Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'd Like It My Way

My mother's dad was Irish. Maybe that explains it. I have a temper, and sometimes it's not easy to keep a lid on it.

My first battles with anger came early. I don't remember why I was angry, just that I had an overwhelming desire to bite my sister or brother. An urge that I gave into, until my mother bit me back. (I can't say that I agree with her methodology, but it worked.)

After that, I let my temper fly in other ways.

When I was about nine or ten, my mother told me to go downstairs and get the clothes from the dryer. I don't know what I was doing at the time, but I was miffed because I wanted to keep doing it. And I certainly didn't want to be bothered by mundane household chores.

I stomped downstairs and pulled the clothes from the dryer, picked up the basket of clean clothes, and slammed that dryer door with all my might.

The door flopped open. I tried to reshut it. It bounced open, the gaping hole of the open dryer staring at me with its little appliance lightbulb burning accusatorily. I dropped the basket and squated down to investigate.

On the floor, I found the problem. A necessary piece of plastic lay at my feet. No, it wasn't something a kid could fix. There was no hiding this from Mom.

"Mom . . ." I wanted to be somewhere else. "I think the dryer door is broken." I held the piece out to her.

I don't know how she figured it out, but somehow, she knew I had let my anger get the better of me. She told me that I would have to pay for the repair. I cried.

I still struggle with my anger. And I realized something recently. It still gets the better of me when things go contrary to the way I have envisioned them.

I'd like to be able to write every story in life - my way.

I expect that pay-it-forward, good-Karma kind of approach to pay off.
And when it doesn't, oh my.

Today, I received Jesus Christ. I know that He made me - indeed, He made everything. I also know that He died for me. My ultimate end was certain to go one way, until He stepped into history and changed the course. If I am able to stand before God one day and step into that eternal Light, it is because Jesus Christ gave His life on Calvary . . . and He is merciful.

And yet, I let Him down all too often.

We are told in Sacred Scripture that He was tempted in every manner that we are tempted, and yet without sin. He may not have been Irish, but I know He must have been angry many times as He lived and walked among us.

And yet, without sin.

Yes, I'd like things to go my way. Not because I am selfish (like I was as a child), but I think my way is a pretty good way.

God's way is the perfect way. Not a good way. Not a great way. It is the perfect way. And yet, He puts a high premium on free will. So high, that He permits us to choose for ourselves, even though we might choose the way that leads completely away from Him.

To be like Christ, to really have the Eucharist change me, I must not cling to my happy ending. I must give of myself - fully.

No such thing as good karma. No pay-it-forward.

Give, to the point of death. Yes, even death on a cross.


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