By John Matonich
By John Matonich
I have never considered myself a very religious person, but the more I think about it, the more I think I have been one in my own way for a long time. It came to light this past weekend and really made me think about how my relationship with the Big Guy upstairs has evolved and how much I enjoy it.
I was brought up Roman Catholic: baptized, communion, confession and confirmed at St. Sebastian Parish here in Bessemer. My parents couldn’t afford the tuition at our local Catholic school, so I attended public school and attended catechism every week with a number of others. I probably enjoyed the social aspect more than the education part, but I still remember much of what we covered.
I was fortunate to be selected to be an altar boy and enjoyed serving at mass. When I was the low boy on the list, I served a lot at the 6 a.m. Mass that went was held about every week day. I had to chuckle to myself though as the priest that gave the mass really flew through the service and we were usually done in about 25 minutes. I guess the same six folks I saw at every one of those services had heard most of what the priest had to say for years and they used the time to show their faith and start their day on the right foot.
Well, over the years I haven’t been as regular at Mass as I should be, but it has never diminished my conversations with the Big Guy. He and I speak quite a bit each day and he continues to teach me life lessons and reminds me of the education I have received over the years.
A great example of that happened this past weekend. I was in my woodshop working on a large order I received recently. One of the pieces I was working on had a large knot that escaped my view when I was putting the wood together to begin the piece. This knot was in a bad spot and I didn’t like the way it looked, but thought I could make it work. Of course the voice in my head kept whispering that it wasn’t going to be up to the quality we pride ourselves on. I tried to ignore the voice and kept moving forward.
The project needed some slots cut into it both the front and back that would be at the same spot on the piece. Much to my surprise, I mismeasured one of them and they didn’t line up at all. Some folks may have been upset, but I just smiled. I know it was the Big Guy overriding my desire to continue and forced me to scrap the piece and start over with a better piece of stock.
Of course he was right. He reminded me that sometimes a short-term hurt means a long-term gain. Hard to argue, so I thanked him and went about my business. The new piece came out great and I only regret not listening earlier. I will be sure not to make that same mistake again. I am glad He is looking over my shoulder. I may have to see if there still is an early morning Mass and start my day on the right foot as well.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Image credit: Ted Van Pelt