Lisa Simmons considers God's unending power to forgive, even when we give in to the same temptations week after week.
I work in our parish office. Every week I not only collect information, calendars and schedules for the bulletin, but I write it, print it and transport it via a cardboard box on a rolling cart over to Church to be given out for the weekend. I’ve had this job for over thirteen years. I’ve carried them over in rain or shine, and cold or hot. When it rains, I cover the box with an umbrella, or better yet a clean garbage bag. But there is something about windy days that causes me to lose all my common sense.
Windy days are the bane of my existence. While I love the gentle breeze, the rising winds before a storm rolls in, and even the gale force breezes off the ocean while sitting on the beach, a plain old windy day in Southeast Missouri drives me to insanity, especially when it comes to carting my bulletins to the church. I think it has something to do with the subtle way Mother Nature does it. She thinks it’s funny to watch me as I look out the office door, see nothing going on in the weather, take my cart of bulletins and begin my journey down the ramp from the office building, blithely on my way and she makes all heck breaks loose with a wind gust.
If I haven’t remembered to secure my kite-like cargo, it’s off fluttering away and I’m making a mad dash doing a re-enactment of some old episode of I Love Lucy. Bulletins are flying everywhere; inserts inside the bulletins are coming apart and sticking to the ground, and try as I might, I can’t keep a hand on the remaining bulletins in the box and catch all the ones in the air or pick up the ones fluttering on the ground.
And do you want to know the really sad part? This has not happened to me only once. I’ve fallen for this misadventure on several occasions. What am I thinking? The voice inside my head says “Place a cover on the box before leaving the building, Lisa." But instead the voice remains ignored as I march down the ramp, fooled by the sun shining brightly on a cloudless day.
Kind of like when we ignore God calling. We let ourselves get distracted by worry and anxiety. We stop listening to God, who is trying to guide us away from the path to sin. Do we listen? Nope, we're right back in the sin cycle. The temptation to do things on our own gets stronger as we take that other path and listen to ourselves instead of God. We follow that bright shiny temptation into darkness and find ourselves wallowing in our sins, trying desperately to find our way back to our loving God. If only we had listened to that little voice in our heart.
So once again, it’s a beautiful looking day as I head outside with my cart, and it's cold too, only it’s fifteen degrees as I roll my cart down the ramp and wham, the wind hits it and in an instant the air was full of whirling papers and this time is the worst ever! Bulletins begin flapping through the air flying across the street, down the alley, all over the playground and into the next block. I run inside my office and yell for help. Coworkers come running and it takes us twenty minutes to retrieve the bulletins back to the safety of my box.
My fingers are beet red from the cold, my fingernails broken from scratching up paper from concrete. I was exhausted! All my coworkers could do, beside laugh at me, was say, "Have you STILL not learned this lesson, Lisa?"
"No," I shake my head disgusted with myself.
I think to myself, does God shake His head at me too when I'm back in the confessional with the same sins? I wonder if I'll ever get it right, both covering my bulletins and not committing the same sins over and over. But my faith convinces me that God does not chide me over my repeated sins. He will always forgive us when we ask Him. And my coworkers, family and friends also forgive my shortcomings. They pat me on the back and tell me at least I was spreading the Good News and it was gone like the wind. And then after hearing my story later in the week, my father-in-law presents me with a heavy brick of wood to cover my bulletins in the box. The wood block is inscribed, "Lisa's wind-tamer."
Thank you, Lord, for your forgiveness and for my family, friends and co-workers. They remind me of your love and mercy.
Copyright 2021 Lisa Simmons
Images: (top) Canva Pro; copyright 2021 Lisa Simmons, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Lisa Hendrix Simmons is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, and lover of adventures! She works full time at her Catholic parish as the social media/technology/Family Life Ministry coordinator. She writes about staying young and fun while living Catholic. When not writing she is knitting, playing music with her husband and having fun with her kids and grandkids. Visit her blog at https://youngfunandcatholic.blogspot.com/ and at www.simmonsfamilycenter.com/mommaknitsayarn