When we have to say "good bye."
April 28, 2016, 12:00 AM

This week, I had to say goodbye to my cat Smudge.  He had been my mother’s cat and when she died seven years ago, I took him in.  Like most cats, his primary interests seemed to lie in personal comfort, but he was sweet and friendly as well, and I loved him.  I hated to say goodbye.

The thing is, of course, that we are constantly having to say goodbye to the way things were and hello to the way things are becoming, and it’s not always easy to do that. 

Everyone knows how quickly society, technology, and world events are changing.  We human beings are wonderfully adaptive and inventive and creative – which is a good thing, because we need every ounce of those abilities and skills to survive and thrive.

But sometimes, wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to adapt all the time to everything?

We hear echoes of that in political slogans – for example, let’s “make America great again” is an idea that carries a lot of appeal, even if we can’t agree on what makes America great, or when it was great before. 

And we hear echoes of that in the Psalms:
My times are in your hand;
   rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
   and from those who persecute me
Make your face to shine upon your servant,
   and in your loving-kindness save me.

                 (Psalm 31: 15-16, BCP)

What do we do, then, when change, especially unwelcome change, is forced upon us?

If you’re like me, the first thing you do is try to hide from it!  I’m great at ignoring things I can’t deal with right now.  I also might rant about whatever it is – and I certainly did some ranting when I found out how sick Smudge was, and then I cried.

It surprises me, a bit, that it can take so long for me to turn to God in prayer, and seek guidance from the Light of the World – I mean, after all, I am a priest; shouldn't that be the first place I go? 

Because I know that God offers consolation, and maybe I’d rather be mad. And I know that God offers strength, but I’d rather be tired. Maybe I’d rather not be the one who is always counted upon.

Do you hear God laughing?

Behold, God is my helper;
   it is the Lord who sustains my life.

                         (Psalm 54:4, BCP