Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happend

Sister alies therese

By Sister alies therese
It’s that time again: graduation, whether it is from Pre-K or, High school or college. Someone has become a dentist, a vet or doctor. Some folks also participated in other sorts of graduations — ordination, completing flight or art school, or a major promotion in the workplace. Some have even married or made solemn vows! Let’s just say that to graduate is to move with some new skill or commitment to the next level. Usually that also brings new responsibilities. And those responsibilities reflect a deeper you! Dr. Suess says: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You!”
External markers in our life are very important. They may take the form of a formal graduation. However, we need to pay attention to our inner markers, growing ever deeper, showing how we’ve matured, or learned some new life skill: how to forgive, how to laugh, or how to love, for example. It is more likely that our inner life is where we experience movement towards God. That is where we actually graduate and discover our process of becoming fully who we are. Or, as Dr. Suess says: “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”
Becoming is clearly our goal. We use the phrase: become the very best version of yourself. Sometimes the way to prove that we have progressed is by walking through the external markers of graduating or passing difficult exams. Other times, it is sneaking a peek at those inner markers. Perhaps it will be during prayer time, retreat time, alone time in the stillness, where we intuit somehow something has grown within and we’ve changed by becoming more ‘myself in God.’ Dr. Suess asks: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
Our questions such as this move us forward and challenge us to allow God to enfold within us gifts we are to use to serve the community and grow in holiness. Recently we were reminded of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit when we celebrated Pentecost. Those gifts and many more mentioned throughout the Scriptures call us to stand out — to be witnesses, visible to others not for ourselves but for them to want to be like us in the doing of good deeds, the deeds of God. Consult Mt.5:16 on this.
There are others, too, whose deeds of prayer and sacrifice are more hidden. Yet they too, offer back to God the gifts they have received that others might live. Perhaps they will not see the outcome of these poor prayers or sacrifices but they will grow in trust and deeper in love with God so that they might continue their mission. We are all, however, called to an ever deepening love of God, allowing God to love us.
Mostly we are called to smile as we sacrifice for others. Dr. Suess says: “Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
We need each and every person to continue to form the precious community of the Beloved. There are no hidden diplomas or degrees or even excellent exam results — only the promise of an on-going love to be shared and put at the service of an awesome God.
Dr. Suess wrote 46 books, the first in 1936 and it had 27 rejections before publication. He was very involved in anti-racist and inclusion work ncluding Horton Hears a Who, reminding us: “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”
He was never a doctor of anything but he did have lots of external markers to reward his work: two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Laura Ingalls Wilder and a Peabody Award. His simplicity, humor and challenge remind us of our call to grow and become ever more thoughtful, caring, and to lighten up and laugh a little, by expressing our joy on the journey. Perhaps your life will be marked with many markers both external and internal, perhaps not. Not to worry. You are not forgotten. Not only that but your smile and your light are designated by God to do good and to be seen that God might receive the glory.
I was reminded of this in Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? “When I was quite young and quite small for my size, I met an old man in the Desert of Drize. And he sang me a song I will never forget. At least, well, I haven’t forgotten it yet. He sat in a terribly prickly place. But he sang with a sunny sweet smile on his face: ‘When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad…you should do what I do! Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky! Some people are much more, oh, ever so much more…oh muchly much-much more unlucky than you!…Thank goodness for all of the things you are not! Thank goodness you’re not something someone forgot, and left all alone in some punkerish place like a rusty tin coat hanger hanging in space…”
Great summer reading for all you brain-i-acs who need a little rest! Reinhold Niebuhr understood when he remarked: “Laughter is the beginning of prayer.” BLESSINGS.

(Sister alies therese is a vowed Catholic solitary who lives an eremitical life. Her days are formed around prayer, art and writing. She is author of six books of spiritual fiction and is a weekly columnist. She lives and writes in Mississippi.)