Posted on Nov 5, 2020

8 November 2020

Several years ago I went to Baltimore to visit a young man who had been a student at UWEC.

About five years earlier I had married him in his home parish on the other side of the state of WI.

Just at the end of my visit I went for a short walk with Kevin.

On the walk, I said, “You know as far as I can tell, you’ve got everything you ever wanted.

You always wanted to be a dad.

You always wanted to find a good woman to love and be the mother of your children.

You always wanted to be a doctor and be good at it.

You love your family, you love your work.

Your life is as near perfect as you could have imagined.”

He said, “I know and that scares me.”

“Why does it scare you?”  I asked.“Because,” he said, “I’m afraid the bubble will burst and God will ask something really big of me, to live through some tragedy and not lose my faith,

to lose one of these precious gifts and still love God,

to forgive someone who has caused me great harm.”

“So,” I said, “You’re scared because you think you won’t be up to whatever it is?”

“Yea,” he said.  “But I’m preparing myself for that day.”

“Really?”  I said. 

“Yep, every day I thank God for my good life. 

I can’t really prepare for whatever might happen in a way that won’t make it happen.

But I can make sure my mind and heart are ready by being grateful today,

not tomorrow when it might be too late.”

The bottom line in today’s parable is that we’re all called to be prepared.

The truth is we’ll never be able to stop the terrible things that happen to us.

All of us at some point lose people we love, are hurt and harmed,

We also do things that are hurtful and harmful and have to live with ourselves.

We can’t stop these things,

but we can prepare ourselves as best we can and I think the beginning of that preparation

is what Kevin said, to be grateful today, today for what we have been given.

To begin and end each day by counting our blessings rather than our woes.

The wise virgins didn’t give the foolish virgins any of their oil.

That sounds so selfish to us until we realize that no one can be grateful for us,

only we can prepare our hearts for whatever comes.