This is the first year in quite some time that I have actively observed and participated in Lent. I have a daily email (which arrives overnight) that provides me with my morning meditation. Recently, one of those emails directed me to the 3-minute retreats hosted by Loyola Press (which, if you’re not familiar, is a Jesuit ministry and publishing house).
As one concludes this retreat, he or she is invited to record a short reflection on the experience. Most of the contributions are simple and grateful, if perhaps a bit unremarkable to read for a third party. But as I glanced across the text, there was one reflection which struck me hard. It reads:
“I turned eighty and not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for my blessings. I talk to Him everyday & visit Him each Sunday and receive Him in the Eucharist. Thank you, Jesus.
I’m ready to go home whenever you wish.”
It’s just so…simple. What have they seen after 80 years? Who has he or she lost, what joys experienced, what kept them up at night 30 years ago, and does it seem silly now? Do birthdays start to blend together? Do they still try new foods?
What do they regret?
What will I?
Because sometimes I tire of the question, “What will I regret on my death bed if I don’t do it now?” It’s a necessary but incredibly exhausting exploration.
And anyway, 250 characters can’t fit all that. So they simply say:
“I’m thankful. Because You were here with me the whole time. We both keep showing up, and this makes me so happy.”
“Can I go home now, please?“