Our faith: A resource in challenging times

| Kate Soucheray | March 6, 2018 | 0 Comments
Spring

iStock/stsmhn

Spring is coming! According to our calendars, it should arrive in 12 days, and likely for many Minnesotans this year, it simply cannot be here soon enough. With the bitter cold that began before Christmas, followed by more cold weather, a 10-inch snowfall in January and another dumping in late February, the first signs of spring will be a welcome sight.

It’s interesting how life can be like this year’s winter. We may have periods in life that seem relatively easy for us to handle, like the past few winters, and then something surprises us like this winter, and we find we’re not prepared for it. As we grow older, we know retirement is coming, and we must ask ourselves if we have prepared for the years we will not be working and must rely on our savings, investments and Social Security. If we are new parents, we must ask ourselves if we are prepared to return to work after maternity leave. Have we hired child care, figured out schedules and managed the changes that are sure to unfold, those expected and unexpected? If we are “in-between” parents, are we dedicated to raising our family by saying “no” to enticing activities and events, so we can say “yes” to the needs of pre-adolescent and adolescent children?

Action challengeWhen you attend Mass this month, listen carefully to the Gospels. Put yourself in the stories and think about how you would feel if you could change places with someone in the Gospel. Would you have been able to trust and believe in Jesus?

Preparing ourselves for what is ahead, no matter the stage of life in which we find ourselves, is not always easy. We have to look ahead to the unknown and understand there will be occurrences we did not anticipate, and yet we must manage as best we can. Even with those experiences we anticipate correctly, we know there will still be surprises. No matter what sorts of challenges we face in the future, the better prepared we are, the better those events are likely to unfold. We must ask ourselves if we have taken the necessary steps to be ready for what lies ahead by identifying and building our resources.

In 1949, Rueben Hill created a theory called “The ABC-X Theory of Crisis or Coping.” In this theory, A represents an event that happens to us; B represents the resources we have to manage the event; C represents the meaning we make of the event, based on the quality of our resources; and X represents whether we are able to cope with the event, or go into crisis, based on our resources. When something unexpected happens to us and we lack good resources to manage the event, we will often not make good meaning of the event and experience crisis rather than coping. I often say to my clients, “Life is managed: it’s not cured.” The most important thing we must do as human beings is to learn to cope with the events life sends our way.

As we look back at winter this year, we may find we were less prepared than we needed to be to handle the stress that unfolded. Spring brings with it an invitation to enter into this new season with a commitment to preparing ourselves for the expected or unexpected events that lie ahead. Throughout this year, we will hear from the Gospel of Mark, with its message of Jesus’ love and desire to fill our lives. We will encounter stories of Jesus’ willingness to be one with the people he touched and served. As we hear the stories, let’s consider an important question: Do we turn to Jesus for help and assistance when we face difficult events in our lives, and do we believe he has the resources to help us?

Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a member of Guardian Angels in Oakdale. She holds a master’s degree in theology from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul.

 

 

Action challenge

When you attend Mass this month, listen carefully to the Gospels. Put yourself in the stories and think about how you would feel if you could change places with someone in the Gospel. Would you have been able to trust and believe in Jesus?

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Simple Holiness