Fresh from a Lenten Retreat during the later half of this last week, I find myself filled with encounters of God as numerous as the birds in the sky that I could blog about. We journeyed to Springfield Illinois to the Chiara Center where Fr. Stan Drongowski, O.P. and Sr. Teresa Tuite, O.P. journeyed with us and our inter-community novitiate in a Parable retreat.
On the Feast of the Annunciation Fr. Stan preached about God's encouragement to Mary:
DO NOT BE AFRAID.
Now for me jumping out of a perfectly good airplane was rather easy and something I did with little fear and with confidence that I would land on my feet in the end. I put total trust in that gentleman strapped to my back to operate our parachutes and to get us to our destination (the ground) safely. I had a prayer card of the Blessed Mother in my pocket just in case!
And yet when God says: JUMP I cling tightly to the familiar, the safe, the certain, say Oh, No not me Lord, are you NUTS! Often times every part of me wants to do God's will with reckless abandonment but fear going SPLAT keeps me tethered at times! Perhaps I need to remember who is operating my parachute.....
Afterall, that parachute is full of desire to do the will of the one that propels me each day. Sr. Teresa encouraged us to approach God with not just open hands but hands FULL OF DESIRE. Only when I approach God with arms wide open can I totally surrender to all the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that prevents my parachute from opening to the loving embrace and will of God.
Only when, like Mary, I step out and BE NOT AFRAID and JUMP will I land wherever God calls me. For in the end the WILL of God will not take me wherever the GRACE of God will not carry me.
Whether we go SPLAT or stick the landing all our JUMPS are full of GRACE!