At some point, regardless of our way of life, we may experience the Honeymoon Being Over. It may be a short or long honeymoon, but eventually it’s over. “Mr. Wonderful becomes Mr. Not So Wonderful”; the fans who adored me, now think I’m an overpaid bum; the genius becomes a dummy. You get the picture.
At times, even Jesus’s honeymoon didn’t last more than a couple of verses.
“And he came to Nazareth …. and all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth …. later all in the synagogue were filled with wrath and they led him to the brow of the hill … that they might throw him down headlong.” (Luke 4:16-28). Yikes, talk about a short honeymoon…. from speaking well of Jesus to trying to kill him in a matter of minutes.
We think that our life is going great and suddenly out of the blue, it goes “south”. Fr. Walter Ciszek had an experience in his life where things went “seriously south”… where the honeymoon turned into a disaster very quickly. He had heard the Lord and volunteered to be trained to bring the gospel to Russia as a priest. He blinked and suddenly he was in a Siberian prison camp for 23 years as a Vatican Spy. If you’ve never read his famous books “He Leadeth Me” and “In Russia With God”, put them on your list.
Here’s are few excerpts from Fr. Ciszek. “… the temptation to give up is the same faced by everyone who has followed a call and found that the realities of life were nothing like the expectations he had in the first flush of his vision and his enthusiasm…. entering religious life with a burning desire to serve God, only to find the day to day life as humdrum, with misunderstandings and distractions… or married life in the same old place…” this life is not what I thought it would be, what I bargained for, what I wanted; if I had known this, I would never have made that promise.
The turning point for Fr. Ciszek was when he realized he needed to look at his life from God’s design…. looking at the 24 hours of each day from God’s point of view, looking at the reasons he wanted us here and now among these people… to see his will in these situations and to do what he wanted , that we might achieve his fruit and glory.” (ref. Magnificat, 2-6-22) Things changed in the midst of that Siberian hellhole and miracles began to happen.
So, where do we find ourselves in the midst of our vocation? Is the honeymoon over? Are we surprised how things have gone? Am I disappointed in how God led me… “Gee, I never thought things would go this way…. I know we said for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, till death due us part…but I never thought this could happen”.
Well, despite disappointments we may have experienced, we need to know in the depth of our soul that God is in charge and that his will is unfolding in the midst of our circumstances. Often it’s in our trials and heartache that we change and really give our heart more fully to the Lord. God loves us and is by our side…honeymoon or not. We must trust in his love for us, despite the trials we may face. Lord, please help us to do that. It’s never easy…. but by his grace we can do it. He will never abandon us.
Let’s keep smiling brothers and sisters… with the Lord at our side, the Honeymoon is never over and the best is yet to come. And that is very good news.