Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Outlook from a Chair on Wheels

As humbling as it is to admit, I fell a couple of days ago. Not just any fall, oh no! I managed to tumble down the church steps as we all exited after Mass on Sunday. Of course, I was in full view of most of the parishioners of Saint Agnes Catholic Church – a parish we had never visited and probably won’t for a while.

As the priest and one of the standers by helped me to our van – which my dear husband drove up to the steps, onto the sidewalk – I was feeling both pain and humiliation. How quickly we can go from planning the perfect photo of all 7 grandchildren in front of a statue of the Immaculate Conception and total failure. That’s true of our faith life as well.

Saint Teresa of Avila famously said, “It is impossible for a person who prays regularly to remain in serious sin; because the two are incompatible, one or the other will have to be given up.” And so it is. In order to remain on our feet, spiritually speaking, we must find a way to roll with the punches meted out by life.

I saw a meme on Facebook this morning and it exemplified what I’m trying to live – both now and as a lesson learned for future reference.

“What defines us is how well we rise after falling.”

Yes, I physically fell down and am injured enough to be unable to walk right now. Yet, I’m adapting. My computer chair on wheels has become my new best friend. I can sit in it and roll, hither and yon, on my daily activities. I pray there, read there, and have even managed to use it to take care of our one-and-a-half year old grandson for the past two days.

As the old adage goes, “where there’s a will there’s a way”, and so it is with our faith life. In order to maintain our spiritual well being we must continue to find a way to practice it. Don’t have time for a daily Rosary? Think again. We have time for anything for which we make time. How about saying a decade at a time – while driving, doing laundry, lying in bed, or cooking? Can’t pick up a book for spiritual reading? What if you only read a couple of pages at a time? Books have even been written for just that purpose. Think of “33 Days to Morning Glory” or some of the Matthew Kelly books. Even “Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat” can be read this way.

As I journey on in hopes of a speedy recovery the outlook from a chair on wheels doesn’t seem so bad after all. At least not for a time. I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this perch: patience, humor, and humility. Although there have been a few tears, I’ve found it better just to laugh at my predicament and I find ways to creatively continue in my life – both earthly and spiritually.