Several years ago I worked as a Case Manager for an agency here in Sacramento that serviced the needs of troubled adolescents. Their admission packets often came with some diagnosis and that information became useful in developing a treatment plan used in helping to stabilize the child’s life. More often than not, the term used to describe their condition was “Oppositional Defiant”. I often mused that such a diagnosis seemed applicable to most people I have ever met and that these kids did not have an edge on this market.
St. Paul, our patron, too suffered from said ailment. He laments that the things he ought to do – never happen, and the things he should avoid – he consumes with great gusto! Yep, Oppositional Defiant! I am amused at the picture of my dog, Chloe. She looks at the rather large arrow and assumes immediately that it was meant for someone other than her. (Perhaps that could be said of the one taking her on the walk too!) We are all guilty – but where lies our hope?
I find I am most helped when I have something in my life that will help me “remember” who I am intended to be. I have to put in place voices that will call out the BIG WHITE ARROW that I stubbornly refuse to see. I need to be in the company of holy people, beckoning me to turn around in those areas where I am cheating. I am blessed to be able to return to the Eucharistic feast at St. Paul’s mid-week. I listen for words of hope and direction in reading the scriptures. I play in the dirt, walk in the woods, listen to gospel music, and share long meals with good friends. It’s slowly changing me for the good.
God, grant me eyes to see the arrow you have place in my path this day and the heart to follow its lead. Amen