Posted by: cmittermeier | August 25, 2017

Sound bites, Real time, and the Montage

I was checking in with a friend who is going through a hard time, the kind of hard time that is likely to end in divorce and an annulment.  It struck me how when I pondered her situation I had an expectation of instantaneous change.  In many of my own situations I generally assume once a decision is made everything happens all at once. I have done some midnight moves in my time, which only contributes to idea that life is more like a montage than real time.

The battle between real time and the desire for a montage is a product of our culture, our time in history. Folks didn’t do a lot of that before, but now it’s expected. Someone has a birthday? Do the montage to show how they’ve changed through the years! Anniversary? Graduation? …every milestone is met with this urge to review in the hopes of recapturing all those ahh moments, all the good stuff, and saying good bye to the bad and the painful stuff.

But what if the past wasn’t all good and the pain isn’t all over with?

When I was still in the plaster cast, I couldn’t stand on a scale with one foot. I had no clue what I’d gained back with my leg in cast, nor could I know what the weight of the muscle I have lost in my calf is.  I knew from my clothes there has been a change, not a good change.  I don’t want a real montage, showing the backslide.  I wanted the future montage, full of healthy eating and pounds melting away again as I gain back my strength! But both of these montages are destructive.  One focuses on guilt of sins past, the other the allure of an imaginary future and both steal from the moment the grace God gives called the present. I had to meet my friend in the present, not offer her a montage of unrealistic fixes, nor ask her for a retrospective of how then ended up here.

I am back in real time, and able to withstand the desire for a quick montage like fix because of confession and the Eucharist . When I lost the weight last year, it was a real time process. The struggle to accept this was a forever change and not just a Rocky Balboa moment is easier, but still present. It is a trap, and needs to be rejected. Especially if I’m going to help my friend move forward.  Recognizing that a family is better when Parents live apart is not the end, but a series of new beginnings. The reasons for the destruction do not go away, it only provides a space for the people to get help, like a medical truce in a war. Like my weight loss, it is the beginning of the forever road. Daily hard choices.  Continual work.

Please say a prayer today for all families in crisis. The journeys some of them travel is arduous, and we need to support them. I won’t say they put in perspective my own trials, because we don’t compare lives. God gave me mine, and God gave them theirs. I try only to glean the similarities to help me be more compassionate. What I learned was to present for her, to bring God into the mess right now. If you can, be that person who brings Christ into their now, and let Christ into your own. God bless.


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