• Sarah Raad


For it is only with God as our guide that we have any chance at all of being able to steer ourselves home…

Christ as the Good Shepherd

The other day I needed to run into the supermarket to pick up a few things. I was in quite a rush and the shopping centre was really busy and so, I ran inside, grabbed the first trolley in the row, and started rushing through the aisles to pick up all the different things that I had on my shopping list that day.

It did not take me very long to realise that my shopping trolley was not steering very well at all. The front left wheel was not working properly, and that meant that I had to work a little bit harder to steer the trolley as it tended to steer towards the left because of the broken wheel.

Now I had three options that day in relation to that trolley.

One… I could continue to steer it pushing against the broken wheel all the way through the supermarket and to my car.

Two… I could exchange the trolley for another one right away.

Or, three… I could steer that broken trolley through the supermarket, but after I paid, I could switch it at the supermarket door for a trolley that was easier to steer to make my journey to my car easier to manage.

Initially option one seemed the most likely choice because at first the broken wheel was only a minor inconvenience and I was in too much of a rush to bother with option two but I actually chose option three, because the more I loaded the trolley, the worse the steering became...

And I have been thinking about this trolley ever since.

You see, steering that trolley reminded me of navigating this fallen world as we attempt to steer ourselves to Heaven.

And so, just as with the trolley, initially the extra effort of steering ourselves to Heaven does not seem so terrible when we are distracted with all the worldly things in our lives, but just as the steering worsens as the trolley becomes heavier, I must work harder when I am distracted from God.

For, just like that broken trolley, we are all a little bit broken. That is the result of the fall of humankind, which is described in Genesis when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God had forbidden them (Genesis 3). That very first sin of disobedience and pride ensured that all of humankind – with the exception of Our Blessed Mother (conceived without sin), Saint John the Baptist (born without sin) and Christ (Sinless and Perfect God made Man) – would forever have a broken wheel or two that would make steering difficult.

And the more we interact in our fallen world – the older we become, the more experience we gain and the more we become accustomed to sin, the more attached to worldly thing – the more weight we add to our trolley and the harder it is for us to steer it towards Heaven, which is our final home.

But we are lucky, because we have free will. And that means that when the trolley gets heavy and our steering is off, we have a few options to choose from…

One… We can continue along as we are without changing anything – but this will eventually cause us to steer so far askew of Heaven that we risk damning our souls forever.

Two… We can change trolleys right away – but usually we think we will be able to manage well-enough in the beginning and think that changing trolleys will just slow us down and we often do not realise how far we have veered off course until Grace and God Himself brings back the “lost sheep” (Matthew 18:10-14).

Or, Three… We can change trolleys – toss our baggage into a new trolley through our reception of the sacraments – and in starting again with GRACE, walk ourselves onwards to Heaven.

For it is only with God as our guide that we have any chance at all of being able to steer ourselves home…

It is only with God as our Guide…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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