Friday, October 14, 2016

This Befuddled Believer

Friday greetings on a beautiful Autumn morning here in Chicago.

I have been thinking a lot lately about "big picture" stuff. On Saturday of this past weekend, while attending an Oktoberfest event in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, my friends and I, after grabbing our plates of German sausage and our beer, searched for a place to sit at the long tables beneath the tent. It was a striped white and red tent; here's a photo is took.



There was a tuba band playing, people were dancing, singing, clapping their hands in rhythm, and just having a grand time. I found some chairs right across a table from an older couple; looked like they were in their early seventies. He had retired from the Air Force and they lived in a rural area in central Wisconsin. Since I love meeting new people, I quickly started a conversation with these two folks and, with a great sense of gratitude and relief, engaged in a conversation that had absolutely nothing to do with the current presidential election campaign. We talked about some of our Catholic experiences. We talked about our families. We talked about travels to Germany. We talked about how great the food was at the festival. We talked about how much we loved the music in the tent. We talked about how beautiful the day was. My new friend even shared some jokes with us. It was just a delight.

As I sat there, I realized what a grace that moment was for me. Lately I have been thinking so much about the vastness of the universe. And I think about the seeming insignificance of this planet of ours within the big-ness of it all. And sometimes doubt enters my mind about how God could have created all of this and how God could have created this human species, and how God could have had anything to do with the fact that I came into existence on this tiny planet. I just can't wrap my brain around the cosmos; I know I have to do more reading to help enlighten my mind.

When all of this thought rages in my mind, I am always, always brought back to one thing. And that one thing is Jesus Christ. My belief that this creator God broke into humanity by sending the divine offspring, Jesus Christ, to save us from death, becomes stronger when I have experiences with other human beings, like the experience I had with those two folks in the tent on Saturday. I just had this overwhelming sense that this God of ours was somehow present right there in that tent because this God had taken on our human flesh; it was like a "His eye is on the sparrow" kind of moment. And I cherished the encounter and I thanked God for it and the insight it brought to this sometimes befuddled believer's mind and heart.

I hope that your weekend finds you discovering God's presence in the simple encounters.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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