Sunday, June 5, 2011

Montreal Reflection #5: Change

At the end of the interview with Peter Coyote from The Sun Magazine, the interviewer asks him what he would tell himself if he could go back in time. Coyote lists off a string of one-liners, giving his young self advice on various things. One that stuck out for me was "Things will take four-times longer than you think they will."
This is something that has been difficult to accept and learn. Just as it was difficult to accept Mark Scandrette's assertion that you're inevitably egotistical in your twenties, I've had a hard time giving in to the fact that change, especially when dealing with personal change, does not happen according to our own timing and strategies.
These past three years I've searched in vain for a shortcut to change or "a better me". I thought it could be found in serving the poor, the outcasts and rejected-ones, or in contemplative prayer, immersed in solitude and silence. Or maybe in the hidden symbolism of my dreams, through Jungian psychology. In the arts, in nature, in theology, in marriage and parenthood, in travel...I've dabbled in all of these things in one way or another these past three years in hopes of finding THE path. Of course, finding THE path was pretty much impossible. Finding MY path, however, has been an encouraging, although tedious, process. In fact, I'd say one major lesson learned from our time out here is that there are many paths to THE place God calls each one of us. This can be frustrating to twenty-somethings trying to pin God and the entire world down to one formula, even one that champions social justice! I've learned to take joy in the fact that we're all gifted in mysterious ways, sometimes more unknown to ourselves than anyone else, and that those gifts are unique and irreplaceable.

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