Life is never simple, to be sure. We all go through lots of changes in our journey of life. And yet, with the Lord, there is always hope and new life – if we consciously include him in the journey, even and especially, in that mix and in the ups and downs of life. When we stay connected to the Lord and one another, as complex as life can be, the mix leads to new life.
In my own experience, as of this July, I am now Pastor of three Parishes in three different towns – Xenia, Jamestown and Yellow Springs. Definitely another transition in life, and a complex transition to be sure. It takes a long time to adapt to one community much less three. And this is not unlike what all of us experience as we adapt to our own family, and also need to adapt to extended family experiences that so often unfold in life’s journey. As all transitions in life, we move from one experience to another, and another, and … my ministry and my life has included a vast variety of experience and much life, as I am sure, yours does as well. So, where is the life in the mix?
Life is a blended experience – whether one is a Pastor, a Mother or Father, a Teacher, a Relative, a Neighbor, an Immigrant, a Graduate of College or a Grade Schooler, a Member of a particular faith community, a Member of a different culture, etc., etc. We are young and old. We have different degrees and experiences and questions. We often have different experiences of the Lord and of Church. We have different responsibilities and work, etc., etc. We share much in common in life and yet much is vastly varied. We move from one place to another, we discover depth and horizons of life we never expected.
Even the universe, scientists recently found has a planet in a neighboring solar system that seems similar in many ways to the earth, but likely it will be found to be quite different. A fossil was recently found that is estimated to be 3.7 billion years old – our life together as part of creation definitely is a lot more vast and complicated than we ever expected. And, as soon as we fit some pieces of life together we find there are many more pieces we did not know of before that we now need to include and adapt to.
We share the tragedies of life as well – the 15th anniversary of the horrendous 9/11 experience, the effects of a terrible earthquake in Italy that seems to have wiped out 3 cities, and the recent fires and floods in our own nation that decimated many towns and villages.
Heroin overdoses are on the rise, and new diseases need to be faced. Political and at times religious upheaval have become a constant as we struggle internationally with all the many violent and often confusing situations, and even in our own country as we prepare for an election in the midst of our diversity as a people. And, we share the many joys and celebrations of life, etc., etc. Life remains a mix.
Let us “let go and let God” – let us remain open to letting go of anything that holds us back and of letting God lead and guide us in all the mix and complexities of life! Let us trust in the Lord, and move forward in his light! He shows us the way, even, and especially, in all the complexity and mix of life.
Fr. John E. Krumm, Pastor of St. Brigid Catholic Church in Xenia and Pastor of St. Augustine, Jamestown & St. Paul, Yellow Springs.