Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Before you declare, “Nyope,  Not me.  This is ridiculous.” let me make my case.  If, at the end, you still don’t agree with me, you’ll still be wrong, but at least you read to the end.

Your life is amazing.  It is not supposed to be exciting all the time.  In fact, it is rarely exciting except to the most attentive and, for the others for whom it actually is, . . . well . . . they are just odd.  They are the exception that proves the rule.

You are living a fairy tale.  An incredible story is playing out in the living of your life.  The problem (if you are not buying this) is that you are used to it.  Somewhere (I forget where) Pope Benedict talked about how terrible it is to grow accustomed to the miraculous.  But we do.  Jesus Christ suffered and died for you, opened up paradise, made you a child of God, and gives Himself to you, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist!  And we yawn and say, “Yeah.  I know.  What’s on T.V. tonight?”

In his essay, “Baby Worship,” Chesterton writes, “The supreme adventure is being born.  There we do walk suddenly into a splendid startling trap.  There we do see something of which we have not dreamed before.  Our father and mother do lie in wait for us, like brigands from a bush.  Our uncle is a surprise.  Our aunt is, in the beautiful common expression, a bolt from the blue.  When we step into the family, b the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which had its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us not a world that we have not made.  In other words, when we step into a family, we step into a fairy-tale.”

“Perhaps I’ll grant you that,” you might think.  “But after that?  Blah!”


Think of your average fairy tale or movie.  One distills to a short book or two hours out of a life time to make it interesting.  As for drudgery, as beautiful as the story of Cinderella is, she spent A LOT of time in mourning for her parents, being treated as slave labor, and having no means of hope.  The people in Frozen spend most of their lives being miserable.  “Inside Out,” “Bring Him Home,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Revenant” all have incredible amounts of boring, monotonous, what seems to be life wasting time glossed over or slashed out entirely to present a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

During the parts that were exciting, the people that lived them did not necessarily like it, think it special, or want it.  Those who were in trouble wanted to sit on the porch and drink lemonade.  Those trapped at home dream of flying to Mars.  Those with curly hair want straight hair and those with no hair would be happy with chia pet hair.  The point is, there needs to be tension and or loss in this life for the greatness to make itself truly felt and not lost among the mundane. 

Often in these stories, the realization that they were in a great story line was not until it was over and somebody points it out to them.  Sometimes it takes an outsider to say, “Wow!  What a life!”

St. Francis spent A LOT of time in angst, worry, and controversy.  So did Blessed Mother Theresa.  Outsiders say, “Wow, what a life!  I wish I could have that excitement or peace.”  We review their lives as they do us and think, “What an adventure.  What a unique and exciting life compared to boring old me.”

Stop it.

Even if you don’t see a payoff coming (which would ruin it anyway) know that your heavenly Father has something tremendous waiting for you who loved Him in this life.  “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man” what God has waiting.  It will blow whatever expectations you have out of the water and make it all worth it.

Here is my challenge to you today.  See your life anew.  When you look outside, SEE the tree that you don’t notice anymore because it is always there.  It is different today than it was yesterday.  Appreciate today the place where you live.  No, it is not ideal.  But you have much for which to be grateful.  It is home base for your fair tale.  It will loom large in the telling of your story some day (even if it is just to God.  But I doubt it.)  Put on your least favorite clothes, go to your least favorite room, look at the least favorite thing in the room, see it, recognize it, and challenge it to play a role in your fairy tale.  Then let it sit and stew and worry about it and you go live.

And decide to be happy.  When you are bored, remember a time you were so crazy that you wish you had more time to be bored.  When you are crazy busy, remember the time you were bored and wish you had something to do.  

And pray.  


Stephen said...

Thank you Father, your blog today made me feel better about myself. Why? This morning at 6am, I stepped out of my house and "POW" the beauty of the morning, the smell of the air, the blue sky, the golden sun made it almost impossible for me to get into the car and drive to work. The air was so perfect I did not want to breath out. So after reading your blog today, maybe I am not totally lost. There is still hope for me.

Thank you Father,

Anonymous said...

I love this blog entry, Father! I saved it on my phone, so I can read it whenever I need reminded. Thank you!

Since you reference Chesterton so often, I think I finally need to see what he's all about. Any recommendation on what to read to get started?