peace, joy, gratitude and compassion.
an amateur golfer could purchase hole-in-one insurance. If the golfer made a hole-in-one, he or she
would receive an all-expense paid trip to anywhere in the world. I knew this because one of my husband’s
business associates at that time had just returned from a trip to Hawaii that
he had “won” through this program. My
husband had a birthday coming up and I thought this would be an excellent
present for him (for us!) I probably had
a slight attack of conscience because I mentioned it to him to make sure this
was something he’d really enjoy. He
would not, he told me. What he really
wanted was a new set of golf head-covers.
That’s what I bought him. He was
happy. The following week my husband had
his first hole-in-one. It did not make
him happy. He certainly didn’t want to
call me to tell me about it. I think if
he could have kept it from me for the rest of his life, he would have but we
lived in the tiny town of Norwich, New York and word would reach me probably
sooner than later. As you can imagine I
was very disappointed. I can think of
several things I might have done differently had I known he was to have this
hole-in-one after telling me not to buy him the $40.00 hole-in-one
insurance. But, it’s always easier in
retrospect, isn’t it? We’re always so
much wiser in retrospect, aren’t we?
What would life be like if we were people who knew ahead of time what
was going to happen?
sci-fi movies about people who are time travelers. I especially like the ones where people go
back to the past. Two of my favorites
are Back to the Future with Michael
J. Fox and Peggy Sue with Kathleen
Turner. In both films they were able to
impart helpful knowledge to people in their past to help them improve their
lives in the future. In Peggy Sue,
Kathleen Turner had a nerdy friend who believed her story that she was from the
future. He wanted to know what he should
invest in. “Panty hose,” she
suggested. What should I invest in now
that will insure my future success? Do I
need to be able to see the future to make those decisions? Maybe I would be able to pick out the winning
power ball number or I could buy some sort of unknown stock, like Apple, before
it went through the ceiling. Perhaps one
would know who not to marry or what job not to pass up. Oh, the places one could go and the things
one could do without any concern, without any confusion.
dear friends whose early married lives were very difficult. One friend’s husband left her with three
children and declared bankruptcy. Right
after he left, her house burned to the ground.
These were only a few of the challenges she faced at that time. Her husband
then began a new relationship and a new business and she was left to figure out
how to survive. The really good news is
she did more than survive, she thrived!
It’s been a few decades now since all this began but recently she found
out he was dying. She held a lot of
justified resentment towards him but she picked up the phone to talk to him and
instead of venting all her frustration and anger, she found herself thanking
him. For what? For her three wonderful children, for her
stamina and fortitude and for the life she now lives. If she could have seen into the future with
all the travail she would face, she probably would have still chosen the same;
a different choice would have meant she would be a different person and she’s a
marvelous human being because of the trials she’s overcome. She has made peace not only with her
ex-husband but with life.
Mass we have one phrase that is used three times. “Peace be with you.” Three times the priest says, “Peace be with
you.” No other phrase is repeated even
once but this one is repeated three times.
Why? Because it’s the one gift
everyone desires, peace. When we are in
the middle of war most of the population wants it to end. They want peace. When we are in the throes of caring for someone
in pain, we pray for their peace. When
someone has experienced the death of a loved one, we ask for them to have
peace. When we or someone we know is
faced with any sort of difficulty, financial or physical, we want to see them
come to a peaceful place. Peace. What does it look like? Can one find it in any situation? Recently, an acquaintance confided that his
job might be at risk. We reacted with
alarm. He, on the other hand told us he
wasn’t worried. There was nothing he
could do about it right now, so he wasn’t upset. He was at peace. We may not have a definitive definition for
peace but we all know when it’s missing.
We all know when we are not at peace.
It is one of God’s greatest gifts.
We can claim it whenever we want. Sometimes all it takes is a short prayer, a deep breath and a silent few moments. Once we are at peace with ourselves, we can radiate that peace out into
the rest of the world.
foreknowledge might be a better gift than peace but it doesn’t matter. There is no such thing, no matter what the
psychic tells us. There’s no guarantee
that we’ll ever know what the future will hold.
But, we can find peace with whatever life has brought us. We can let go of the disappointments, the
trials, the hurts, the not so wise choices and we can ask God to let us go
forward with the gift of peace. We can
go forward knowing that our lives, the good, the bad and the ugly are exactly
as they are supposed to be and that with God’s gift of peace, we can rest in
all of it.
P.S. Because of Sandy’s career we have not only traveled to Hawaii, we have traveled the world. We really didn’t need that hole-in-one insurance.