Readings for today: Acts 6:1-7; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12
You know the way to the place where I am going.
The title to this week’s reflection unintentionally references the Gilmore Girls theme song. It was only once I started writing that it started playing in my head.
But that aside, what this week’s readings also really made me think. It also fell into the category of readings where it sounds like Jesus is really talking down to His disciples. Of course, this is not the case at all; in fact, it is really the opposite. He believes in us and He knows us, and He trusts that we know the way to eternal life: through Him!
I thought, after last week, that I knew where I was going. Though it was bittersweet, I knew that God was bringing me to happiness, and to validate my decision to stand firm in my beliefs and not compromise my morals. He was leading me to calm and peace.
But as I learned yesterday, joy can be stolen instantly. It can turn what started off to be a perfectly good day, filled with anticipation, into a screaming match with God.
The situation: I was on my way to a friend’s birthday party. I was going to park my car at the station and then take transit, but then I figured, I couldn’t be bothered to take transit, on a Saturday. I’ll just drive.
So I did. I typed the address into my GPS and began my drive out. The drive was fine, until I was literally 10 minutes away from my destination. I saw steam rising, but I couldn’t determine whether it was from my car or someone else’s.
Within 2 minutes of noticing the steam, I got a warning message that I was out of coolant. 30 seconds later, my temperature levels shot up dangerously high, and having been in a similar situation last year, I knew better than to tough it out. I was stuck in the middle of Burnaby.
I spent a solid 10 minutes doing the following:
– screaming internally
– screaming externally
– pacing around my car
– thinking up excuses
– imagining worse case scenarios
– asking myself why I decided to change my plans last-minute
– asking God why He led me here
Thomas asks this in the gospel today: “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). In some way, it resonated with how I felt yesterday. It’s unexpected moments, like when my car broke down unexpectedly, that really challenge me and whether I actually know God and where He’s going.
But God reminds us constantly that we are His. He calls us out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). When we rest in Him, He will lead us and carry us.
After my initial panic, I called and talked to a number of people who brought me back down and helped to calm all my anxieties. The conversation with my parents was not as bad as I imagined it to be, and they were so great, as were all the friends that kept me company during the time I was stranded.
Walking with Christ is difficult some times, and like most relationships, it’s not always easy. There are some times where we feel incredibly enriched and fulfilled, like we are walking through the most gorgeous and breathtaking forests. Other times, we might be stuck walking through a desert sand storm, like the Israelites walking through the desert for forty years. It’s more difficult to believe in the latter situation that there is purpose and hope for us, as I’m sure we all know. But if there is one thing that I learned from this weekend, it’s that there is always some reason attached to it.
I can’t say that I understand it, but as I grow every day, I will always remind myself of this: that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We will reach the Father through Him.
In celebration of the centennial year of Fatima, Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!