Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quality not Quantity

"For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late."- Habakkuk 2:3

Last weekend, my college friends and I celebrated our 10 year reunion. In some ways, it feels very much like 10 years and in other ways, I can't believe it. Many of my friends are married with growing children already. But I was also very ( and somewhat pleasantly :) surprised that many still- like myself-are not. Many are still finding their way and discovering things about themselves 10 years later. 

These were all taken pre- Facebook, so my friends were scanning pics and posting them all the week before the reunion...don't we look like babies??!

10 years later:

Still lookin' good, right?

So last weekend, I'm surrounded by all these special people in my life- I even had two of close friends stay with me in my new apt- so we hung out like old times all weekend and was back reality. And the starkness of my current state in life- independent and single- sank in once again. I thought I would feel it more when I was with all my friends and their new respective friends and family, but I was actually pleasantly surprised, like I said, at how it felt like old times. I did have a conversation, though, with one of my old roommates who is now a mother of two and it went kind of along the lines of the following:

Me: "Wow! It doesn't feel like 10 years!"

My old roomie: "Oh, it does to me!"

Me: "Oh, I guess your life is pretty different with two kids, right?"

Her: "Yup."

Me: " life isn't that different...."

In my mind, I felt bad that my life really wasn't much different than 10 years ago.  But she actually posted about this same conversation later on FB from a different perspective. She expressed concern that her life was SO different and that she felt different from many of us. (That is why, THIS: )

This current weekend, like I alluded to, hurt a little bit. I had made plans to hang out with a friend and then she got sick so I was left to fend for myself. Just like my conversation with my aforementioned roommate, our states in life can be a double edged sword. I LOVE my independence. But then there are weekends like this one where it gets kind of old. I'm sure she LOVES her children and husband but probably has weekends where it can seem like a lot to bear.

I tried to make the most of my unexpected free day doing things that I love- being outside, praying, going to a movie, etc. And it was a good day! But my prayer kind of looked like this:


I had recently prayed a novena and I got, what I felt, was a pretty significant sign. But then this week kind of made me question the answer I thought I got. So I prayed to God yesterday for ANOTHER sign. Ha. Who does that? I was totally up front with God:

 "LOOK, I know this is probably very wrong of me, but I'm gonna need ANOTHER sign, ok?"

 And I believe the readings for today were my answer.

The verse from Habakkuk that I began with was a pretty strong sign for me to continue to hope and wait for God's plan. As well as the fact that this prophet seems to just get me:

"How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you...but you do not intervene!" - Habakkuk 1:2

I don't know much about the prophet Habakkuk, but I definitely can empathize with his form of prayer!

My guy Paul, too, gives hope (as always) in his second letter to Timothy:

"I remind you, to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. 
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control. 
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God."

Paul always reminding me that it could be worse (imprisonment, for example...) and that God has not left us to fend for ourselves but empowers us with His strength in difficult moments. 

The Gospel was a little harder to unpack (Luke 17: 5-10), but began with the parable of the mustard seed, which the priest at Mass chose to focus on. Obviously, the moral of this parable is that if we have great faith we can do great things. But I guess I never bothered to think before about the quality versus quantity of it. 

I guess many would say I have great faith. I've given a lot of my life to the Church and I do turn to God alot. He's a pretty big part of my life. But is that quality of faith always there?? I mean, as I mentioned above, I had to ask for a SECOND sign, because I wasn't totally convinced. Moses got shunned from the Promised Land for that kind of talk...

The same can be said for friendships and relationships- it's not the being surrounded by people 24/7, but the quality of those friends and companions that you can count on. I was in pretty amazing company last weekend- so much so that their absence was striking this weekend. But I was reminded this weekend that God does have a plan, and it is the quality of relationship and trust that I must bring to the table.

I have A LOT of quality people in my life- even if I'm not around them most of the time. I am envious of those who get to have their BFF around them 24/7, but I trust in God's plan and His time for me. As the prophet Habakkuk says: "...the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint..." 

if we have but the faith to believe it.


1 comment:

LPatter said...

This is a beautiful reflection. I'm making the same prayer for my bff lately. Seriously, though. How long? But then I remember the beauty and uniqueness of each soul and life, and the way HE paints portraits (=stunningly), and all the things He has at work that we are unaware of, and I'm humbled and silenced. (Momentarily, at least). I think you hit the nail on the head.

Trust is required of each person, each day of this earthly journey. Some days its harder than others. But aren't we blessed to know that He is at work and His love is all-encompassing? Some people walk through this life without ever knowing/seeing that.

He has made you a beautiful reflection of His love! (And I do say, you all do look even more beautiful and glow-y now than you did back in the baby-days of CUA!)

Love you Struks!