Monday, February 22, 2010


When I was in kindergarten we were asked what we wanted to do when we grew up. Amidst the doctors, firefighters, and presidents I wanted to drive a bus. When asked why I said that I wanted to meet people and be with them through the day. My mother and I occasionally took the Metro to downtown Akron to go shopping at O’Neil’s or Polski’s department stores and the driver was always kind and talkative.

The only problem was that I wanted to be able to drive my bus anywhere I wanted. I did not want to drive down the same streets over and over every day.

Well, things kind of turned out that way. There is no sitting behind the wheel of a city bus, but there is the constant meeting of people and being with them. There is also definitely the change up of activities every day. Not only are prescheduled days different from the next, what is going to happen on even scheduled days may change from moment to moment.

So it is the beginning of Lent and there are certainly plenty of obligations marked off on the calendar. Sometimes I think to myself, “That’s it! The calendar is full! No more appointments!” But God likes a challenge and finds a way to let you know there is definitely more room on your calendar for Him. There may very well be school confessions on Monday, but you found out that a relative has died and so different plans must be made. Instead of sitting in the confessional for two hours you go to another parish and celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial. On Sunday you are finally going to kick back and rest after a long week and (joyfully) a young couple shows up at the door wanting to register in the parish.

There is a story about a rabbi in a country under Nazi occupation and he was observed crossing the town square everyday at noon. One day a soldier stopped him and asked him where he was going. “I don’t know,” he replied.

“Yes you do!” the soldier said. “You cross this square everyday at the same time! You certainly know where you are going. Arrest this man!”

“See,” replied the rabbi, “I TOLD you I didn’t know where I was going.”

It is getting on in the evening and the parochial vicar and I are finally done for the day and for once it is early enough to consider watching a movie. We change out of our formal clothes and the emergency phone rings. Someone needs the anointing of the sick. It’s his birthday so I go. Communion calls are a lot like giving blood. You may complain going but being there and coming home you are have a certain joy and are thankful for the opportunity.

So ask me where I am going to be today.

I might be able to lay odds on my calendar (confessions, benediction, spiritual direction, stations, meetings, going stag to the Father/daughter dance) but in the end – I don’t know. And I like it like that.


Anonymous said...

"...I wanted to drive a bus. When asked why, I said that I wanted to meet people and be with them through the day."

Interesting, Father, that a young boy and future priest would show a desire to spend time with people all day. The Lord was preparing you even then.

Adoro said...

LOL "going stag to the Father/daughter dance." Well, there you go, that's a great privilege you have; you CAN'T go're Father to all!

You have as many children as God promised to Abraham!

Anonymous said...

My Dear Fr. V -

I loved this post! It brought back many warm memories for me. I too often rode the bus downtown to visit O'Neil's and Polsky's (where I had my Senior high school pictures taken a couple of months before it closed.) The nice clerks at both stores made this ordinary girl feel very special - they always called me "Miss", and when my friends and I had lunch in the Georgian Room (at O'Neil's), they never acted like I was silly if I ordered only a milkshake, and they held my chair out as they would a grown-up lady. And what about the Christmas windows! That's an entire subject in itself!

Very nice 30-35 year old memories for me! Thank you, Father!


Anonymous said...

Dear Father,
So you wanted to be a bus driver and meet people - - you still drive -- but a journey to God for your people!

My son wanted to be a garbage truck driver when he was in kindergarden. He wound up with a PHD in Chemical Engineering working on projects to clean up our world's pollution. So, in a way he is working on ridding our world of garbage!