From the vantage point of the third third of my life, I can look back and see that God has blessed me with abundance. I have wonderful family and friends, meaningful work, my own home, travel opportunities, and so much more than I could ever have asked or imagined.
One friend likes to say that I “fall into it,” and by “it” she means something fantastic. I have had luxurious and extravagant experiences beyond my background or my pay grade. Although I am financially on the poor side, I am experientially very wealthy. I have had much good fortune, and I am deeply grateful.
But sometimes fear still takes hold of me and narrows my vision. Rather than seeing abundance, I seen scarcity. Rather than living in gratitude, I am aware of what I don’t have.
I was a lector at Mass yesterday and read from the prophet Baruch (5:1-9). For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, and that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground…
As I prayed with this reading last week, I imagined the Grand Canyon filled in. Could God do that? Would God do that for me?
I believe that God desires me to continually move ahead, and how wonderful it is when God clears the path, makes the way clear and level. But it does not always work that way. Sometimes the path is not clear, and I find myself sitting back, passively waiting for something to happen. I can get stuck in limiting my options and not seeing all the possibilities.
After Mass yesterday, a man approached me and said he volunteers in a prison. He shared that he had been talking with one of the men about this idea of the mountains being leveled. They reflected on how to fill in the canyons in their hearts and how to remove the mountains in their lives so that they can prepare an easy path for God to come to them.
Oh, I thought, a different perspective. Rather than waiting for God to make things easy for me, what could I be doing to fill in my internal grand canyon? What mountains have I created that need to be leveled?
A few days earlier, a friend had called and asked if I was busy. She wanted to invite me to an event that evening. “You interrupted my pity party,” I said. In naming it, I knew it was true. I have been enjoying a bit of a pity party.
From my pity-party perspective, it is convenient to sit back and wait for God to fill in the canyons and level the mountains. But, there is not much joy in it, and one thing I know is that God wants abundant joy for me.
So, I said to myself, “Stop the pity party. Find joy. Live gratefully.” Sometimes a different perspective can make a huge difference.