Feasting on a diet of crow and humble pie

Published 10:30 am Saturday, August 13, 2022

“Every day, my Jesus, I learn by some situation or experience of my great need for you.”  Mother Angelica, founder of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).

God keeps me on my knees in front of him because of his humor, my humanness, and I will never go hungry because I eat a lot of crow and humble pie!  But for faith to work, one (me) must truly let go of the outcome, not stress or constantly dwell on it, and just let it in faith peacefully unfold … we got this!  

Most of the stuff we deal with daily are little nuisances.  They become more troublesome when we are having a bad day, bad month, bad year (2011) already.  That’s when spilt coffee on clean carpet (grrrr), two new bad 1971 MGB temp senders consecutively (grrrr), sheared bolt on 1964 Land Rover swivel ball drain assemblies (grrrr) become the last straw.  Getting unusually upset can be a barometer that all is not well with the rest of our lives (amen)…or, “normal” for me….  If we were “okay” this stuff become something to be shrugged off (agh), but if other life issues are affecting us as well (2011), small things can pile up and become devastating….   

When stuff hits, I ask God to help me get past my humanness, deal with it lightheartedly, and to understand as best I can what he’s attempting to teach me—such as patience and humility.  Many times in my life that understanding didn’t come until after I’d made myself miserable trying to figure it out by myself; times when I was flat on my face and had nowhere else to turn but to God. 

The positive consequences for something happening to me can take hours, days, months or years (2011) to discern, but sooner or “later” God reveals his wisdom to me.  Sometimes that clarity can kick in like a downshift from fifth to third and the sudden Gestalt can be eye-opening.  At other times, answers are agonizingly and painfully slow to be revealed, even though slower revealed answers are most painful to endure, as much as I hate to admit, those are the times when I probably grow the most as a human being. 

Look around in church on Sunday, at work, a sporting event…most people seen are searching for the same things you and I are.  I can walk across campus and talk to any student; in Kroger visit with anyone, or chat with a stranger at an Ole Miss baseball game and they too have issues—are searching for something, for answers to problems, for peace. 

 

Trusting my faith is complex.  When tired or things not going well, my self-confidence, faith, can get punched and I try to take control.  When that happens, I get impatient, rush stuff, brain gets mushy, and whatever I touch topples like a house of cards.  This is when I have to step back, deep breath, nap, wee tipple of swell bourbon, apologize to God (Fr. Mark), y’all, let go and try again.  

 

Each day I pray for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit which include, Patience and Humility.  Still learning my relatively new position as Sacristan at St. John’s, adjusting to new Pastor, Fr. Mark Shoffner’s way of doing things, per brain mush, when I’m concentrating on all the projects waiting for me at home after Mass instead of setting up the altar properly, I make mistakes, even with things I’m familiar with and am passing along to our wonderful sacristan volunteers – thus, my lesson in patience and humility…. 

 

Amongst my many flaws, I often think out loud, stuff flows out of my mouth unfiltered sometimes and say things that if I had thought about would never have said.  So, pray daily for those who I have offended and ask forgiveness.  And because I am way too sensitive, suffer at times from low self-esteem, make mountains out of mole hills, cause myself and others pain, discomfort – sorry y’all if I’ve offended you – and, oh, I forgive you as well…. 

 

Without my faith I would not be alive today (Vietnam) or have the wonderful stuff I’m humbly blessed with.  It sometimes takes years before I realize why something happened (2011), but always becomes clear eventually, have that “Gestalt” moment when it hits me and, “Oh, now I get it!”  Uh, still waiting my Lord….

 

We all get hit with Stuff—things will always go wrong, usually on a daily basis, and one of the secrets of life is dealing with these misfortunes in a positive, laid-back manner–something I’m still trying to learn….and remember – nothing good lasts forever, but neither does the bad. Peace Out, y’all, trust God, and GO REBELS!

 

Steve is an Oxford resident, worked on Campus, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, is an LPC, NCC, and can be reached at sstricke@olemiss.edu.