Wednesday, January 22, 2014

sign me up

Recently I decided to be more open to what God might have in store for me. I wasn't foolish enough to ask for "signs," but I definitely put it out there that I needed more than vague insinuations. Sometimes I feel like God is little too much like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. "I'd go that way if I were you!" He says, then points in another direction when we're not looking.
Anyway, I'm feeling, more intensely than usual, a desire to make more of this life. But what is this "more" made of? What does it look like? What do I look like when I'm doing it?

This morning I received my monthly edition of The Catholic Journalist. I receive it because currently that is what I am, and it comes free with my membership in the Catholic Press Association. I flipped through casually, forgetting my recent plea to the Lord that He use everything I see to push me in the general direction of His will for my life.

The center spread was eye-catching. It featured a prominent box with the words "Column Logos"; beneath it I spotted a profound, telling, significant icon. A TYPO! A typo in my professional journal! It made me giddy; a sign of imperfection, proof that other actual human beings produced it and lived to tell.

I got up to share it with a coworker, laughing about the fact that though we worked hard to be professional (a.k.a. perfect) there were always errors. I strive to avoid errors, but I'm also of the stripe that recognizes them to be forgivable signs of a common humanity.

As I pointed out the mistake, my eye was drawn to the center of the page. There, in full color, was a picture of me.

This is not a symbolic statement, guys. I mean, it was my real, actual face!

The spread featured ways Catholic media outlets identify their opinion columns, and the header from my page in the magazine I edit was included. OMG is this a sign from GOD?????
Um, well, I dunno. I thought it was pretty cool, because I'm vain, and I like to think they included it because they liked it. Is it, however, a sign that I'm the best editor ever or that I'm destined for glory?

Probably not.

I took a minute to look at it as if I had never seen it before, and what impressed me most was the scripture. Of the 21 designs presented, including columns from priests, bishops, scholars, moms, pundits, and other editors, mine was the only one that included a verse.

Be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Romans 12:2.

There it was, in black and white. With nary a typo.

I had chosen the scripture when we did a redesign some time ago. It's a favorite verse, one that has driven me time and again to the truth of the power of my thinking to change my reality, or at least my perception of it.

Today, it was a simple reminder, if not a sign. "Cathy," it said unambiguously, "Be transformed." How? "By the renewal of your mind."

So I must change, and if I don't know quite into what just yet, at least there's this: I know how to begin.

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