Someone once told me a story about a family who hadn’t been to Mass together in a few years because their child was kind of naughty. It wasn’t that he was bad, just more... mischievous.
One Sunday his parents finally worked up the courage to give going to church as a family a shot. Unfortunately they were running later than they had hoped, and wouldn’t you know by the time they made it to church the only available seats were on the front few rows. The husband and wife exchanged nervous glances but hoped that the lecture they issued their little boy about good behavior on the way to church sank in.
Mass began, and everything was going well. The little boy sat sweetly between his parents, playing with the rosary they had given him to keep him quiet and entertained. His parents began to relax as they wondered if maybe they hadn’t given him enough credit. Should they have given coming to Mass as a family a chance way before today?
After the priest finished giving the homily the church was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Nobody could have expected what happened next. Suddenly, the little boy stood up in his seat, and whipped the rosary around his head like a lasso.
“Yeehaw!” the little boy yelled at the top of his lungs, channeling his inner cowboy as he continued to twirl the rosary overhead. “Jesus, hang on! You’re going for a ride!”
I’ve been thinking about that story a lot this past week - partially because it makes me laugh every time I imagine it, but also because I feel like all of humanity has been going for a ride. Everytime we turn on the news, we’re met with an onslaught of terrible events going on in this world we call home. Not to mention the rollercoaster of things going on in our lives and the lives of those we love - death, sickness, unemployment...the list goes on and on and I don’t need to spell it all out because I know you’re all too well acquainted with your own things you’re struggling through today, too.
If you’re anything like me, all we want to do is try to make sense of things. But what happens when despite our best efforts, the things going on in our lives just don’t make sense?
When we feel like the world’s evil and heartbreaking events twirls us around its head and yells, “Yeehaw! Hang on, because you’re going for a ride,” how quickly we go into panic mode. Why do we continue to forget that the only one who isn’t on that wild ride is Jesus? He weeps with us, aches with us, and mourns with us, yes. But he’s also ever steady, immovable, and unchangeable. He’s the cornerstone on which we stand and the steady ground that never trembles.
A wise friend reminded me this week that sometimes, maybe God makes life not make sense so we will keep our eyes on him - the one who promises to take every bit of the heartbreak and evil humans do to one another and somehow work it together for good. This promise is hard to make sense of too, if we’re being honest with ourselves. But while it is too much for our feeble minds to understand, it’s a promise worth clinging to.
He’s worth clinging to.