Ken Rolheiser
Wrestling with alligators and finding peace

Sometimes daily living is a great challenge. We feel like the man sent to drain the swamp who is more than knee deep in alligators. That’s when we need to be creative and seek the right help.

The story is told of a job interview with 200 persons applying for one important position. They were all given the following situation to resolve: you are driving in your car and you come across three people at a bus stop. One is the life partner of your dreams, the second is an old friend who once saved your life and the third is an old lady in a medical emergency.

What do you do? The successful applicant resolved it this way: “I would give my car to my old friend to take the old lady to the hospital and I would join the girl of my dreams waiting for the bus.”

Now out of this? Thinking outside the box is something we can do with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Bishop Bryan Bayda poses this question to young couples preparing for marriage. “Where would you draw the line with your fiancé? What action of theirs would be too much and would break your relationship?” After they record and share their answers with each other, Bayda explains with this question: where did Jesus draw the line?

After Christ rose from the dead he met his disciples who had betrayed him. They had fled instead of helping him. They couldn’t even stay awake to pray in Gethsemane.

And Jesus’ greeting to them was, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). And that is his greeting to us. Imagine Jesus meeting you today. You recall your failings, betrayals and sins of the past week. How did you treat your spouse or family? How abrupt were you with others? How did you neglect your prayer life or Sunday worship?

And Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” And he goes beyond sharing his peace with you. He says, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21). If this is confusing to us, Jesus adds, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

We are ambassadors for Christ. We pray and act in his name. Over time, with the help of Jesus and his Spirit, there is not much that we cannot do.

If our hearts are open to receive the gifts of the Spirit, we will be equipped to go on a mission to evangelize, to share his love with our families and the world. We will drain the swamp and think outside the box.

After meeting with us, can people say, “I have seen the Lord.”

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