Often times we are so focused on the present moment that we can fail to see the bigger picture. I often like to step back and take a look at my spiritual journey to see not only how far I have come, but to look at how many diversions, detours, and dalliances I have taken.
I examine very closely the missteps especially to try to figure out just how I had become misdirected, and, more importantly, how I was able to get back on the right road. Most of the time, I find the reason for my divergences is the golden calf – my golden calf.
Much like the Israelites did at the foot of Sinai, when left to my own devices, I have had a tendency to build my own golden calf. There have been times in my life I have felt success, times when I have received accolades for achievements, times when I have felt that I have done a good job, times when things are going just the way I had planned them to go.
It was those times when I found I had suddenly gone it alone. It was those times when I felt empowered by my own means, my own ways, my own will that I now realize that I excluded God from my journey by relying on myself, by mindlessly not praying, by casually missing Mass.
Even though I’ve counted on God carrying the bulk of the load, even though I’ve seen evidence of God’s love and care for me, even though I’ve seen concrete answers to pray, here I was, creating my golden calf which inevitably led me down a path mired in selfishness and arrogance.
Fortunately, with each lesson I learn and with His grace and His mercy, my diversions, detours, and dalliances are getting shorter and less frequent.