I’ve been distracted by a problem-not my own. It’s bugging me. A situation that in my view is blatantly just not right. Even tragic in some ways. I haven’t been asked for my opinion. I completely don’t see eye-to-eye with the person (people) making these choices and it only occasionally affects me indirectly. It’s literally driving me crazy and it’s making me resent the people who are making these lame choices. What bugs me even more is that I know it’s not my place to judge or even have an opinion. In short, it bugs me that it bugs me. I know this is temptation with a capital “T” rearing its ugly head.
I keep telling myself…”Keep your eyes on your own paper.” “Check out the plank in your own eye before examining that other person’s eye.” I know it’s wrong to be distracted and consumed about this. Not only that, I have my own life and vocation – I have plenty on my plate and I mess up plenty-believe me. Not everyone would agree with my choices. I’m certain a lot of people don’t.
So I pray. I pray mostly that I can stop obsessing about the choices that others make and just show them love no matter what their choices are. (It’s fair to read that no matter how much I think they’re %&$* ing up).
An answer came. Not in the form of an opportunity to show these people the “right way”. Not in the form of a panicked plea from them-“What are we doing wrong?”. Not in the form of an innocent question….”How would you do this.” No, the answer was sobering, humbling and clear as anything. Let me explain.
I keep a prayer journal and write in it sporadically. Just recently, I was trained to serve funeral masses at our church. I consider this an honor and feel privileged to do it when I am able. I have also only recently learned about the powerful intercession of the faithful departed and had the inspiration to consistently beg the intercession of the souls whose funerals I serve. As often as I remember, I’ll ask for their help. I got out my book to start recording their names on the back cover. There, at the top of the back cover, was the following quote that I had written a few months ago:
“Take care not to meddle in things that do not concern you, nor even allow them to pass through your mind; for perhaps you will not then be able to fulfill your own task.”
–St. John of the Cross
OK then. I am well aware that I struggle with remembering to strive to do God’s will in my own life. Not only did this admonition direct me to stay out of the affairs that have been preoccupying my thoughts. It gave me permission NOT to make it my business at all.
It’s a relief to let it go. I can’t say that I won’t get bent out of shape the next time I hear about [what I think is] an idiotic choice but I’ll try my best to remember to ask God to show me where I am falling short instead.