PADRE’S PONDERING In support of Mission Ready: Spirituality/Religion (Ken MacRae)

Happy New Year. For all who thought that 2021 couldn’t be any worse that 2020, let me just say that it has definitely got off to an interesting start! My only political commentary at this time is to encourage everyone to pray for our neighbours to the south. The events that happened this week in the States are disheartening to say the least. I pray that cooler heads will prevail, and that the violence will end and peaceful discussions carry on. People have a right to protest but that right ends when people get hurt or killed!  Ok…enough of politics…for now.

For many of us we have returned to work. (One handed claps are heard across our units!) I hope that we got some rest and had some fun. Most of us have put away our Christmas decorations. For some people I noticed that their tree had a theme or some sort of fashion statement. Some people ensured all decorations were silver. Others may have done an angel theme in your home. My wife and I have a memory tree.

We have the pine cone made by our son when he was in primary school. We have our ornament that shows the year of our first Christmas together as husband and wife. (I’m not saying that year for it was before many of you were born! Yes… I’m old. Be quiet!)  We have ornaments from many of the countries we have travelled together. We have a curling beaver and a golfer to remind us of sports we love. We also have various ornaments that show our faith and love for the Lord such as a nativity ornament from the Vatican. We have added an Inuksuk and a polar bear to remind us of our time in the north. I couldn’t find an ornament of a frozen car battery or a raven large enough to carry away small cars! Over the last month I was able to look at the tree and was reminded of the many blessings my family received over the years.

As I put away the ornaments I reminded myself that I’m not getting rid of the memories. They will always be there. Or there until I’m old and senile and can’t remember anything (I admitted to being old in the previous paragraph…not senile. My wife might say otherwise!) In the Bible we are told that after the birth of Jesus, and after the shepherds went to see the baby Jesus, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19. We can choose to remember the good times or be mired in our bad memories. Learn from the past. Ponder your past. Focus more on the good to motivate you.

What new memories will we get this year? What new adventures awaits us. What people will we meet who we can laugh with? What people will leave here and what new people will we encounter. Some of us can be fearful of the unknown. I choose to have as much fun as possible wherever God sends me.

I’ll leave you with words from the last comic strip of Calvin and Hobbs done, by Bill Watterson in 31 December, 1995. The final words of Calvin were, “Let’s go exploring!”

Padre Ken MacRae