There are days when many of us wake, go through the motions of the day, fall into bed at night and never realize all those special “aha” moments. We have those moments when we notice someone/something needing help, but chose not to intervene because time is short and we must finish what we are doing. Those moments when we ignore God’s nudging and continue doing something in our way because ‘that is how I have always done it’. Or, when we could have seen an easier way, but are too wrapped up in our busy lives to do so.
Days like the one I had today when a mother’s silence says it all.
As usual, I was trying to juggle too many chores…brought on not by circumstance, but by procrastination. Today was the day I had promised to mail out packages, iron the laundry for the weekend (which had been sitting since Monday), grocery shop for the weekend barbeque (which had been planned for two weeks), and pay the bills (which had been sitting ….) well, you have the picture.
Advising her this morning that I couldn’t talk for long because I needed to mail my packages, she inquired as to why I didn’t just put them in the mail box. I explained I was out of mailing labels, and needed to run to my office supply store, return home to print the labels, and then head out to the post office because I would have missed the postman.
And that is when mom’s silence took over. At eighty-four years old she can still make me feel foolish. “Why”, she asked after a pregnant pause and the “mothers-know-best” voice I remember so well from childhood, “don’t you just drive to the post office with your packages and mail them? Then you are only going out once and you will save yourself time and gas.”
And that is when it hit me! Most of us go through life on auto-pilot.
How many of us attend Mass on Sunday and walk out without remembering the Gospel? How many of us go through the motions of being Catholic, and never stop to consider why we are Catholic? How many receive Our Lord in the Eucharist and never stop to consider the truly miraculous gift OF the Eucharist?
Ironically, when someone inquires as to why we are doing something, we are given the opportunity to judge our actions through the eyes of another. We could react with indignation, anger, or, as in my case, laughter.
I realized the futility of what I was trying to accomplish, and mom’s way was truly easier. Why do something the hard way when there is an easier way? Why indeed.
That is why I picked up the packages, drove to the post office, and in thirty minutes my number one item had been crossed off my list, thanks to a mother’s intervention. And I am truly thankful she did intervene because later on, while working in my office, I realized my printer was broken. I can only imagine the sounds of frustration I would have uttered if I had decided to mail “my way”.
Too many times we are so caught up in the way we do things; we forget why we are doing them in the first place. We become wrapped up in the process and forget the end result. We depend on our rituals to the degree we forget what the rituals are all about.
Sometimes all it takes is another pair of eyes, or ears, to awaken our senses to another way of doing something.
Copyright 2012 Carol S. Bannon