Sorry, Yogi!June 25th, 2012
Yogi Berra of the NY Yankees is quoted as once saying: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.” Now ,I can’t say that I am on intimate terms with Mr. Berra and know exactly what he meant here, but, on the surface, this does appear to be the typical contemporary American belief that all we need to do is to “visualize” what it is we want, and kapowee! There we are!
Perhaps because I am one of those people who seem destined to take a meandering path through life, I have a few problems with this philosophy. Actually, for several reasons this attitude has been on my mind of late, in particular as the result of a questionnaire from the Archdiocese just recently sent to parish pastoral ministers. One of the questions it asked was “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “YIKES!” was my response, “Not this again!”
Go ahead, call me a loser. Call me aimless. I have NO CLUE where to see myself in five years. Is that so horrible? After all, I previously had no clue I’d be where I am now! Ten years ago I had a faculty position in computer science with a local community college. Then God roared in my ear (truly): “I want you to GO BACK TO SCHOOL! Go study theology!” Well, as a lay Marianist of numerous years “Do whatever he tells you” is etched on my forehead (truly).
So, back to school I went… with great trepidation. Did I know where this was headed? Umm… no. Did I sometimes wonder if I was totally nuts to make that leap…particularly at a time when my four sons were just starting their own college careers? Ummm…yes!
Still, those I hang with know that one of my favorite quotes is from St. Irenaeus “The glory of God is man fully alive.” What does it mean to be fully alive? Well, that can be interpreted many ways. Certainly it means to live in God, to live for God. I truly believe that if you try to do this you will also increasingly become who it is God wants you to be. You WILL become “alive” to the fullest extent possible.
I now find myself simultaneously trying to finish a PhD dissertation, working LOTS in three parishes …. wondering what comes next. I thought I’d continue teaching at the college level, but at the moment that doesn’t seem the direction. Does this sometimes bother me? Absolutely. Where I am, though, is where God wants me at the moment, and the rewards (if often the difficulties) are tremendous. Even at 50+ years of life, God is still bringing me fully to life.
So, I’m sorry, Coach Berra! I don’t quite know where I’m going … except, I hope, always toward God. I happen to believe that’s the best goal of all. And I do suspect I’ll know when I get there.Photo credit: Public Domain: Originally appeared on Baseball Digest, September 1956