Many nasty and difficult things have been going on at work, including ones that are job-threatening for me and for some of the managers who work for me, beginning with the client who committed suicide and unfairly cast a dark shadow in doing so over my co-located junior manager for reasons we have yet to figure out. We believe it was done in order to direct attention away from some personal issues, but as one of my senior managers said to me, "What could have been so terrible that he felt he had to kill himself? Even if the whole world is falling apart, there is always God we can turn to. We may forget that God is there, but God never forgets that we are here." (And this from a secular, non-practicing Muslim!). Well, thank God, God remembers us always. Certainly, I have needed a lot of support from God over the past few weeks.
So, I was happy to see the supporting tale of the magi coming to visit the infant Jesus in Matthew 2, as a continued on in that book this week. Verse 12 I especially found comforting. In Matthew 2:12, we are told "And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route."
Reading: Matthew 2
Meditation: The life of Jesus was saved because God led the magi not to fulfill the request of Herod to tell him where Jesus was but to return home through another route. (And it probably was fortunate -- planned -- that Mary and Joseph could not find any place at any inn because it then would have been easy for Herod to find them.)
Just as God protected the vulnerable baby Jesus, I have seen Him protect many vulnerable people of today. Certainly, He protected my siblings and me through our dangerous childhood, and He protected my children and grandchildren as they navigated the medical white water of growing up handicapped.
So, when it comes to turmoil and trouble at work, I know where to go for help. Seemingly, so do, too, those who work for me. It helps that we have this level of mutual support, and God has helped us build that. I have watched the level of trust in God develop among my employees (and even in myself) over time as we negotiate one crisis after another.
I know I am not the only one. I imagine that anyone who will objectively review his/her history will find that "even though there are times we may have forgotten that God is there, He has not forgotten that we are here."
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning/afternoon. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for His boundless love. I will, of course, also ask God to help me always turn to Him first, and I will repent for each time I have forgotten that He is there. As always, I will thank God for always remembering me. (I so count on His mercy.) 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.