A little example: In the chapel of one of our Oblate houses there was a little dark bottle for wine. For a while we kept replacing the content as it kept going off. One day the wine had a funny taste again. I emptied the bottle to investigate it. After a close look I discovered that there was thick sediment on the bottom. I filled it with water this time but it took me some time of shaking up to clean it.
Don’t you think that it can explain a lot of our life? We would like to have a good and untroubled life like I wanted just to have normal wine for my daily Mass but we don’t realise that the sediment on the bottom of our soul spoils our life enjoyment. That’s why, let's thank God for stirring us up because it is our moment of grace, to move what has accumulated in us: our lack of forgiveness for some people, our selfishness, our addictions the list can go on.
Some time ago I was told of a man who got unsettled with his life so he decided to take a couple weeks off. He booked himself for a reflection programme in a place run by some nuns. He just wanted to calm down, to get his peace back. After two weeks he went back home and when his wife asked him how he went he answered: “I’m going to tell the nuns to give me my money back. I haven’t calmed down at all!” I would say to him: “GREAT. Your retreat programme is working. God is stirring you up. That’s just great.”
We may think that being a catholic should make us relaxed and relieved. But you know what? Get ready for a stir-up. Because God says: “My thoughts aren’t your thoughts. Your ways aren’t your ways.” But God does want to get you on the right track not just to fix up a couple of things. He wants you as his son or daughter who looks like him by your way of thinking and acting.
The last story today: a little girl prayed to God to give her a thousand dollars for Christmas. The Christmas came and was gone and she wasn’t even close to 20 bucks. Her brother laughed at her saying: “God hasn’t listened to you.” The girl answered: “God has listened. He just said: NO!”
I believe that this is where all God’s stirring up is taking us to. God is taking us to the stage of our life when we can say: “God, your thoughts are my thoughts too. Your ways are the ones I walk every day and I am content with that.”
Let me finish with something scandalising: I love when people grumble, when they are furious at God because they are getting better, not at grumbling or being furious of course but because God is shaking them up and all the stale and smelly sediment accumulated on the bottom of their soul moves to the top where God removes it. God is a good stirrer and happy the people whom God stirs up.