Two years ago today, some foreshadowing illustrated to me the shape of the things that were to come, although, I only noticed it just yesterday. On Good Friday 2008, I was driving a malfunctioning minivan down Interstate 94 from Fargo to the Twin Cities in an intense blizzard. In a little town called Alexandria, I stopped to eat and get off of the road with its terrible drifting snow and ditched semis. When I went out to my van after eating it would not start, and so I called Andy, who lives in Alexandria to see if he could help me out. I ended up spending a good portion of that Friday in Alexandria. Little did I know that the entirety of my very next Good Friday would also be spent in Alexandria as I anxiously awaited the Easter Vigil on Saturday night. If my van hadn’t started up, I had an invitation to stay and spend Easter in Alexandria, but I honestly don’t think I was ready for that, and God knew it. My van would get fixed that year and I would get fixed the next.
It amazes me. Maybe it shouldn’t. The non-believer could point out tons of reasons why I was stuck in Alexandria. It was on my way home. It was just as likely that no matter where I pulled my junker off the road that it would stall. I likely chose Alexandria to eat because of my friends who lived there. But to me, I see more than that. God knew I would be there the next year, and though I couldn’t see it at that time, it was like God saying, “Right now you do not care to think about the significance of today, of my sacrifice. But you will and when you do, you will come back here, to this same town and you will consummate your love for me and mine for you. In the mean time I will slowly and painfully prepare you to do so.” And prepare me he did. I would be a fool if I didn’t look back on what my journey to that moment today. Summer project…persecution of Catholics…research…prayer…submission…fortitude…obedience.
I can’t help but smile to think of how much God loves us when I look at what he has given to his Church. And I thank God everyday for the prayers that were uttered on my behalf for the softening of my heart so that I might see these gifts and partake of them as he has commanded us.
But this isn’t all about how God foreshadowed the shape of things to come for me on Good Friday two years ago. Almost 1,977 Good Fridays ago, God first foreshadowed the shape of things to come for all of us. He showed us what must happen to each of us if we are to follow him to eternal life. We must bear our own crosses and we must die to the world and be raised in life again in Christ.