Thursday, August 25, 2016


IT HAS BEEN A MESS! For the greater part of the year, the construction of the massive new gymnasium complex/addition to the Academy at our parish went on. For all of us it's been a traffic snafu to and from the many regular Masses and a plethora of other activities and events always on-going.

Single lane, orange cones everywhere, workmen in hard hats and reflective vests directing detours, monster equipment making monster noise, dust clouds, cement trucks, and gravel piles everywhere—seemed that it would never end.

In the midst of the rubble was a sign that begged our patience, stirred our hope, and fired our imagination: THINK RESULTS! No, it wasn't notifying us of our pastor's forthcoming homily topic, but it could have. No apology was offered, the worker persons were just doing their job, following the architect's plans, and, would you believe, beating their own deadline.

Silently the sign shouted, as it were, “You ain't seen nothin' yet!” as with jaw-dropping awe we watched the shining steel building rise from its cement foundation out of the seeming chaos. And then the millions of rusty red bricks were applied to create a matching facade to the other buildings of our church campus. Perfect! The finishing touch. It was an arduous but beautiful work in progress! Worth it all. Our patience and endurance of the inconveniences will be rewarded.

As I drove by the construction site to and from Church at a snail's pace, bumper to bumper, I leaned out of my car window to take this picture. It reminded me of the total mess that we so often go through in the process of living and walking pleasing to the Lord. Some call it the "fellowship of His sufferings" or afflictions. Others call it trials or tribulatin' or adversity. Still others call it stress or pressure. In the extreme it might be off-with-your-head persecution, the real thing. For some it is outward, for others it is inward, unseen but nevertheless excruciating pain or mental agony.

The disciple James reminds us in his letter, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4). THINK RESULTS!

Often I can't understand why I'm going through one catastrophe after another. I can only see my particular trees and not the entire forest. My human construction site looks like a rubbish heap to me. Orange cones slow me down to a snail's pace but they do keep me in line through the mess. I continue to plod along the dusty, noisy, one lane periphery of life's circumstances wondering how it all could make sense to my finite mind. God's signpost also shouts to me in the process of my own affliction: THINK RESULTS!

God is working on me according to His Holy Spirit tailored, unique-to-me, spiritual architectural plans to gradually transform me into the image of His Son Jesus Christ. And He is right on schedule. “Father knows best” and I'm glad that His ways are higher than my ways. I can't go wrong if I simply trust Him through my adversity and keep walking step by step until He figures that I'm “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” and ready for His joyful presence forevermore.

THINK RESULTS! "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we also may be glorified with Him" (Romans 8:17, 18). 

No comments: