One of my great escapes and ways to relax is to read or watch mys-tery stories. It is always a fun challenge for me to try and figure out, ‘who done it’. So often, I have found, the one that is the obvious culprit and seems to be guilty is not the one who is revealed to be the guilty party when the truth is exposed. And a good mystery story, when it is over, leaves me going back over the story remembering all the clues I overlooked, or didn’t understand at the time, or thought to be unrelated to the case. When I look back I can see how it all fits together, but when I was reading the story it was all so puzzling.
There is a wonderful parallel between a good mystery and a life of faith. So often the things that we see as most important and as a sure truth later reveals itself to have been a distraction to the deeper issues of our life. Elections, sporting events, news headlines, and other engulfing dra-mas so often take up great amounts of energy, yet are not the things that truly define our life. Even within the church I find this to be evident. There is much news coverage about the election of the new pope. In the larger events of our life with Christ it really does not matter who is the pope. The reporters of God’s journal have little to say about this election, but much to say about how we behave with those around us. How we treat the waitress at brunch, the friend in need, or our own bodies, is a broader headline in the
When we look back on our lives; when we sit down to write a spiritual autobiography, as is done each year in the Education for Ministry (EfM) program; when we have time to put every-thing in perspective, then we can see clearly that the things that once seemed so important were in fact only passing flashes of distraction and the key elements of truth were there all along, it just took us longer to see their proper importance.
In the mystery story we try to figure out ‘who done it’, or what secrets were hidden and by whom. In the mystery of faith we discover it is our own secrets that are being revealed and that what has been done is the complete offering of love and forgiveness for us by God.