Awhile back I was treated to yet another thought-provoking homily. This time around it was Father Rich who reached in and rattled my thinking a bit. He first paid tribute to the victims of 9/11, then spoke about some of the survivors and why they happened to not be in the towers that morning.
There were a variety of reasons. One person began feeling ill on his way to work so he turned around and went home. Another forgot something and had to run back into the house to grab it causing her to miss her bus. One woman’s car wouldn’t start, another stopped to answer the phone on her way out. One person spilled coffee on himself and had to change clothes. One woman had to drop her children off at school and got stuck in traffic and one gentleman had stopped off to get donuts for the office because it was his turn. Incredible! I’m sure there are many stories like these.
These people should have been at ground zero but were not. Was it simply chance that saved their lives or was there some greater force at work here? I have to believe it was the Hand of God that reached down and held them back just long enough to save their lives. The point father was making is that everything even the small stuff, happen for a reason. How often do we let ourselves get all worked up about the little annoyances of life? The things that occur everyday, the small stuff.
You know what I’m talking about, you’re running late and the car in front of you is going 3o in a 45 mile zone and there’s no way to get around him. Yeah. you’ve been there, we all have. You’re annoyed and getting angrier by the moment. You’re probably swearing out loud and may even be tempted to pass on the shoulder. Instead you ride his ass and maybe if your really steaming your laying on your horn. And for what? What do you gain? You’ve stressed yourself out and your still late to work! What difference does another few minutes make? Besides, there just might be some greater reason for that slow poke to be crawling along in front of you. God may have caused him to be there for a reason. We may never know what the reason is but it’s probably a good one. Perhaps you being hung up that extra few minutes keeps you out of the intersection where a careless driver is running a stop light. That Sunday driver just may have saved your life. You just never know.
Another good point father made in his homily is that we are in charge of our emotions, our emotions do not control us. We call the shots. That driver isn’t making you angry, you’re making yourself angry. You have made a conscious decision to let yourself get upset. We all have the capacity to be understanding or harsh, generous or selfish, kind or mean. We have to decide what part of our character we want to develop. We need to realize our true nature, which is not an easy thing to do. We need to make good choices about our behavior and the kind of person we allow ourselves to be. The discovery of and acceptance of self can be a painful but worthwhile experience. It’s a challenge but we need to get over ourselves and overcome the obstacles that stop us from being the good and caring people we were born to be.
Like Father Rich said the choice is ours to make. So as you make your way through life, remember, time is fleeting so “Keep a Cool Head” and “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff!” cause you just never know….