Have you ever seen that meme with Father Schober and the crucifix from IKEA?
Anyone who has shopped at IKEA and purchased just about anything can sympathize with the buyers remorse as you start putting your new furniture together.
In the case of our poor priest friend, his remorse comes when he has to affix the figurine of Jesus to his new crucifix. While this humor may not be for everyone, it does talk about regret.
I think sometimes regret tends to overcome many of us, sometimes crippling us and preventing us from living fully into the joy and beauty of the world around us. In fact, some people tell you that regret is just part of life. And after all we get only one decision that could potentially change the course of our life and the life of others. Sometimes the regret is real, other times it is part of a bigger picture that turns out to be just fine.
I, too, have felt regret and remorse in a decision that I made almost two decades ago. I made a decision to leave the Roman Catholic Church because theologically, spiritually, and religiously my needs were not being met. And I would assume there is a fair number of people at St. Stephen’s that have also made such a journey. Yet early on that journey I felt deep remorse and regret for leaving the faith in which I grew up.
For sometime I allowed this feeling to overcome me and prevent me from living into the journey that I was taking. But I realized that sometimes regret is actually part of a much larger picture, that once played out, turns out to be a holy blessing. How easy it is to be unsure of the future, unsure of the implications, unsure of our faith.
But as the psalmist says in Psalm 137 “give thanks to the God of heaven, for God’s steadfast love endures forever.” When we make life-changing decisions, when we decide to take a deep spiritual journey, we may find ourselves having regrets. The regrets lie mainly in the idea that we have left behind the familiar and the comfortable. But when we step out on a journey in faith, it is the steadfast love of God that sees us through and teaches us that sometimes in our discomfort and unfamiliarity we not only find the Holy, but we may even for a brief moment, touch the face of God.
My discomfort and unfamiliarity brought me to a seminary and church I knew nothing about. God’s love showed me the possible.
Father Schober has real regrets about that IKEA visit, his regret is real.
Yet, Easter is around the corner...so what if his regret is just part of a greater journey of faith. You know, he would be just fine if he wrapped up the figure and hung the empty cross. Sure, it’s far different than what he expected, but I sure do understand the depth of God’s steadfast love when I gaze upon the empty cross and ponder the resurrection.
I wonder, where it is your journey is taking you this Lent? Any regrets that need to be overcome?
Yours in Christ,