Sorry (again) for my sporadic presence. It's been a strange six months for me. I'm still trying to figure out why and how I've changed, but sometimes I read back to previous entries and wonder who that writer was.
That's not exactly right. I know who that writer was, I'm not sure who this writer is.
My nebulous, unnamed, amorphous changes were brought to my attention on Sunday, at Palm Sunday Mass. I might be one of the world's worst Catholics, but I tend to have profound thoughts while I'm at church. There's plenty of time for profundity on Palm Sunday, as you Catholics know, because it's the longest Mass of the year. They read the story of the death of Jesus, commonly called the Passion.
I thought about my changing relationship to this story over the years. When I was a kid, the whole congregation read the parts of the angry mob out loud. The text was bold in the places where we read, CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM. I hated that part, hated reading it, because I didn't want to say it. I hold out hope to this day that I could have saved him, just like I delude myself into believing I can/should be able to save everyone.
Recently I read Deepak Chopra's Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment. For the first time, I considered the idea that everyone in that story had a role to play in that story -- Judas and Pilate were crucial to its conclusion. During the story of the Passion, I thought about Jesus predicting his death, praying or bargaining or pleading with God to save him, his anger at his peeps who kept falling asleep. I think those are some of the most human glimpses we have of Jesus in the bible.
It reminded me of those two months between knowing I had a "malignancy" and know what it was. They were horrible times and in my No Atheists in Foxholes strategy, you bet I prayed to whomever was monitoring that mailbox. I asked to have it taken away from me, but also promised myself I wouldn't be bitter if I didn't get that particular miracle. After all, why me and not someone else? A much better Catholic, perhaps.
Please know that I am not comparing myself with the most famous person in history, the person that millions through the ages have believed is both God and the Son of God. I think I'm kind of alright, but not quite on that level. I am saying that I related to that story in a different way this time around the sun, a way that I think points to what has changed in me.
Jesus knew what was coming and begged to have his course altered. But it wasn't. It couldn't be, because it's the way it had to be. That pretty much sums up the way I see my life now. Things just have to be a certain way.
It's not an excuse for complacency or giving up my power, I don't think. It's a reminder to focus on what really does matter, where my energy can make a difference.
I think you just have to surrender to the rest.