One Step At A Time
I have always been impressed with St. Teresa of Avila's ability to find hidden messages in so many of our daily happenings. Margaret Dorgan, in St. Teresa of Avila: A Guide for Travel Inward , points out that Teresa is a guide for the heights, the lowlands, and the plateaus, and those days when we have grown weary of the task before us. Sometimes, when life is difficult, I like to think that something new and good is about to happen. More and more, I sense that life is set up to be like this. Possibly, this is the way God takes us from one place to the other.
In addition to the dark moments being the entrance to something new, they also tell us, with unusual discovery, who we are. One of my favorite stories is that told by author, Elizabeth Johnson, as part of a series of tapes. She tells the story of a certain primary-grade teacher. Although this person was a good teacher, and very gifted and skilled in dealing with young children, she was also quite shy and noticeably reserved.
This teacher's classroom happened to be right across from the principal's office. One day, when the principal knew she would be away from her office for some time, she asked this teacher to answer any phone calls that might come in.
No sooner had the principal left the building when a fire broke out in the school. Quickly, the teacher called the fire department and got on the P.A. system, telling the
teachers and students where they should go, and how long they should remain there. The whole incident took place without any type of major upset. All of this was a surprise to the other teachers, and probably a surprise to the teacher herself .
St. Teresa goes on to share her thoughts on what one should do when one feels that he or she barely has energy to take another step. We should put fear aside and take that step. Paradoxically, this one step carries with it much power. At this point, God steps in. Many times, we are called to act so that God can act.
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D