Monday, July 18, 2011


MATTHEW 13: 24-30

JULY 17, 2011

Sometimes we make a decision and it turns out to not be the right one. For instance, we come to a fork in the road. We have a destination, but are not sure which path will get us there. We choose one. Maybe it will be a short cut. It ends up not taking us where we want to go. This is not all bad. Don't beat yourself up for a "wrong" decision. Maybe you discovered something along that path that you did not know even existed. Maybe you discovered some flowers that were only on this path. You have gained some experience. You may be able to help someone else with your new knowledge.

The basis of support groups is to share knowledge and experience from having gone in a direction that did not prove all that helpful. I used to work with divorced catholic groups. Some of these people would say, "How could I have been so stupid!" "Why did I make this choice of marriage partner?" Yet, they have gained wisdom from this experience and this wisdom they can share with others who are newer in the group. They find solace in knowing others are on the same path of recovery.

The twelve step programs work the same way. New people come in so demoralized from their addiction. If they listen to those who have been in recovery for a while they will gain from shared experience. Our "mistakes" can teach us and we can share our new found wisdom with others. We all have weeds in our life. No one is all wheat. No one is perfect.

Too often we simply want to forget mistakes rather than learn from them. We want, and even expect perfection. Get all "A"s on your report card. College entrance, jobs, are competition among those striving for perfection. Get rid of those weeds right away should they crop up in your life. Our failures take us nowhere. Hell awaits the sinner.

God however is much more optimistic about our imperfections. Let them be. In the gospel the landowner says to let the weeds grow along with the wheat. See what happens. God trusts that the weeds will not over whelm the wheat and destroy the wheat. There is a value in the weeds of our life. The weeds can be bundled up and used for fuel to warm people and to cook. Nothing is wasted. We can learn from going down paths that are not right for us. "We learn from our mistakes," is the saying.

Why must you be perfect? There is no humility in that. Why beat yourself up for not being an "A" person? Such people only end up judging others and being miserable and isolated in the process. Sometimes life is just crab grass. God is with us even there. Grace is everywhere.

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