Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Stone

So - a bit of background just to catch you up.

I was raised in a VERY Catholic family. Primarily guilt Catholic - you always go to Church because you have to - but we went to Catholic school and participated in the Sacraments and were very active when we were younger. However, I found myself drifting away in college. I think I was a very typical college student who was self-centered and focused only on my own enjoyment and life. However, when I got to graduate school, so many of my courses opened me to questioning really fundamental and foundational beliefs and that's made faith more difficult.

No, let me change that. I have a lot of faith. I'm a very spiritual person. I have issues with "religion." Religion troubles me and I haven't found that space for myself yet. I pray; I read the Bible; I say the Rosary; I fully believe in Jesus and God - I just can't, in good conscience, say that I'm a Catholic - or any religion.

Well, I spend a lot of time in the car (it's a forty minute drive to East Peoria) and so I listen to a LOT of audio books. Sometimes I listen to something I've already read - as I've been doing this week. I like to do this to hear things I skimmed or missed while reading, or just because it was a book I really enjoyed.

This week I've been listening to A.J. Jacob's "The Year of Living Biblically" which I really enjoy. In particular, on Monday he was discussing his trip to Israel and walking with a shepherd. He talked about the peacefulness of the work and the tradition behind it and the long line of shepherding references in Biblical works. Then, he talks about herding the sheep - that they are skittish and can easily get off course. In order to bring them back into the flock, the shepherd throws a stone near the wandering sheep and they return to the flock. This is a technique that has been used as far back as David.

And then I thought...have many of these events been my stone? I know that we always seek meaning in our lives to give sense to what often seems senseless, but - perhaps these things have happened to move me or return me. Perhaps this sadness and tragedy was simply the stone thrown near me to bring me back and prepare me for something else.

I know...unnaturally deep, but it's been on my mind all week.

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