Publisher: twinger Volume No. 3 Issue No 13 Date August 11, 2004
Our family has made a few trips over the years to Wichita, Kansas to play MAYB basketball. Although I slid through some bleachers and broke my knee one year, I like Wichita.
Every day we eat, drink, eliminate waste and poisons from our bodies, and sleep. Each of these activities is essential to survival and quality of life. To me, it is the same way with our spiritual lives. Through Mass we are nourished with not only the words of Jesus in the songs and readings, but by His body and blood through our participation in the Eucharist (Luke 22:19-20, Matt 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, 1 Cor 11:23-26). Retreats, conferences, family life, fellowship, and bible study are a source of additional nourishment and spiritual growth. The sacrament of reconciliation, fasting, and abstinence all provide a means of waste elimination and spiritual healing. Adoration, worship, meditation, acts of service, and prayer are tools for centering our lives on Jesus, or sleeping.
Earlier this year, I heard that there was going to be a Catholic family conference in Wichita, KS. I was interested in going, but summer is a hard time to schedule things for farm families with teenagers. The conference was scheduled for Aug 6-8 and was titled “ Be Not Afraid”. The title, in and of itself, convicted me to go (why that is so will have to wait for another Mary Teague Mail). I scheduled vacation time with my boss, and waited to receive the required registration materials. Two weeks before time, I was still not sure that I was going. I did not want to go alone. The boys had started football, Davin was farming, and I didn’t want to strong-arm Leigh Anne into going. She agreed to go, and I set about securing a hotel room. There were no suitable rooms available in Wichita. Seems as though thceere were several conferens, a MAYB basketball tournament, and a baseball tournament of some sort taking place then. The hotels were booked, so I waited. The morning we were to leave I finally got a place to stay, and it was at the hotel hosting the conference. We even got the conference rate. The hotel was grand and the conference was great.
On Sunday morning we were loading some things in the car, and I noticed a large wet spot on the concrete. After consulting with Davin, our departure was postponed. Leigh Anne and I were stranded indefinitely in Wichita. There was not a thing that I could do about it. It was Sunday, the Lord’s Day mind you, and no one works on cars on Sunday. I cried. Finally, I decided I would take what I learned at the conference and volunteer to help clean up. It was hard work, and I felt good about what I had done. Funny how pride rears its ugly head when you aren’t paying attention. On Tuesday, we were finally able to head home. I am not proud of the way I acted at times during this crisis. I took most of my frustrations out on Davin, but he responded by exhibiting many fruits of the spirit (charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity). Leigh Anne was a source of great strength and courage. She hugged me when I cried, and didn’t complain about our circumstances. She took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to endure a steam bath, a hot tub, and Spiderman 2. She told me she loved me often.
I know I am hardheaded and stubborn (my grandmother used to call me “Muley”), but is it so bad that God had to strand me to teach me? My prayer today is “Lord, Open my eyes, my heart, and my mind so that I may see, know and understand the lesson.”
P.S. While we were killing time, Leigh Anne and I bought a frost-hardy hibiscus and a hummingbird feeder for the garden. May they serve as daily reminders of His lesson.