The Pastor's Corner (November 3, 2023)

The Pastor's Corner

by Fr. Bob Hoffman

Because of a Mass at the VA domiciliary here in Lake City and an emergency visit to a patient in Lake City Hospital, I missed getting to see soccer tryouts. Some made the team for the first time. Others were disappointed at not being able to make the team. Sports teaches life lessons…sometimes ones that are painful…but ones that are valuable nonetheless.

First, we teach that God has made every single one of us in his image by virtue of our human souls. We also teach that he loves each of us with an infinite love. In his infinite love for us, he wants what is best for us. However, what is best for us might not be what we want for ourselves. In those cases, it is not God that must change, it is us that must change. We must learn to conform ourselves to God’s will. We must want what God wants. 

Sometimes in life, a door closes on us. Perhaps it is because God wants something far better for us. And so, God might be busy opening another door for us. However, we can find ourselves too busy mourning the loss caused by the closed door to see the other door, or doors, that God has opened for us.

Second, sports require work. They require training. Sometimes, being cut from a team helps spur us on to greater effort that makes us far better in the end. Almost always, there is some suffering associated with the extra training required to improve in a sport.

Whether God is directing us toward something different that is better for us, or God is challenging us to work harder to improve, we must be open to seeing life’s disappointments as God’s blessings in disguise.