The right-click, a menu for life
Technological competency does not come naturally to me, and I continue to be amazed at what there is to learn about computers. One of the most important lessons I have learned over and over again is that when faced with a dilemma, your answer is almost always to right-click.
My young assistant would say patiently, "Just right-click!" And bang! A menu dropped down that had the key to any number of operations. You might think I could remember from problem to problem to think of the right-click as the answer to everything, but for me, each computer issue looms large as the ultimate unsolvable problem.
I became intrigued by the question: What is the right-click equivalent for other parts of my life? Were there past events that unlocked whole menus of possibility for me?
I decided to make a list of some right-click moments in my life. It surprised me to see that some were big, some were small; some were positive, some were negative.
A preteen religious experience
As a preteen on a camping trip, I was visiting a little church high in the Rocky Mountains and was struck by a frieze around the upper walls that said, "Mountains and Hills, Bless the Lord." Wow. It was like someone read my mind and heart; that was exactly what I was feeling. Maybe the words of the Bible and liturgical experiences do relate to me! It was the first time I can remember that I had a powerful scriptural religious experience.
Entering religious life
That was the best decision I ever made. It opened a whole new world of experiences that would shape me and the relationships that would support and challenge me for the rest of my life. And like any good right-click, it gave me a whole menu of tools to help me grow in the spiritual life and my relationship to God.
This is where I really grew up intellectually. Besides helping me acquire my own voice and focus, it gave me a long menu of possibilities for several enriching ministries in life.
The death of my mother
This was the final step into true adulthood. Freed from my greatest fear (losing her), I was no longer defined as a "child" of anyone, but I became "the next generation," with the responsibilities that implied. And the experience of my own deep grief helped me relate to that of others.
Several books were right-clicks for me, including Seven Storey Mountain, which convinced me that faith was a journey accessible to me; Original Blessing, which convinced me that there was a spirituality that made sense for me; and The Divine Milieu and other books by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, which confirmed my dawning realization that you could be a scientist and a saint.
Enneagram and Progoff Journal workshops
These sent my spiritual self-awareness into overdrive and gave me useful spiritual tools for personal and spiritual development.
Meditating on my right-click moments was helpful; maybe you could try making your own right-click list. Then you can celebrate those moments in your life, even the negative ones!
And if you want to write about or reflect on any of them in Global Sisters Report, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Ursuline Sr. Michele Morek is Global Sisters Report's liaison to sisters in North America.]