Preparing For God’s Moment in Time and History

December 10, 2017

What we do with our time creates our history.  We have moved quickly into week two of Advent.  The pace increases and we are beginning to feel the pressure of getting everything done.  We cannot imagine the pressure of what next week might bring.  What we do with our time creates our history.  The first reading invites us to proclaim our history at the top of our lungs giving God the power and glory.  The Gospel calls us to action, to make straight the path.  It invites us to remove the boulders and obstacles that hinder a straight path.  This is done through forgiveness.

How we tell the story of removing the boulders, how we raise our voices in triumph says a lot about how we have been spending our time.  Our perspective is how we tell our story.  Growing up in America, all of our maps place the United States in the center of the map.  Did it ever occur to us that maps used to teach students in Africa or the Philippines have their countries in the center?  I never thought about this growing up.  I thought all maps put the United States in the center.  The teller of the story has incredible responsibility to not only get it right, but to be true to the reality that this story is only one perspective.  Alternate perspectives change history.  History books are always written by the winner of the battle and the war.  They are written by the country who won independence, not by the ones who lost it.  How we tell the story says a lot about us.

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving I went out to walk nine holes of golf.  The sixth hole at Fox Bend is a par three.  I hit a great five iron that went just to the right of the green.  When I walked up, I could not find the ball.  After giving it all the possibilities, I dropped another ball incurring a lost ball penalty.  I then chipped a ball that bounced twice and rolled five feet into the hole.  It was an amazing chip shot.  As I picked up the ball out of the hole I walked back to my bag.  Under the leaves on the sprinkler head right next to the green I found my original ball.  At that moment I was presented with a dilemma. Should I just walk away with an incredible unbelievable par, or should I hit the newly found ball, my original shot?   On this particular Sunday, with no one behind me, I decided it was important to hit the original ball.  Putting from just off the green, I sailed the ball past the hole.  On the way back the ball lipped the cup, but failed to drop.  I now was putting for bogey even though I had already chipped one in for par.   How I retell the story and what I mark on the score card reveals the history of who I am.  Our interpretation of rules, our excuses about seeing things our own way, all of this is what is proclaimed to others.

God is entrusting to us a great message, one that is to fill our hearts. How we tell it does not reveal Him as much as it reveals us. Take the time this week to shout from the mountain tops the glory of a God, a God who trusts us with His message. He is not afraid of our perspective, He is not afraid of our interpretation; He believes in us that much.

Reverend John J. Ouper