Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Morning Meditation #110

Last Monday, I had a wonderful, leisurely day. This week, it appears, Monday will be a "gotcha" day -- don't plan to get much relaxation. The stress machine started on Friday evening when I had to work until 10:00 p.m., then realized that my purse was locked in the conference room, and it took me over half an hour to find a security officer to open the room for me since I made the discovery of not having the purse at the moment that both security officers took off on perimeter security duty, leaving the building empty for some time. (I was beginning to think I would have to spend the weekend there, but fortunately all ended okay. "Ending well" might be a bit of an overstatement.) For the first time in a long time, I brought work home. It is not yet finished, so am going in very early and am hoping that my deputy can handle my meetings so that I can finish the work (about 100 hours of work and two workdays to do it, plus what I could eke out this weekend, which was not much because on Friday my sister-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, which has a very poor prognosis and has engendered much family discussion about how to be supportive).

So, with more than a little on my mind, I returned to Hosea, looking for some insights. However, I found nothing more there from what I have written about in earlier posts from Hosea, so I proceeded through Amos and then Obadiah. I guess, given the news of the weekend, I was looking for something other than the wrath of God against Israel although, of course, we can learn much from those early days. I found a different message in Jonah, one I have written about before but also one that is worth repeating.

Reading: Jonah 1-3

Meditation: The story of Jonah will also be special to me because I have lived the story of Jonah. God sent Jonah to Ninevah, but he did not want to go. Instead, he went off in another direction. Imagine his surprise when the whale threw him up on shore in exactly the place that God wanted him to be.

That is pretty much what happened to me. God wanted me in my present job, but I sought other jobs. All the doors were closed to me, including the job I had been holding. Then, after taking my present job, I sought a different job again and ended up among the top three candidates. Once again, that door was closed to me: the job was never filled. A third time, other, seemingly better, opportunities arose, but that time I knew better than to start down the path where God did not want me because, as God did with Jonah, I knew God would do with me -- send me right back where He wanted me. So, like Jonah ("Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD" - Jonah 3:3), I decided to obey, and I have not regretted it.

Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for knowing better than I where I should be. I will ask forgiveness for all the times I tried to walk in the opposite direction and will give thanks for being brought back to where I needed to be -- three times. I will also ask God to continue to guide my steps because I do know that He knows best. Then I will move on to contemplation, my favorite part of the day, letting God take over the direction in which my relationship with Him moves.

I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:

Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)

For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.

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