Father George rutler: They wore curly ringlets and looked like Peter High King of Narnia. They are now off to middle school, this time in a different town and state. My children are my greatest concern. Transitions can be so difficult. Are we too busy to enjoy surprise and delight? Are we going to make time for the important things? So this place will be a place where people flourish? I hope that my four children will be able to learn from God the good guardrails.
Father Geroge Rutler: Surprised By The Goodness And Limits Of Limitations:
“Limits, which are given to the world by the loving God, constitute the conditions for living.” However, my abilities to transform are very limited. It, however, is something I find to be a positive thing. I can recall how the world was created with boundaries. As a part of God’s loving care and rule, limits are built into the fabric creation.
Limitations are not the result of sin, regidores, or straight-jackets that keep us down but part of God’s very good plan. Limitations were given to creation: to reproduce and to be subject to seasonal changes.
It is subject to change and time. There is also a cycle of flourishing and fallow. Celestial bodies had limits: The sun was the ruler of the day and the moon to the night. Even the naming, light and darkness, land and seas, gave meaning to something previously meaningless. Our world would not be complete and meaningful without the loving setting of boundaries for the natural world.
Jesus, however, shows us the way. Jesus shows us that Love is always possible when we follow our God-given limitations. Nobody expected that the Messiah would die to defeat the power’s death and hell through death. No one expected the resurrection. It changes everything.
We have no hope of resurrection until Love Himself enters.
Rilke wrote that we must be “grasped by the things we can’t grasp” and held by the things we cannot have. When we, the limited ones, are grasped and regulated by the grace of The Unlimited One, we discover surprising: the surprise that is Hope.
“My task is not to read tea leaves to discern God’s handiwork, but to stay within the safety nets; He has given. It is the invitation for Hope.
The resurrection brings future Hope into our embodied, present lives. Jesus encounters the despair of Mary and the melancholy experienced by the disciples on their way to Emmaus. Hope pulls up a chair to sit with them in their normal lives. Hope helps them walk home or find a place to cry in the garden. Like their imaginations, our imaginations are limited to the works and ways of God. The surprising Hope of resurrection must be with us in all things, including our dishes washing and studying, our fighting and despair, and in our walking and grieving.
As we start a new school year, we need Hope to be with us. We release children into schools and activities and ask that all of us might be nestled in the story, Jesus. We must be heard right in the middle of our pretentiousness and posturing, regular overwork, and disregarding the limitations of our bodies, affections, or calling. Resurrection offers a chance to find New Hope.
As the calendar squares fill up, I pray for a surprise. A traveler will come to us with “news from a foreign country,” and we will be able to know it when we see it. Lewis. He is a man who honors the ordinary and points out the way to resurrection. My job is not to read tea leaves to see God’s handiwork but to stay within His guardrails. It is the invitation for Hope.
Your limits are not barriers that keep you from intimacy with God. On the contrary, only when we accept and embrace our limitations can we embrace Hope.
“We can only accept and embrace our limitations so that we can embrace the goodness of them.”
People who can control and manipulate, who seek fame and approval, and who have to keep performing to be loved are often mired in cynicism. Grace is a gift. Resurrection surprises. Beauty is what makes us beautiful.
Resurrection encourages us to believe, not only for ourselves but also for the world around us. These limits are not like limitations that hold us back, but rather gifts of self-restraint to be stewards. Christ, the only true man, restricted His freedom to give it away in Love. Enrobed in this Love, we are also invited to love God, and others, not despite, but through our limitations.
My children are brave children of the King as they leave the school door. The King loves them, knows their names, calls them by their terms and gives them Hope. We are asked to take care of the little things. We wash the dishes, change the sheets, do our jobs, welcome the children back from school, bring a meal, and follow faith guidelines.
Disclaimer. The opinions and views expressed in this article are the authors.