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Slightly Askew

Recently, while I was talking on the phone with a dear friend, I happened to look down at my left hand and noticed that the heart-shaped diamond in my engagement ring was slightly turned off-center. I showed my husband and asked him if he thought the diamond was in danger of falling out of the setting. He did not think so, but we agreed to take the ring to a jeweler for repair of the bent prong.
Later that day, while I was waiting for some onions, peppers, and zucchini to finish simmering on the stove, I sat down at the kitchen table. All of a sudden, the diamond fell out of the ring and onto the table in plain sight. Whew! That was a close one! I could have lost that diamond in the trash as I tossed out the onion skins, or down the sink drain as I washed the vegetables, or anywhere! I had been praying for inspiration for writing a blog entry, and there it was! And nothing was lost!
I started thinking about our spiritual life and the promise of our eternal treasure of heaven and how easy it is for any of us to get off-track or off-center. Especially with the pandemic forcing changes in our routines, it is easy to get distracted from our good habits and practices. We might get caught up in certain television programming that doesn’t encourage solid Christian lifestyles and beliefs. With our extra time away from work, we might lapse into habits of gossip, laziness, or overeating. Remember that adage: An idle mind is the devil’s workshop?
Let us look to Proverbs 4:23-27:

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Keep straight the path of your feet, and all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

Ideally, I should have had my ring checked periodically to be sure the setting was secure. On a spiritual level, ideally, we should periodically take advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) to be sure we maintain the proper direction in our life journey. If we have some time, we could look into practicing St. Ignatius’ Daily Examen which helps us review each day’s activities and see God working in our lives.
It did not take much pressure to bend my ring prong and endanger my treasured diamond. I did not even know when it happened. In our spiritual lives, our holy supports can subtlety be weakened if we do not stay vigilant. We have the treasured good news of salvation. Hebrews 2:1 exhorts us:

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that
we do not drift away from it.

I pray we stay straight on our path to the Lord. Through his mercy, if we get off-center, we can be forgiven. I could have easily lost my diamond—my precious stone, but, I am thankful that I will not lose God’s love. I invite you, readers, to pray with me as I happily quote Psalm 19:14:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Let’s stay centered on Jesus!
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.
The scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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