I was kind of a “prodigal son” with my Father. I had all the answers when I was younger, driven by my selfish needs and wants. Only when I married and was blessed with children of my own did the “prodigal son” return. At that point my own father was much older, and I was given the gift of growing closer to him through his multiple stays in intensive care and eventually hospice. Later I was given the gift of delivering his eulogy. Dad never judged; he loved all of his children unconditionally. That is what I think of each time I begin the “Our Father.”
Going back to the “prodigal son” with all the answers: I believed I was in control. If I worked hard and, yes, took some risks, I could be successful and would realize all the benefits of career, money, and status. But only with marriage and children could I understand that “I was not driving, I was not in control.” With that came the need to depend on something/someone larger than myself. I realized that it is not my will, but rather God’s will. With that acknowledgement came a greater sense of peace and wholeness.
—Bill Burke serves as a Regional Director in the Advancement office of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus. Bill and his wife, Colleen, have two daughters.