The past several years have seen an extraordinarily large number of major life events for my family members and close family friends–births and deaths, marriage and divorce, new careers and retirements: the cycle of life. We seem to be in a constant whirlwind of celebrating and mourning.
But in the midst of these life’s journeys, two special moments of inspiration came into my life: the homily preached by my college roommate and longtime friend on the occasion of her Profession of Solemn Vows to a monastery and the obituary of a childhood friend. Both spoke of their love of nature and finding God waiting for them in the moments they could meditate there. Both spoke of the things they value most–family, friends and their faith in God. Both also spoke of the challenges they had endured throughout their lives, of “going through the cross” but always finding God’s love, encouragement, and compassion on the other side. They reminded me that God does not take away the difficult moments, but is always there to love, encourage and lift us up, to mourn and celebrate with us. No matter where we are on life’s journey God is with us.
I have felt God’s presence in the sharing of wedding vows, including my own over 30 years ago, and God’s peace which surpasses all understanding as we mourn the passing of our loved ones. But I have also felt his presence going about my daily routine, speaking with friends, or taking a walk. During this period of Lent, let us draw into a closer relationship with God, not just in the major events and trials of life, but also waiting for us in the everyday moments of life.