I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As a child I’d repeat this jingle, but it never rang true. Every dig of ridicule would cut to the heart and hurt.
Over the weekend, our family went to a nearby rail trail for a nice long bike ride together. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the temperature was just right for the task at hand, and some of the trees that framed the trail were turning color already. It was perfect. That is, until one of our children, who shall remain nameless, asked us when we were going to Taco Bell. My husband and I told said child that was not in the plans, as I had a roast in the Crock Pot at home. That bit of news sent him over the edge. The whining, crying, and demands that followed were not pleasant. Somehow it was our fault, because he thought we had promised this, although in fact we hadn’t, nor were any of our other children led to believe this. So for a good 10-15 minutes this blaming, crying, and sniveling went on as the rest of us tried to ignore it. The thing is that he was missing out on the beauty around him by focusing on one thing that wasn’t going to change anyhow. Thankfully, after a while, the tears subsided and he rebounded to catch back up with the rest of us and have a good time for the remainder of the trip. And wouldn’t you know it, when we got home later and sat down to eat that roast he thought would be “disgusting,” he took a bite and looked up in surprise, saying, “Wow! This is actually really good!”
Dear Fellow Confirmands,
Wow, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Don’t worry- that’s not our picture above, but it has been twenty-two years since we were confirmed. Remember how the nine of us sat in Confirmation class every Wednesday evening for two years? Remember those 5-question quizzes we had to take at the start of each class period? We studied the Six Chief Parts of the Catechism over those two years, and then we had our public questioning the week before we were confirmed. We were so nervous about that. We studied the questions and answers over and over again so we wouldn’t mess up in front of everyone. And then came Confirmation Sunday. We all dressed in our white robes with the red carnation corsage, stood in front of church and made our Confirmation vows with the entire church witnessing it. It was a marvelous day. But since then I haven’t seen much of some of you. In fact, there are a few of you I haven’t seen at all since we were confirmed. And that makes me wonder what definition you are using for the word confirmation. In the notorious words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…”