May the God of all grace confirm and strengthen you in love!
When I was a 12 year old kid I had a summer job working on a ranch out of Pinedale, Wyoming. Being a ranch hand required knowledge and skills from doctoring people and animals to mechanical wizardry with bailing wire and everything in between. The spectrum of tasks associated with living and working on a ranch was and still is, broad. As you might have already surmised, the development of such skills takes time and repetition and it goes without saying that perfection comes at the cost of many mistakes. One day, my older brother Joe and I were sent out to repair fences and haul debris from the “home pasture” and I was volunteered to drive the truck/trailer for the operation. It took me a few tries to get the clutch figured out but I got to the point that I could avoid the bucking starts most times. I didn’t like shifting gears because I could hardly reach the pedals and I almost always went off the road while looking down, trying to get the stick shift into the proper slot (I quickly developed a dislike for International standard transmissions!). Joe was always insistent on fast travel so I was forced to improve my shifting. The narrow gate incident arrived when we were in a hurry to get back to the ranch for lunch. I thought I could make a turn-around out of the pasture without making the necessary exaggerated arc to get the truck and trailer lined up to pass through a particularly narrow gate. The truck made it but the edge of the trailer caught the post and I tore out the gate post and a section of fence. When we reached the ranch house, I had to give an account to the older ranch hands and the boss. I got razzed and laughed at in good-natured fun then they all came out and helped Joe and I repair the fence—and widened the gate! I think that like the older hands and the boss, God knows that we are going to make mistakes while learning. But if we ask him, God will help us in tight situations and Jesus is always there to repair our failed attempts. If we take the time to try to do the job right, God will help us and we’ll make it through! May God’s blessings be with you always! +++ Fr. Peter