by Father Mark Goldasich
Aren’t Mondays special?
This past one was a doozy. I was running a little close on time for morning Mass when I stepped outside. Due to all of the Sunday moisture, my car was coated in frost. As I began to scrape the windshield, the coating was too thick to remove easily. So, I headed back into the house to retrieve some de-icer.
I sprayed the windshield, waited about 15 seconds and watched the frost rapidly melt. Ready to go, I closed the driver’s side door, but it refused to latch. I slammed it again — nothing. I fumbled around in the door, jiggled something and tried again. Whew, it closed. Then I accidentally hit the button to lock the doors. At that point, I realized that I’d stupidly not scraped any of the other windows. So, I pressed the unlock button and pulled the door handle to get out . . . but it would not open! I tried the passenger side door — same story. I tried to roll down the windows, but they were frozen shut and wouldn’t budge.
Well, this is special, I thought. I’m almost late for morning Mass, I can only see out of my front window, and my car is holding me prisoner! I debated who to call for help when I realized that it didn’t matter: My cellphone was sitting on the kitchen table — warm, safe and free.
I cautiously backed out of my driveway — as the back window was coated in frost — and made my way to church. I plotted what I would do when I got there, considering I was trapped in my vehicle. If it warmed up enough, I figured I could roll down the window and climb out “Dukes of Hazzard”-style (though not nearly as gracefully).
As I pulled into my parking spot at church, my prayers were answered: A parishioner was going into the church. God be praised! I frantically tried to signal him, but he thought I was just waving enthusiastically, so he waved back and went inside. I said a quick prayer, shut off the engine, and gingerly pulled the door handle. It opened and out I jumped, to say a Mass (on time) celebrating a God who looks after a goof like me!
As Thanksgiving approaches, ponder this ancient legend about three men. Each one had two sacks, one tied in front of his neck and the other on his back. When asked, each told a different story.
The first said, “In the sack on my back are all the good things friends and family have done; they’re hidden from view. In the front sack are all the bad things that have happened to me. Every now and then I stop, open it, take the things out and examine them.” Because he stopped so much to concentrate on all the bad stuff, he didn’t make much progress in life.
The second man said, “In the front sack are all the good things I’ve done. I like to see them, take them out and show them off to others. In the sack in the back I keep all of my mistakes. They’re heavy and slow me down, but I just can’t put them down.”
Lastly, the third man explained: “The sack in front is great. There, I keep all of the positive thoughts I have about people, the blessings I’ve experienced, the great things others have done for me. The weight isn’t a problem. The sack is like a ship’s sail that propels me forward.
“The sack on my back is empty because I cut a big hole in the bottom. I put all the bad things in there that happen or that I hear about others. They go in one end and out the other, so I’m not carrying around any weight at all.” (Adapted from “Perfect Illustrations” by Craig Brian Larson and Drew Zahn.)
Examine the sacks you’re carrying. Strive to imitate that third man: Keep before your eyes all the humor and goodness in life . . . even if it’s a cold Monday morning and you’re a Honda hostage!