The lesson for me is one of humility.

I can be replaced. In my role as unnamed parish employee (which still retains its humor, even in the face of recent stress), there are plenty of others who can do my job, and do it well. In my role as volunteer in various areas, there are others with more education, more talent, more energy. The humility is in recognizing that I can only do what I do through God. His grace is what I must rely on, not my own strength or ability. I can be replaced. If I am here, it must be because it is God’s will. Thy will, not my will.

I make mistakes. My wake-up call and other recent events have turned on the panel of fluorescents for me. I make mistakes just like the rest of humanity. It is by the grace of God that I don’t kill people with my mistakes. It is through the prayers of Mother Mary that I pull out of some of the doozies I get myself into. Saying “I’m human” sounds like an excuse, and a pretty poor one. The fact is I make mistakes. I must forgive myself, even as I ask my Maker for forgiveness. Thy will, not my will.

I bow before the Crucifix. The Crucifix is my reminder of the humility of the One I’m called to follow. I am called to be like Jesus, as much as I am able, as much as I allow His grace to work in me. My pride will flare up whenever I lose sight of Him on the Cross. My selfishness will take over my actions when I forget about the suffering and death that he endured for me, and for everyone else too. Thy will, not my will.

I can do this. I face difficult turmoil right now. But as St. Paul said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” I must pray first, and constantly, making the background music of my mind a collage of Hail Mary’s, Glory Be’s, and Lord Have Mercy’s. I must become the instrument, which means I must relinquish my illusion of control, and let God do the driving. Thy will, not my will.