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The Beauty in those Frustrating Flecks of White

Matthew Harrison

Friday, March 9, 2007

When I ran out my front door the other day and began my sprint for the streetcar (the way I usually begin my morning commute) I couldn’t help but notice that it was snowing.
“More snow,” I thought, “Does it ever end?”
I am sick of the white stuff, wearied of the cold, irritated by the wind chill warnings that flash on my television, and frustrated by the salt stains that keep reappearing on my shoes.
Three months ago, I couldn’t wait for it to snow. Now I can hardly wait for green grass, blooming flowers and chirping birds.
Soon enough I’ll probably get sick of that. I’ll start complaining about the sun blinding me as I run out my front door and sprint for the streetcar; tearing up the green grass, trampling the blooming flowers, and shaking my fist at the chirping birds that woke me an hour before my alarm was supposed to.
Isn’t it interesting that we often look forward to something, and after attaining it and enjoying it for a while, we grow tired of it? It’s lost its luster, its shine, its appeal.
And we wonder: why did I even want that in the first place?
Maybe that’s something you’re experiencing now. A course at school, a relationship, a job, maybe even a Lenten resolution -- It’s not quite what you expected.
I don’t think our shift in attitude is something that should alarm us. We legitimately try things to see if it suits us. Sometimes things do, at other times they do not. As long as it isn’t sinful, it provides an opportunity to learn about ourselves – whether it be a certain field of schooling or a particular job.
On the other hand, at other times we may be on the right path to something, but we are experiencing a period where we find no satisfaction in it.
Take for example our faith.
Sometimes we have such a fire burning within us we feel we could convert a country.
At other times we can hardly drag ourselves to Mass on Sunday.
It’s not that we have suddenly lost our faith or that God has abandoned us. It may be a period where God is calling us closer to him, and asking us to look harder for him and to search deeper (One thinks of St. John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul).
There is beauty in those snowflakes that fell during my morning commute. Even in those frustrating flecks of white, and even in the things that I find to be a struggle, God is working. He is teaching me something.
What is God showing you today?

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