Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Crossroads

Well, despite what I said a few weeks back, I'm posting something here, but when you finish reading this, you'll understand why I have broken the "fast".  A few details of the last few weeks first.

About a month ago, I was recruited to take a prestigious  job much closer to home. I would no longer be working for a hospital but for a no-nonsense corporation with little patience for non-productive employees.  It would have opened the door to other opportunities and I must say that the urgency with which I was pursued was something I found alluring.  If I took the job, I'd have a two-mile commute instead of  a 60-mile round-trip every day.  I'd get no annoying calls on weekends or nights about cases that had to be done on call.  I would have the title of director and I would have the autonomy and authority to call the shots.  The woman who offered me the position told me she had to pinch herself when she interviewed me because she felt I was too good to be true.  What was there to do except say yes?

The problem is that my heart just wasn't into it.  I have no aspirations in life except spiritual development, for myself, my family and those I encounter in need of conversion.  It occurred to me that if I took this job, I could kiss becoming a secular Carmelite goodbye.  I would have to be totally invested in this job since the center I would be taking over has many challenges in need of resolution.  It would mean not being able to help with an upcoming retreat.  It would mean missing out on the day of recollection with Cardinal Burke.  It would mean getting home late on Rebecca's 16th birthday. It would mean breaking the hearts of the good people I had come to know in my present position.

I was talking to one of my staff members about the new job and I could see she was visibly upset.  I asked her what was wrong and she simply said " I can see that you don't know my story."    She asked to speak to me privately and then told me something so horrific, I don't know how she manages to get up out of bed every day.  She told me that she had lost her oldest child in a fire a few years back and that the anniversary of the death was coming up.  With the trauma of facing that awful date combined with the knowledge that her boss was leaving and the troublemakers were dancing with joy at the prospect of slipping back into their old ways again, she was finding it hard to cope.

That's when the words of the Gospel started ringing in my ears: No greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.

Well, I can't that I've been laying down my life, but I have had to make sacrifices to work where I do.

Those words wouldn't stop speaking to me.

So on Tuesday evening  I shocked my future employer and my family by announcing that I would be staying put.  My boss at my current job told me she knew I wouldn't leave.  She has a philosophy she calls "Let go, let God". I started thinking about that and how if I truly had faith, I would trust that God would see me through the challenges of my current job, not the least of which is the commute.

Now, what to do with this?  For one thing, I will be giving up this blog.  At Rebecca's urging, I will leave it up for awhile, but I won't be accepting comments, checking stats, or any of the other traps we fall into when we blog.  Second, I am going to take the first steps of seeking entrance into the Third Order.  I have not yet decided whether I would like to pursue the chapter at my own parish or the one where our dear Theresa presides. I have to say I am leaning toward the latter.  Finally, I'm going to take my boss's simple advice and let go and let God take over.

When the job that I just turned down opened up, it held very definite attractions for me.  I asked God to grant me this favor if He willed it for me, but we all know what we don't know and that is, how God works. I see now that the reason it was granted so easily is so I could make a choice of whether of I would seek the life He wants me to lead or the one that the world wants me to lead.

Something else has been going of late that is of some concern for me.  People keep coming to me to ask me to pray for them as though I have some special intercessory abilities. I don't.  I just have faith and I think I have not spent enough time praying that those who come to me for help will themselves discover what I have and that is that our faith and all that entails is our  most precious possession.

I won't be "going away" completely.  I will leave my other blog up for news and photos of the Traditional Latin Mass.

I continue to pray for you and your intentions and I know you are doing the same for me.  God bless all of you and thank you for the gift of your friendship and encouragement.  I thank Theresa especially for the courage to take this step.