By Brian Freyberger
Springtime brings with it a lot of change and many opportunities to celebrate transitions. (Even if the weather keeps playing tricks on us, trying to drag us back to winter). For me, it also gives the chance to get out and do some physical labor; preparing flower beds, shoveling mulch, fixing the wire I cut preparing the flower beds and cranking up the mower. Projects that have a finish line – I like completion!
There are also great celebrations in May. At Seton, we will celebrate First Communions for many of our youth and Confirmation for our young adults. These are life-changing moments for sure and they involve a transition, a change in the person. Our Sacraments are powerful experiences – they are visible signs instituted by Christ, which gives grace to the recipient. We can all pray for these young Catholics that they embrace this grace and change in their lives.
Transitions can be a good thing, but they can also be scary. I reflect on our seniors who graduate high school or college and face a transition to a different stage of their lives. As we venture from the knowns of our current situation, we face uncertainty. We might need to learn new things and prove ourselves in different ways. This is all part of the Project of Life, the journey that God has us on to draw us closer to Him and ultimately to Heaven.
It is through our individual journey that God grows us. He grows us through the encounters we have with others and he grows us through the situations of daily life. We must believe that every situation has a bigger purpose. We know God is always present. The real question for us men is how open are we to the day-to-day call of God in our lives. Are we embracing these transitions as ways to turn to God for guidance or do we try to control every aspect of the situation? For me, I struggle daily to give control, even though I know in my head that I control nothing.
That may be why I like the concrete projects of Spring; Mowing a yard and seeing the final project at the end or moving 10 yards of mulch from a pile on my driveway to the flower beds. I feel in control. I can see my work pay off with a well-manicured lawn and a fresh landscape. Maybe that’s also why I can’t stand plumbing projects, because there is no control. (I’m fairly certain plumbing is the work of the devil – sorry, plumber friends.)
But, for me to really grow as God wants, I need to surrender some (all) of the ‘perceived control’ that I have. My ego needs to take a back seat. My trust in God, that He has a plan for my life and for any situation I face is paramount. I know this is where He is calling me. He wants a relationship with me and He provides opportunities every day. Sometimes, I’m just too busy with me and my plans that I don’t engage back to grow through the situations.
Yeah, this Spring, that’s where I need to go. During this transition from the chilly days of winter to the warmer days of Spring, I need to put my trust in God. I need to become more aware of the daily situations God puts in my life. I need to be more present with the people I encounter. It’s through my response that I will either grow closer to Christ or go deeper into my own way. I need Christ in my day-to-day activities… all of them.