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It is the beginning of a new term and five year old Michael is being prepared by his parents for one of the most exciting and stressful times of his young life – his first day ay school. Michael doesn’t quite see it this way; he would rather stay at home and play with computer games. On the way to school, his mum tells him that he will enjoy playing with all the other children, but he isn’t impressed. Upon reaching school he has to be dragged inside kicking and screaming, “Leave me alone, I don’t want to go.” When his mum picks him up later in the day, she asked if he had enjoyed school, “Saw right” he replied. The second day dawns and his mum is dreading taking him to school once more, but at the school gates a strange thing happens, another small boy rushes up to him and they dash into school together. When he leaves school later in the day he is accompanied by the same little lad and tells his mum, “This is James and he is my new best friend.”
As every mum knows, the suffering you cause your child on his first day at school is because you love him – he was hurt, and you caused it. God actually causes some of what we experience as suffering, because he wants us to grow and mature. Spiritual directors and experts in psychiatry, all insist that pain is part of the journey to maturity in life. Suffering can draw out unknown resources of wisdom, courage and compassion in all of us. Dark nights do indeed accompany the passage into a fuller and richer life; otherwise we would all stagnate and exist like perennial five-year-olds, quite unwilling to accept any changes in our lives that we didn’t like.
“Perhaps the straight and narrow path we are all urged to follow,
would be much wider, if more people decided to use it.”
Published Sat 8th Oct 2016 09:07:12
Last Modified on Sat 8th Oct 2016 09:07:12