On Changing the Plan

Brother Joe Pawlika, C.F.X. is a guidance counselor at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Massachusetts. In this clip he discusses his efforts to stay open to God’s presence in every moment, despite the plans he has made for his day.

<strong><em>Transcript:</em></strong> “At the beginning of the day, I go to school pretty early and I set up what I think I want to do during the day. Which kids I want to see or which topics, you know, we’re handling with the Juniors, for example. Part of my prayer, almost, it’s not every morning, but it’s a very frequent part of my prayer, is a prayer for the kind of wisdom and insight and presence for which I’d be willing to say, “That was my plan, but this kid at the door doesn’t fit that plan”–rather than push that kid out and stick to my plan, part of my consciousness is: “change the plan.” You know, “take up the reality of everyday.” You know, rather than the plan structured everyday that I thought I was gonna have, which makes me feel very competent and very much in control–it’s hard for me to let go of that often. And I’ve gotten better at it, because usually the surrender of that degree of feeling of competence and control…I have a much better sense of the way, the way that God might be present in this moment rather than…while God is present in the functioning part of my day too, it’s not with the surprise and call for attention and presence that an individual moment would call for that’s unexpected. So, I do, I do like routines still, but I have to work at…I’m very conscious of not, trying not to be rigid and so strapped to the routines that there is no attentiveness.”

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