By Sister Mary Scholastica, O.C.D.
This probably happens to everyone, especially as one grows older, but I find myself regularly marveling at how quickly time passes. And somehow in living each day however we choose to live it, it’s forming us, shaping us into the person we will be tomorrow. It’s the same thing with habits. I used to think of habits as something outside of myself, at my core. I thought of it as repetitive actions/thought patterns I needed to cultivate in order to have some kind of good behavior or outcome. But my habits, what I do regularly and oftentimes unconsciously, actually are an expression of who I am. It’s a very sobering thought. Who am I?
Who am I? I’m a daughter of our Heavenly Father, spouse of Jesus Christ, a daughter of the Church, a Carmelite Sister, a friend, a co-worker and the list goes on. And at the end of each day, what do my words, thoughts and actions say about me? Sometimes I don’t know.
Wonderfully in life, every day IS a new day. Every day we try again. Even more wonderful, our “trying” is just half of the equation. The reality that we often cannot see and grasp is that we’re not walking this journey alone. The good Lord created us. He sees us as we are and He sees us as were meant to be. He inspires in us desires that move us to reach our full potential, to be fully alive. And when we fall, He waits patiently for us to get up and try again. It’s so easy for us to fall and lose heart. Trust me, I’ve been there. And looking back, I can’t help but laugh because I’m sure there were times when I was pretty dramatic about it all!
It’s so true. It’s hard to get back up when one is only looking at the ground. And sometimes it gets comfy down there. Maybe this is why I love reflecting on God’s faithfulness. He comes. He always does even if we can’t recognize Him in the moment. He sends a moment of reprieve, a friend, allows you to receive a very tangible grace, or some random person shows you that they care just at the moment you need it. He comes. He cares. He lifts us up like a father picking up his child who just stumbled off the path and sets the child in an upright position back in the direction he/she needs to go.
So, in reflecting on our yesterdays shaping our tomorrows and in speaking of our habits reflecting on who we are…the most important thing to remember is that we’re in this together. God, me, you, all of mankind. In living life as fully as we can, somehow in some small way, we are influencing and impacting others around us. No one lives in a silo. My life touches your life and your life touches many other lives. That’s why it only takes one soul on fire to light up the world.
When we get to the end of our lives, when time really has passed us by, I believe we will be met at the pearly gates (figuratively speaking) by many people we never even met when living in this world. To our great surprise, we will see how our fidelity, our getting up after our falls, our daily striving served as the open door to remind our brothers and sisters about God and His faithfulness. This puts all of life into its proper perspective.