On Giants' Shoulders

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Path Taken

Sometimes when you look back on your life you can see particular moments where a move in one direction makes all the moves after that different, even though at that exact moment you have no idea of the import of the move. There were a number of points in my path to becoming Catholic that were like that. They didn't look like moves in the direction of the Catholic Church. They certainly weren't intended to be moves in the direction of the Catholic Church, but in fact by taking the path of ordering Bob Jones history books, or encouraging my friend Liefe to go to the Episcopal church in Rutland rather than the UCC one, I was unknowingly making moves towards the Catholic Church.

Today as I sat in the pew with my daughter and her fiance, I realized that those particular moves had also brought us to this particular moment. Without our becoming Catholic Abby would probably never have met Jim (she met him at the Catholic Center at her university). We would not be having him join our family in just a few short months. If a book hadn't fallen off a shelf and landed at his brother's feet, Jim probably wouldn't be Catholic today. So it is by very small things, a history book ordered, a book falling off a shelf that we find ourselves where we do today.

I truly believe that God has had His hand in all of this. I believe that it was God who inspired my friend Linda to recommend Bob Jones curriculum to me, that it was God who inspired me to pick up Scott Hahn's Rome Sweet Home at the bookstore, that it was God who made sure that Augustine landed at Jeff's feet. Yet through all of this we made decisions that were free as well. I didn't have to take Linda's advice, I didn't have to go to Trinity with Liefe and fall in love with liturgical worship, Jeff didn't have to read Augustine, and Jim didn't have to follow his brother's advice to look into the Catholic Church. Abby could have stayed Congregationalist like her dad. So many places where God's grace made the opportunity. So many places where different choices would have brought us to a very different today than the one we had.

In geometry we learn that intersecting lines intersect at only one point. Having intersected they go on from there never to meet again. It's rather like that with paths in our life. One decision heads you in a new direction which leads to more new decisions and you wake up one day to realize how important a very small decision was. So it's important that even in our small decisions that we listen to the still small voice of the Spirit. Because, sometimes, even small decisions can change everything, eventually.


At 7:40 PM, Blogger Karen E. said...

So true and so beautiful, Liz.


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