This evening I had a previously scheduled meeting with my spiritual director. I almost cancelled it due to the piles of papers burying me as I prep for the meeting with the auditor on Monday. But, I knew that I seriously needed a break as I was having trouble focusing on the simplest of tasks. So, I went. I vented. I whined. I vented some more about how unfair this was. I whined again.
Then, my SD (saint that he was to have listened so far and just smiled at me with a patience that I never would have been able to have) started to ask questions. Questions that made me think. Questions that made me realize just how far I had let myself get off track. Questions that I knew the answers to, but was refusing to even consider. Instead, I turned my back on even asking them so that I didn’t want the truth of my selfishness staring me in the face.
See, the more I focus on myself, the more I can justify how lousy the hand I’ve been dealt is. The more I focus only on my problems and issues, the larger those problems and issues can be. The more I focus inwardly on silly ol’ me, the less I have to look outward. Instead of focusing on the graces God has bestowed on me, the more I let myself whine about what I don’t have.
When I had the nightmare last week, I experienced fear like I haven’t known before. In the light of day (and especially in the light of God’s abundant Grace), I can see that instead of looking to Him, I looked inward and was afraid. I am not capable of much, if anything, on my own. But, with God, I can handle anything.
As we finished our discussion tonight, my SD asked me one final question. “What is the difference between the apostles walking on the road to Emmaus before they met Jesus and after?” I thought about it and wondered if it was because at first they were afraid but then after they saw Jesus so clearly in the breaking of the bread, they didn’t need to fear because they had seen the reality for themselves. But, it goes deeper than that. If you really think about it, on the first part of the journey, they were walking away from Jerusalem. When their eyes were opened to the risen Christ, they RAN back. So, initially, they were moving away from God and then when they experienced the risen Christ, they RAN back.
So, when we are afraid and are so caught up in our fear that we can’t ‘feel’ God with us (as I was after the nightmare), we are like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. But, like the disciples, our ultimate destination isn’t to remain in that fear, but to turn around and RUN home to our God who is waiting for us with open arms.