bumper cars

In our classes on personal intergration during the fall, our presenter said something to the effect of this: communinty living - in particular during the novitiate - is an opportunity to have your rough edges chisled away so you can become the you God wants you to be. He used the image of a sculptor, chiseling away on the stone until a beautiful image emerges. At the time, it felt to me more like a chainsaw than a chisle - it seemed like whole chunks of me were being lopped off in one fell swoop. Since then, thank God, the process has been more gradual and less drastic.

Although there are still times, usually when I'm so proud of the personal growth experiences I've managed to live through and the progress I've made, when all of a sudden .... whomp ... it's like a bumper car has bumped into me and knocked me off my happy self satisfied course. That's the image that came to me the other day in prayer any way ... bumper cars.

Our presenter talked about the Novitiate as a "container" that we've voluntarily placed ourselves into for personal transformation. So, using the bumper car analogy, we've paid our 25 cents and entered the bumper car rink. The electricity is turned on and we ride along in our little cars. Sometimes we accidentally bump into the edges. Sometimes we accidentally bump into our friends. Other times we might get the urge to intentionally ram into one of the other players, or vice versa. But in general, we're riding along trying to go straight and have some fun.

I for one was always relieved when the electricity was turned off and the cars stopped in midstream. I'd always wonder, "Why did I go on this ride again?". At the same time though, I'd always be happy I'd taken the risk and if I was honest, enjoyed myself.

I prefer the calmer days when all is well in the land of Susan. But I'd be lying to myself if I didn't admit that sometimes, I need another bumper car to knock me off my self satisfied course and help me get back on the path of walking humbly with my God.


Anonymous said...

Sister Susan what a wonderful expression. It can in some ways be applied to our daily life.

Anonymous said...

I am really proud that you are one with us. As I said recently, "You go with God, girl." I am counting the days until your Vows. Peace...your Sister in Yakima.

Susan Rose, CSJP said...