Fired by love's urgent longings, I am his rocketman.


I was at a meeting earlier in the week with a group of people.  On the way out, I was looking for someone with whom I needed to speak.  Before I could get to that person, a friend stopped me to thank me for some advice I had given him and to explain how much it helped him.  I recognized that my friend was excited to share this with me, but, honestly, at that moment I was more interested in my own mission.  So I found myself half engaged in one conversation thinking about another one.

While praying the next morning, I realized that I had missed the more important conversation pursuing the conversation that mattered more to me.  In my mind I immediately and almost involuntarily asked my friend to forgive me for missing the opportunity, for not caring enough about him in that moment to give him my full attention.  Then, one after another, image after image, came to mind where I had done something similar to others.  So my prayer continued:  please forgive me, please forgive me, over and over again and again.  I was suddenly aware of all the times I missed what was right in front of me to see, to hear, to love because I was more caught up in my own little world.

Thinking about all of the encounters with various people that I have had in the last forty years, I started to do the math.  If I just missed one opportunity a day (not much of a stretch there), that’s 365 a year for forty years — which calculates out to 14600 offenses, most of which never even showed up on my radar.  I resolve to do better!

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God … For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night … Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  (Psalm 90:2,4,12)

I often wish I had more time.  Sometimes I regret that I haven’t used my time better.  Undoubtedly I feel like I have wasted time; but just as often, I feel as if I have used every moment available to me.  I suppose that I am bothered less by what I have done or failed to do in a given moment than I am by the overall sense that I have failed to use the time I have been given to do “those things” that come to mind at odd times, in quiet moments and in the middle of the night — “those things” that I never seem to get around to doing — “those things” that follow and cling to me like a shadow.

milkywayIn my weaker moments, I blame it all on time.  I tell myself if I just had a little bit more time, or a little bit less to do, I would get “those things” done.  Deep down I know that I am mostly doing what I want to do and “those things” that aren’t getting done, aren’t getting done because I don’t want to do them bad enough.  Once again having come full circle, like the proverbial dog chasing its tail, I am confronted with the truth:  the problem is me — I am always the problem.

Conversion is needed here, deeper conversion and more love.  I have enough time to do what he wants me to do.  But I need more love  to recognize what that is and to do it.  Love changes a foolish heart into a heart of wisdom.  Love opens the door of time to the timelessness of eternity.  Love opens our eyes to the truth and it makes faith possible.

Love is working in me.  I know this because I am beginning to see where I couldn’t see before.  I see the need for change, radical change.  Love gives me hope that real transformation is possible and, in fact, is happening — slowly but surely, little by little, I am becoming new, better.

I want to live today, just today, with an awareness of God’s presence and with an understanding that there are “those things” he wants me to do today.  Today, I want to keep my eyes, ears and heart open to what the Holy Spirit is doing, so I can participate — so that the time I have been given will converge with God’s time and make a difference for eternity.  Love will find the way.

Photos compliments of Jim Begley


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