This is a very common question on job interviews. I am always taken back by it. I do admit, it is a valid question, but it often baffles me. Maybe because I am now middle-aged and my perception of time and situations have changed. A very quick answer might be that I will be closer to requesting senior discounts. But I even hesitate in saying that. I just know all too well that life can throw some dramatic curve balls.
The real crux of the matter is that I have already lived enough life to know that there is danger in saying that one will do this or that in the distant or even the immediate future. Actually I cannot even judge tomorrow’s weather forecast let alone lay plans for next week. These days a lot of my time is spent trying to get through Chicago winter. I find myself doing the old finger count of the months left until spring. I am always glad when the forecast is sunny for a few days. But all too often that can change within a matter of hours.
When I look back in my life, I would have never guessed that a shy country girl from Western New York would one day become a big city dweller. I remember spending long childhood summers picking wild strawberries and rhubarb, and then helping my mother make pies and put up jars of jam. These days I am hard pressed to find a wild anything, other than wild activity on the downtown streets of Chicago. Honestly, I never imagined living in a major metropolitan area. My sister once made plans to move here long before I even planted my roots in this city. In fact, she will testify that we had tried to discourage her. At that time we just thought that the big city would have been “too much.” Now here I am and my sister is a Southern Bell (Italian style!). Life takes some interesting turns.
I took French in high school and did very well. That was because I lived up next to French Canada back then. But I had never anticipated that one day I would live in an area that was predominantly Spanish-speaking. I have been a planner and very organized at times. My classmates and professors could testify to that one. But I never saw that one coming.
Life is a journey. I do admit that a lot of it is spent either anticipating what will happen and cleaning up and recovering from what really happened.
I like today’s (February 4) Gospel where Jesus tells the crowd, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while”(Mark 6:31, NAB). What a peaceful invitation! This is especially refreshing in the midst of the journey! I know that He is not talking about hanging out in the abandoned buildings on the West Side of Chicago. Those streets have such a lonely and doomsday feel. I know that He is talking about finding a certain quiet place whether within ourselves or outside. For many of us this might mean finding a sanctuary. My own parish is open (when not under construction) 24 hours for adoration. But if one is unable to leave home, finding a quiet moment will suffice. I like getting up early in the morning before the rest of the world has a chance to get demanding.
When we are able to find a few minutes to come away life takes on more meaning and direction. Times of prayer can be when we make resolutions to place our lives more in line with the Will of God. Most likely we will not know where that will take us exactly. But I do know that if we delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. Ironically in this process the desire of our heart becomes God Himself.
Interestingly when I tried to locate Mark Chapter 6 in my Bible for today’s Gospel, I starting reading in Matthew Chapter 6 by mistake. Guess what? Right before my eyes was the verse, “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (Matthew 6:34).
When I place my life in the will of God, no matter where I end up, it is sufficient.