31 March, Friday — Waiting for Godot

Friday of the 5th Week of Lent

Jer 20:10-13
Jn 10:31-42

…let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for I have committed my cause to you.

When I was in my twenties, I broke off an engagement to someone I loved because of enmity with his family. It marked a turning point in my life, though I didn’t know the gravity of my decision then. The fallout from that one event compelled me to move countries – twice — and set me on a course that led me to where I am now.

When you’re young and headstrong, you don’t think about the consequences of your actions. You are all reaction, all the time. It is when you are older, and you have lived a little, that on looking back, you understand how lucky you were and still are, to have had God’s protection while you were off making life-changing decisions rashly.

While I have no regrets for breaking the engagement off, I do wish that I had been less angry at him, and myself, in the years that followed. Ten years is a lot of time to waste nursing your rage. I should’ve just left it to God and, like Christ in the gospel reading, found my quiet place “across the Jordan” to be in peace. Instead I chose to “witness the vengeance”. But God works in His own time, and waiting around for His vengeance against your enemy can be like… waiting for Godot?! It may or may not happen in your lifetime. And even if it did, so what? Would it change anything? Would you really feel better? Does schadenfreude ever live up to one’s expectations?

Two weeks ago, I got some news that he had had a health scare, and my first reaction was compassion. Compassion, concern, and a deep empathy for his young family. No one is more surprised than I am. I have no more anger — not towards him, nor the friends and family who chose his side, nor towards anyone who turned on me. More importantly, I have no more anger towards myself for wasting all that time. Instead, I have a new awe for God, who put up guard-rails to keep me safe, put physical distance between him and I to give us space, and let all this time pass so that I could learn forgiveness. 

(Today’s OXYGEN by Sharon Soo)

Prayer: We pray for God’s protection, for when we are angry, and not in full control of all our actions. We pray for God’s guidance for when we are incapable of making good decisions for ourselves.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for His providence, for His love and for all the second chances at happiness that He gives us.   


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