Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Taking time to Aim

Before I donned the grey habit, I had the opportunity to go “clay shooting.”  One person launches clay discs (called “clay pigeons”, although the only thing they have in common with pigeons is that they fly) into the air with a catapult while another person tries to shoot them with a gun.  It’s one of those things that young boys dream of doing.  Needless to say, I was excited about finally fulfilling a childhood dream.  I had fired a gun before, but never at a moving target.  I was a pretty good shot, though, so I figured I would do well.  The first disc was launched and I quickly pointed the gun, shot, and missed.  The second one was launched and the same thing happened.  The trend continued.  The other guys who were with me were hitting one clay after the other, but I kept missing.  I started getting frustrated and embarrassed.  How could I be missing so many?  How could I be so much worse than the others?  Finally, my frustration boiled over and I grumbled aloud, “Why can’t I hit anything!?!?”  One of my companions asked, “are you using the sights to aim?”  There was an awkward pause.  “No”, I replied, as I felt my ego get punched in the stomach.

I hadn’t been using the sights because I didn’t think I had enough time.  The discs moved quickly after they were launched, so I just pointed the gun and shot for fear that I would miss the window of opportunity.  It’s not that I forgot to aim, but I deliberately chose not to aim because I didn’t think it was practical.  I didn’t rely on the fact that the bullet moves much faster than the disc.  When the next disc was launched, I took time to aim (it felt like forever) before I fired.  This time I nailed the disc!  All I needed to do was take time to aim.  Too bad I didn’t figure that out until my last disc!

We tend to live life the same way I approached shooting clays.  We rush from one thing to another without taking time to reflect.  We do all the pressing things, but neglect the important things.  We occupy ourselves with projects, but don’t bother to ask whether we should really be doing them.  We are impatient with the Lord and feel like we’re running out of time, forgetting that he can do more in a brief moment than we can in a year.  We are busy with many things, but forget the one thing necessary.  This can happen in even in prayer.  We can be busy reading scripture or a spiritual book or listing our intentions or reciting memorized prayers, but not be attentive to the Lord.  

We need to take time to A.IM. Before we rush off to do the next thing, we need to Adore God and IMplore His guidance.  This opens us up to His will, which is much better than our will.  It helps us to place our activities and endeavors in their proper order, by making our relationship with God our first priority, and thus makes our life happier, more fulfilling, and more peaceful.

+ Br. Ignatius Pio Mariae, CFR
Bronx, NY
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