Monday, August 13, 2012

It's a Great Life...

My father used to say, (with a little irony in his voice) "It's a great life if you don't weaken." He died of cancer in 1978, when I was 20, so I never really knew him as an adult. It was ironic, I think, that he died of cancer. He gave up smoking out of concern for cancer. The tumor was in his pancreas or spleen, I can never remember which. He used to have one or two drinks each evening in the last while before he died, and my mother came to believe that he had been numbing the pain, which delayed getting the check-up that might have been early detection that might have saved his life. Who knows?

At any rate, (what a lead-in!) it was supposed to rain Saturday, so we didn't have the tag sale. Our house is full of boxes of stuff that is supposed to be sold, so it's a bit messy in there. So, we didn't have the tag sale, and you know what, it was sunny and hot almost the entire day! I didn't rain until about 3:30 or so.

I had gone out to clean up the remaining roofing shingles I'd scraped off the roof about a year ago. I and my children have been working on it bit by bit now and then when we had the time and the weather. I finally got all except some scattered bits that need to be raked into a pile. I had, (cleverly, I thought) covered much of the area with a sheet of plastic before shoveling the shingles off the roof, so most of that spot is relatively untainted by the asphalt bits.

Any way, just as I was finishing, it began to rain, and in moments, the rain was torrential. I had just enough time to put the shovel and rake back in the garage, then I took off my shoes and stood beneath the rain spout from the back roof and washed the worst of the dust off of me. It felt great. If only a shower could be that heavy and intense, but we gotta skimp on water nowadays, don't we?

So, we could have had the tag sale. But we were going to have it on Sunday instead, but then my wife had a bad stiff neck and it was appearing even more likely to rain (and it did, off and on), so we didn't set up the tag sale after Mass.

Now, the plan is to have the tag sale this afternoon, hoping to gather in the "rush hour" traffic, though my wife is going to set up shortly after lunch. Whatever we don't sell today, we may try again to sell on Saturday. Which means I will take my daughter to her step-dancing performance in a nearby town celebrating it's annual Old Home Days. And my wife will have to miss the performance and the celebration. (It's just a small, homey thing.) So, my point... yes there is a point. I was quite aware, when we were trying to decide about the tag sale, that God's will, while behind everything that happens, even if as his "permissive will" there is just about nothing more clearly His will than the weather. So, you can't complain about the weather. You have to give thanks to God for manifesting his will so clearly in the weather. Would that everything could be so clearly God's will.

In reality, however, everything that happens is God's will, even if only in the sense that He permitted such and such. And so, we really ought to see all that way, and give thanks, even if we also must pray and act to work with what happens in the best way. We can't just sit around and say, "It's God's will," and think that our part ends there. But complaining, impatience, annoyance: I don't think so.

When we get to the end, and see all the loose ends tied up in eternity, we will see just how this or that or the other thing were willed or permitted by God, first for His glory, and second for our good or someone else's good. We'll see it and it will all make sense, and we will certainly rejoice that things happened as they did.

The thing that is most incredible, is that we can mess things up by our sins. He allows our free will to have its effect, but in the end, even with our poor cooperation, he can still bring about great good. We have to trust that.

So, it IS a great life, if you don't weaken, because weakening can mean giving up, or sinning, or complaining. We just have to trust that God knows what he is doing, and cooperate with that as well as we can.

1 comment:

ashley_north said...

Will blogger allow ME to comment?? Beautiful post. I especially was nodding my head at the last few paragraphs. We can apply those truths to just about every aspect of life. It's mind boggling at times.