The Journey of Our Lives...
Our guest blogger today is Jim Van Vurst, OFM, co-author of the free e-newsletter A Friar’s E-spirations. To learn more, click here.
It’s common to describe our lives on this earth as journeys. Each of us weaves a personal history made up of moments in which we are caught up in events—most of which we did not anticipate. And we make decisions and do things that affect others in ways we cannot grasp.
I suspect there are a few of my readers who have kept diaries. I began journaling in 1972 after I had been ordained about 11 years. It was a time when I was going through a bit of a vocational struggle, and I didn’t fully understand all that was going on within me. I smile now, 42 years later, realizing what was actually happening. It was the Lord saying to me, “Jim, it is time for you to grow up and mature a bit.”
After 13 years of isolated religious and priestly formation, I was still very immature emotionally. My intellect had grown, but not much of myself. But growing up was exactly what I needed to do—both as a priest and as a human being. However, in my own circumstances, it felt as though I was being pushed and pulled, knocked down, and shook. I realize now that real growth and maturity are not something we do. It is what is being done to us as we struggle through it.
As we grow older on our journeys, we realize two important truths: life is made up of our actions and decisions; and life is also composed of events beyond our control. Major events can occur and lives are changed forever. Think of the one moment before the planes crashed into the Twin Towers on 9/11, and what occurred to all of those people. We use expressions such as “just a second,” or “in a moment’s time.” In the life of a single adult, there are countless moments that are packed with potential for good or ill.
What is so important is that we understand and embrace the truth that not a single one of us walks our journeys alone. When God made us in his image and likeness, he also destined us to eternal life with him. If someone is not saved, it will be by his or her choice, not God’s. At the same time, God never wants us to struggle alone.
God will never turn from us during our journeys.