Have you ever wondered why things happen to slow you down or keep you from leaving the house at the time you’d intended?

Running late

One morning many years ago when I had three kids to drop off— one at daycare, two in public school— I just couldn’t get the older ones going.  They procrastinated as usual in getting up and then dressed in molasses mode as I frantically worried about being late for work, which was of no concern to them, of course.

Every day we took the same route, crossing a very busy and oftentimes dangerous intersection where impatient drivers passed yellow and red lights without regard for others.

That one morning my thoughts were on signing in at the office before 7:45 A.M.  We drove about halfway to that intersection to find stopped traffic and lots of police cars.  Someone had caused a major accident, and ambulances were at the scene.

Later I learned that passengers had been seriously injured, and three or four had died.

I gave thanks and praise for running late that day, and I’ve been grateful ever since for what I’ve come to call the percolating moments that keep me in place, all part of my Train A-Train B theory.

Take the last couple of weeks, for instance.

Delays and outcomes

Usually, I type my notes from Father’s Sunday homily before the weekend comes up again.  I like to post the updated “messages from the pulpit” by Thursday, but sometimes unexpected happenings get in the way.

Last week, I kept wondering how I’d posted four blog entries so easily when, this time, I couldn’t sit still long enough to type the first of two sets of Sunday homilies.  Like, what’s going on with my pea brain?  There has to be an underlying reason that hasn’t yet revealed itself.

Then, first thing Saturday morning, I came here to my thoughtful spot and, lo and behold, I began typing my notes just like that.  No interference, no nada, just clackety-clack.  

Around eleven-thirty, Steven suddenly realized we’d lost track of time.  We had to get ready for my cousin’s daughter’s college graduation at one-thirty.

“Okay,” I said.  “I just finished typing the notes from July twenty-sixth, so that’s good.  I’ll save and stop here.  I can’t believe how easy it was to finish the first set so quickly.”

As Steven was just about ready, his cell phone rang.  A boat in one of the slips at MSI was sinking.  He was upset at the thought of having to miss Sabrina’s graduation, but I told him that God had other plans for us.  “Besides, he probably doesn’t want us on the road with all those loons on the highway,” I said, recalling the car accident at Paredes Line Road and FM 802.

When I called Rosie to explain our dilemma, she invited us to join the family for pizza at five.  We’d still have a chance to meet up with her siblings and other family members that evening, so I emailed Steven to let him know.

When Steven returned, I asked for help in deciphering my chicken-scratch notes from August second and talked to him about Father’s quotes as I looked them up in our Bible.  Then— boing-g-g!!!


At 2:36 p.m., I found two quotes— “God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24) and “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work'” (4:34)— and realized that not only did the story of the Samaritan woman relate to my “concrete abstraction” blog entry from the previous Saturday, but Elsa’s comments and subsequent emails also related to the post.

“Oh, my gosh!  You see, darling?  It all makes perfect sense.

“I posted to my blog on August first before Father’s homily reference from the Samaritan woman passage happened on August second.  I couldn’t type the notes during the week because I wasn’t meant to discover the messages until today.  And look how easy it was to type both weeks’ notes today.  Had we gone to the graduation ceremony, I would’ve missed the messages.

“You were called to take care of the emergency so I could continue working and experience my epiphany.  And, sure, the scientist within me says I would’ve found the passage with the messages later on anyway, but I was meant to find God’s response within a week’s time— ahead of tomorrow’s new set of notes because God knew how I felt about getting behind with my work.”

Of course, my pea brain always gets blown away.  I become Chicken Little when the rose leaf falls on him.  Puawk-PUAWK, puawk-PUAWK, puawk-PUAWK!!!

HI81109aSteven, on the other hand, doesn’t get excited at all when I share stuff like this.  But I do.  Every single time.

Epiphanies are heavenly surprises that happen at the oddest moments.  They’re so emotionally exhilarating that I look up at the Holy Infant’s photo above my thoughtful spot, laugh, and praise God over and over as joyful tears stream down my face.

Revelations are so totally awesome!

Suffice it to say that I finished typing my second set of notes with time to spare and posted the updated messages before leaving for Sabrina’s celebration at four-thirty, and we had such a terrific time with Rosie’s family that it was a very special day all the way around.  Plus I had a clean slate for the following morning’s note taking during Father’s Sunday homily.

Prayer for motorists

Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye that no one shall be hurt as I pass by.  You give life [so] I pray [that] no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of yours.  Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear me company, from the evils of fire and all calamity.  Teach me to use my car for others’ need [and not] miss through love of undue speed the beauty of the world that I may, with joy and courtesy, go on my way.  St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny.

April 13, 2015

As we grow in trust, reverence, and humility, an attitude of openheartedness grows within us and we are able to enter more fully into the unfolding mystery of God.

Gift me, O God, with an attitude of openheartedness that I may be able to more easily let go of the running train of thoughts and related distortions and illusions that fill my mind, along with any preconceived ideas I have about the scriptures that I spend time with today.  Help me to hear the essence of the message you are communicating through Your Word (Sister Maria Tasto, OSB, 1938-2014).


Goose Island State Park – Lamar, TX

Links of interest…  Catholic meditation: daily / tradition & practice…  Falling sky…  Goose Island State Park: about / big tree (more) / birding / things to do…  Power of the name of Jesus…  Sisters of St. Benedict (IN): Monday messages / prayer requests / virtual tour / ways of praying / website

WP posts…  Backtracking…  Concrete abstraction…  Heart’s desire…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila…  Timely message

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