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More guts than brains

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

December 25, 2019

Sometimes, I have more guts than brains.

I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. I’ve been whitewater rafting a couple times. I once volunteered to allow a local police agency to taser me for a newspaper story. Historically, I’ve enjoyed playing paintball and karate sparring, even though I know I’ll get hit while I’m participating in these activities. I don’t mind public speaking.

I was reflecting on the “more guts than brains” part of my personality as I prepared for Christmas and read Bishop Terry R. LaValley and Msgr. Paul Whitmore’s reflections on the Holy Family in this week’s edition.

When it comes to putting my body at risk for fun, for physical activity or for adventure, I jump in with little hesitation. But, as I thought about Mary and Joseph turning their wills and their lives over to God, I’m not so sure I have that kind of fortitude.

I’m shamefully and painfully attached to my will, my desires for my life.

When I perceive someone as having wronged me, I know it’s God’s will that I love them and forgive them, but my will wants me to stew about it and dislike the offender, maybe even run them down to others.

When I’m making a major decision, I may feel God calling me in a particular direction, but my experience tells me God’s direction is usually the more difficult, riskier path. My will tends to prefer the path of least resistance, the path that involves the least risk and the most comfort.

I often let my brains and my pride overrule my guts and my desire to surrender my will to God.

So how do I move from a place of fear and my will to a place of surrendering to God’s will?

So far, my plan is to start with small things. This week, I’ve felt called to add someone I don’t particularly like to my prayer list. Earnestly praying for the good of someone who, as I say, “really grates my cheese” goes against my natural inclinations, but maybe it’s a step toward being the person God is calling to be.

And that takes more guts than brains.

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