of us consider our active ministry or career as our life’s work, and we grieve when we have to relinquish it, thinking that the valuable, significant part of our lives is over. Maybe not.
If we received an email or text from heaven, alerting us that this coming week will be the most valued of all our time on earth (valued by God, I mean), would our living out of those seven days be anything unusual? What if nothing out of the ordinary happened or was undertaken by us? Might we begin to understand that attitude and intention are everything, and that the quality of our being matters so much more than the success of our efforts to do great, important things?
What other “epiphanies,” revelations, manifestations of God’s will and work in us might come our way? The Advent refrain returns: “Stay awake. Be ready. You do not know the hour when the Lord is coming.…”
Another thought arises: O.J. Brigance was a good football player for the Ravens—until he developed ALS, “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” a few years ago. Physically, he is appallingly diminished now, in a wheelchair, unable to control most of his movements (though still with a true megawatt smile). In that condition, he has found what may be his true life’s work, as moral compass and chief encourager for all his teammates. His mere presence among them, in the locker room, at team meetings, on the sidelines of the field, raises their awareness, in a gentle-but-forceful fashion, that they are so, so lucky in so many ways. O.J. is greatly cherished—yet another epiphany. Stay awake!
Is there an epiphany person or event in your life that has changed or enhanced your insights into life’s meaning? Might there be more that you’ve been overlooking or choosing to ignore? How might you access those?