By Fr. Garry Richmeier, CPPS.
I have learned so much from the people I’ve worked with over my 39 years as a priest and 28 years as a licensed marriage and family counselor. The people I’ve worked with have taught me much about living life, especially what works well and not so well.
I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you in a video series that I call “Assembling God’s Puzzle: Reflections on Health and Wholeness.” Below is my third entry.
I invite you to think about all that has happened to you today, all the different events and details that have led up to you sitting here watching this video. Maybe your alarm clock went off and woke you up on time, or maybe it didn’t and it made you late. Maybe you got in your car and drove to work as usual,
You can look at the events of your past year in the same way. If one of them had been different, you might not be here watching this video at this moment. It would be different. If you imagine all the billions of things that had to happen the way they did in our history (e.g. what your great, great, great, great grandmother did) in order for us to get to this exact point in time, it boggles the mind.
Some could say it was all due to chance. That is not too satisfying when we run into the next circumstance that is unpleasant. We are likely to be fearful of when the next shoe will fall, or maybe we’ll be angry that it happened to us. We may be depressed that there’s no purpose to life and that it’s all just a crap shoot.
An alternative way of looking at it would be that God has a hand in that whole chain of events. We could entertain the possibility that God has helped all those things happen the way they did because God wanted us to get to this exact point. That would mean that it is important that we are here at this exact point, that we are that important to God that God would do all that work.
We know that something unpleasant will happen to us in the future. If we can look at it as somehow belonging, that it is part of getting us to where God wants us to be in the future, then it might make life a little less awful.
All of the videos in this series can be found here: Assembly God’s Puzzle.
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[Fr. Garry Richmeier, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, holds a Master’s of Divinity Degree from St John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and a Master’s of Counseling Psychology degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist.]
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