Hank was a person who did not handle change very well. And as much as he tried to hold himself together when life’s changes came his way, he found himself falling into the same traps, yet again.
Hank had finally made the decision to leave his position that he held in an insurance company for the past 15 years and switch to a new firm. He was also changing the type of work he would be doing, and moving his family to another part of the country, on top of everything else!
It was the idea of moving his family that, right now, in this transition time of three months, that was keeping him awake at night. His wife was supportive of what was taking place, and she had been deeply involved in the “decision process” from the beginning. But yesterday, Hank realized more clearly, how this move was affecting his three children: The eldest who was a junior in high school, the other two in junior high and elementary schools. The sad looks on their faces just beat him up. Was he making the right decision? Was this move good, for not just himself, but his whole family? Hank was starting to regret his decision.
In the first reading, we see the Apostles returning to Jerusalem after Jesus’ Ascension. They were trying to absorb what they had just experienced—-seeing Jesus being taken from their sight. Although Jesus said he would be sending the Holy Spirit, they didn’t know yet what that would mean. They had experienced a loss, and the future— the unknown, lay before them. Same for Hank in the story, and maybe for some of you!
I would describe the Apostles’ situation (and the person in the story) like this: They are between loss and promise. When we are in situations like this we can get a little lost. And the temptation might be to focus more on the loss—-what we have let go of—-rather than what is being given to us—-the future.
When you find yourself in this kind of “place”, you want to know when this limbo or uneasy time will end, and when you can get on with our life. But the more you concentrate on the loss the sadder you will become. At some point you have to face the future. And through faith and prayer you can learn to look to the future with hope.
The Apostles, gathered in prayer with other members of the Christian community and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, prayed and asked for the grace to be able to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Once this happens, they find a new energy to accomplish the tasks that they were meant to do as followers of Christ.
Sometimes in life the only thing you can see is what you have just lost or given up. But at some point there comes a tap on the shoulder, Jesus himself, who says, “I will help you to get beyond this. I have plans for you. I will give you my spirit to help you move forward in faith”.
So, those of us who are caught in the “in between time”, be patient. Pray, and ask for the grace to stop focusing on the loss and look toward the future with hope, not despair. Ask Christ for the strength to accomplish what you were meant to accomplish in the name of the Lord!