After some pleasantries, I invite Him in, we chat, we eat and we spend a really great day together. In the evening, He then would say that He had to go but that He had one more thing on His mind to ask me about; He wondered, “Now that you’ve seen Me face to face, what now? What are you going to do next, like say tomorrow?”
After having spent the day with God, I wonder to myself, “What could top that?” And then I realize all the things I still have to do. At the top of the list, loving Him and my neighbor are still there; but among the top five on the list, these are there too: asking for forgiveness, granting forgiveness, and beginning life anew. Forgiveness seems obvious, but beginning life anew? What would that involve? Then I realize it’s about letting go of the things of the past – the wrongs, the hurts, the frustrations, the mistakes, the judgments, the unfulfilled expectations – of myself and of others - and really starting anew.
Often, in my various relationships, with my spouse, my children, relatives and friends, the first thoughts to resurface in my mind are of our negative history. Starting anew means forgetting about those things so that history’s negative impact on our relationship is diminished, perhaps even eradicated. It’s about giving them a fresh chance, as many chances as possible, as many as it might take, so that all we would be doing is moving forward. But it also involves not forgetting about the traps and pitfalls which I have had an active part in creating, and about being remorseful and resolving not to let these things happen again. So it really is about forgiving and forgetting… and learning and loving.
After spending that day with God, I pray that that is exactly what I will be doing for the remainder of my life. And it seems to me that I shouldn’t wait. I really need to start today, because these words from St. Luke will always hold true: “Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” (Lk 6:37b-38)
And as for these remaining days…well, they will get the fullest measure possible if I start forgiving, forgetting, learning and loving...TODAY.