See, I carry a bag of marbles around in my hand. Wanting each Holy Thursday to end differently. Every once in awhile, I get bored by the marble in my palm and I take out a new one. I look at it sitting there and for a moment see it for what it is - a marble - before I'm distracted by the next marble on top with a clear glaze, a dark center, it has everything my current marble doesn't. So I rotate. Through a bag of old marbles. All of them toys I've discarded and previously decided they were not the key to my happiness. And yet, I still believe.
Sometimes God burns bridges because it is essential that we find another way to get there.
Are you living in a former wound? Wanting a pat on the back today only to undo the slap on the face from last week? Seeking validation, control, satisfaction that only makes the cut deeper, the pain more acute, more real?
"The world says you will be most fully alive when you get what you want, but it’s not true. In your lifetime you will encounter hundreds of people who are obsessed with getting what they want, but getting what they want won’t make them happy. The reason is profoundly simple: You never can get enough of what you don’t really need."
Matthew Kelly from Dynamic Catholic reminds us that the past is there and it can't be changed. Getting what you want won't make you happy. You see it over and over and over from every theologian: regret in holding on to what was, instead of seeking what can be. Jesus didn't step into your life as a one-time interference but a casualty, an encounter that changes... everything.
We will always come back to what we left for Jesus when we still hold onto Him to fulfill our dreams. So long as the world is the current we're riding to get to Christ, we will always end up on the wrong shore.
"Late have I loved you,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong,
You were with me but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being
were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance,
I gasped, and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace."
(St. Augustine, Confessions X. 27)
One of the first and last questions in the Gospels from Christ are the same:
What are you looking for?
Because God does not show up with a herald in your life like you might be expecting. It is the car horn, the bad news, the smashed cake. The post on your blog you spent 3 hours on that did not save. His Herald is your conscience, your humility.
Because you are good and you have not been acting that way. You are Good, You are worth it and you have been settling for less.
What you want is not what you need, what you need is often the opposite.
In the words of C.S. Lewis,
"..Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.
For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains."
Allow the past to be burned, to drift away and never come back. Let it float and pass away to where it can be at peace.
Turn to a new horizon where God gives you delight, refreshment, new dreams. You aren't there anymore. You are too strong for the world you once were.
The sun shines brighter ahead of you than it ever did in the former, faded age.
Sin is when we have not allowed our relationship with God to be what it could be.
When we have not given God permission to make us all we can be.
Don't go back. Your heart doesn't live there anymore.
Seek that Truth ever ancient, that beauty ever new, and a week from now we'll be jumping from that boat crying, "It is the Lord!" All our hopes confirmed.
This Triduum, consider how Christ lived and died for you. On Holy Thursday, He lived to wash your feet, give you something to eat, to help you rise. (Mark 4:31) You are Lazarus, you are Jairus' daughter. Your very life is His love for you.
On Good Friday, He walked a road you'd have to some day walk, too, so that you'd know He knew what it meant to be human and die.
On Holy Saturday, He fought and His body was kept in a tomb with no life and He died the death we all do when we ate.
And on Easter, He will die no more, we will no longer die, and we will always have the choice to rise.
But it has to be about you and Jesus. It has to be about what is going on in your life. This Triduum cycle is a three day thing that happens every week in your life. It's just phases, a hundred million of them in a lifetime. Every morning, every night, we cry as Christ whispers to us,
"Living I live alone to thee, Dying alone am thine." (Hymn: Wide Open Are Thy Hands)
So here's my Triduum Dare.
On Holy Thursday - Who are you living for? Relinquish the power of silver on your life.
On Good Friday - For whom would you die? Walk alone, with peace, into trial.
On Holy Saturday - What are you waiting for? Take a breath instead of acting. (Exodus 14:14)
On Easter Sunday - How will you rise after drowning, cleansed?
Don't look back. Only move forward. His possibilities in your future are infinite. He has forgotten your past because He desires your happiness. Can you? Do you want to be happy? If it means letting go?
Do you want to be well?