Turn and go another way

turn_1-11-17I heard this simple message in mass on Sunday. I’ll admit it, I was distracted in mass. He was talking about the Kings and the Gifts. My thoughts wouldn’t settle. I was fidgeting during the homily when the priest said:

Like the Magi {pause} turn and go a different way. Turn away from destruction.

It was something close to that. This is what I heard. I went still. My focus suddenly razor sharp as the lesson began to unfold in my mind. This is a small epiphany as we celebrated the Epiphany. How fitting is that?

The Magi changed their direction by listening to God’s warning in a dream. [See Matthew 2:12]. Matthew 2:13 continues with the angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph in a dream. The angel warns and directs him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt. Joseph does not wait. Verse 14 says: “When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt.”

Imagine the faith it takes to listen to a dream. I am so cynical at times it is hard for me to believe, let alone hear the direction. I’m amazed by the faith and understanding of the Magi and the faith of Joseph. I question everything. It is so hard to trust the nudges and gut feelings. I ask: “What if I’m wrong?” Joseph didn’t worry about looking the fool. He didn’t ask “What if I’m wrong?” He packed up the family and left while it was still night. Imagine the trust in God.

Me, well I’d probably ask the angel of God to wait a few days while I prepared for the journey. You know I gotta get snacks for the trip and pack up. I’d be like, “Could you ya just hold off Herod for a few days while I close up the house and say good bye to the neighbors?” Not so good huh? More like Jonah and less like Joseph.

I sat in the pew after the service a little stunned. I started to write the disjointed pieces and ideas for this post on my phone. I thought, I want that! I want to trust in God fully. I want to believe what is in my heart. I want to believe Jesus.

We choose our paths. We can choose to be evil or good or distracted or disinterested. I seem to choose the distracted path more often then not. I’m like the magpie following shiny things. Being distracted means I don’t catch on to God’s nudges very fast. Yes at times he stops me in my tracks with a clear message. Those are rare occurrences. Usually I go merry little way and he helps me deal with the mess I’ve made. If I quiet myself listening and observing, he nudges me in the direction I need to take. It is his path I seek.

What I have learned over the last few years is I have choices. They are mine to make. The choice I am struggling to make in this brand new year is to listen to God’s nudges and following through. It has taken me years to commit to this resolution.

Over these years I have said, “I follow where he leads.” Because I am a Christian I felt I had to proclaim this statement. I start with good intentions but, like the magpie I am distracted by projects, work, shopping, family, games, etc. None of these items are bad things. They have their place. But what I did not get is when I am not listening I miss the wonder of my spiritual life. I also miss the blessings, and yes, protections that flow from the faith.

This resolution gelled with Sunday’s homily. It was an epiphany. Imagine it’s MY choice. Mine I own it. It’s not a shoulda, if I coulda, or I woulda if. It’s I want to! It’s taken decades to get to this point. Good thing God is patient!

Enjoy your epiphanies! They are made just for you!


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