DO MY ASSUMPTIONS FREE ME OR BIND ME?
For many years I was privileged to have Fr. Thomas More Newbold, C.P., as my spiritual director. He was a very wise and kind man and I loved him dearly. A comment he made to me during one of our conversations I still remember to this day. He said to me, “Mike, you are a highly intuitive person and you rightly trust your intuitions about people and situations. The trouble is, sometimes you’re right!” That was his gentle way of telling me that sometimes I’m quite wrong…so be careful about assuming too much about people or things based on your intuitions! It was a very important and helpful insight for me.
Have you ever made an assumption or jumped to a conclusion about a situation or person only to learn later that your assumption wasn’t right? If you haven’t done this, I want to meet you for you are very unique!
When one of my nieces was a senior in high school, she was in the process of selecting a college. During one of our conversations about her college plans, she confided in me that she was afraid that she was going to disappoint her parents. I asked why. She said that her parents wanted her to choose a college that had a strong soccer program since she was such a fine soccer player. Throughout high school she had played soccer and it was a big part of her life. But, she told me, she wasn’t so sure she wanted to play soccer in college. But, she didn’t want to disappoint her parents.
As we talked I suggested to her that the main reason her parents were so enthusiastic about soccer was their belief that she wanted to continue to play when she went to college. I assured her that they would support her in whatever decision she made about soccer, and that it was highly unlikely they would be disappointed in any way. So, she took the risk and told her parents what she really wanted. And, of course her parents were fine with it.
Do you find that surprising?
Assumptions that aren’t accurate can really blind us to possibilities. Remember the account in the Gospel of Luke in which the Sadducees, who didn’t believe in life after death, approached Jesus with what they believed was proof positive that such a notion as life after death was impossible. They assumed that if such a life existed it would have the same limitations our current life has. Jesus refused to accept their assumptions and opened a whole new vision for them.
Sometimes I wonder what possibilities we don’t see because we are limited by the assumptions we make. In the Gospel stories Jesus always encourages us not to be limited to our ordinary assumptions.
How blinded am I to possibilities because of the assumptions I make about people or situations?
How open am I to considering points of views different to my own?
MADE BY HAND
Sitting quietly in the apartment,
the need for life-giving water is never considered,
In harmony, seemingly, with nature.
The dam holds the needs of thousands,
Bottled up, collecting the gift of life,
One drop at a time.
Our need for living water being insatiable,
As love should be.
Copyright 2019 Reflection by Michael Higgins C.P.
Copyright 2019 Poem and Photography by Michael J. Cunningham O.F.S.
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