I just love stories! I can imagine myself as Sophia from Golden Girls saying, “Picture this, St. James, 2020...” T
The story that has been on mind lately is called Vasilisa and Her Magic Doll, a much-loved Russian folk tale, adapted and retold by Rita Grauer.
The story tells the tale of a young girl who loses her mother quite young, and grows up with an older sister who is very jealous of her. On her deathbed, the girls’ bother gave Vasilisa a small magic doll; as Vasilisa engages each challenge in her life, she touches the doll that she carries in her pocket, and the doll encourages her, saying “Do what lies before you, and all will be well!”
It calls to mind the Apostles; life was so much easier for them when Jesus was around. He could ‘fix’ anything. Now, they were on their own. It was at Pentecost that the Apostles were strengthened and realized that they could make it on their own, with the help of the Holy Spirit. It was almost as if the Holy Spirit were whispering to them: “Do what lies before you, and all will be well!”
The Apostles received the courage to preach the Good News, one day and one challenge at a time. If they had seen the whole picture of what their life would entail, it might have been too overwhelming for them to handle! Taken one at a time, each challenge presented the same opportunity: just “do what lies before you, and all will be well!”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes there are days that can come across as too overwhelming to handle – so much to do, and so little time! Just this week, I found myself saying “Do what lies before you, and all will be well!” I was even able to share these words of encouragement with someone who had reached out to ask for prayer and was feeling just as overwhelmed. If we stay focused and take one step at a time, it is easier to remain at peace – and that is just what Jesus is giving us. Anxiety can bring about some awful side effects, like unkind words and actions, sarcasm, negative behavior, and the like.
So, what do we need to do? BREATHE and ask the Holy Spirit to help us to “do what lies before [us], and all will be well!” Trust that the Spirit is with you, and call him out by name.
We are now well into the summer season. May it be for you a time of growth, peace, and gratitude, knowing in our hearts that “all will be well!”
Till next week,