Did you know that one night during the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, Annie Oakley could have stopped WWI from happening?

“What?”  Yes, it’s true.  Annie asked for a volunteer from the audience who would be happy to hold a cigar in their mouth from which she would shoot the ashes.  Usually her request was just met with laughter and her husband would begrudgingly be put in the firing line. But that night was different.

From the Royal box, a young Friedrich Wilhelm II (the Crown Prince of Germany) volunteered.   After some unexpected banter, she pulled the trigger. What happened next set the stage for the rest of modern human history.  If the bullet had landed squarely in Wilhelm’s temple, killing him instantly, there would not have been a World War I.   (He wouldn’t have been in power to react to the assignation of Archduke Ferdinand.)

As a result, there would not have been a  World War II. (There would have been no Treaty of Versailles and no sentiment by which Hitler could have been voted into power.)

Every choice and circumstance sets a different set of results into play.  Many movies have been written about “what if”.  That was part of the premise of the popular Back to the Future movies.

I’ve know of a person who met his wife as she was leaving the Student Union.  He had forgotten something, turned to go back to his car, and changed his mind.  Had he gone back, he would have missed the moment.  He wouldn’t have met her, gotten married, had the children they shared.  It goes on and on.

What about the time you are ready to leave the office and stop to answer the last call of the day?  It puts you 10 minutes behind schedule.  When you get on the road, the traffic is backed up from a serious accident.  If you had left at your regular time, you would probably been part of the accident scene.

These situations are serendipity at its best.  But what about when we are confronted with making a conscious choice in our lives?  What happens when you choose A instead of B?  What happens when you choose to not act at all?  An old rock band, Rush, sang: When you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

The choices you make along your Faith Journey are just as important, if not more so.

We all know that we are expected to attend Mass every weekend.  And each weekend, many people make the conscious choice to sleep late, go to the soccer game, watch the football game.

Do you choose to not further your faith experience?   Our parish offers many opportunities for Adult Faith Formation.  These include Tuesday Scripture Study (1 & 7 p.m.) and Thursday Adult Ed (currently studying the writings of St. Augustine at 1 & 7 p.m.).  And during Lent, we have Food for the Body and Soul on Sunday night at 6 p.m.

Do you choose to follow the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy?    Our parish has outreach opportunities to visit the sick, feed the hungry, pray for those in need.  If the parish doesn’t have the ministry you are looking for, you can pursue any of the Works of Mercy on your own or as a family.

EVERY CHOICE YOU MAKE IS IMPORTANT.  Ask God for help; pray before your make them.  Ask for help from people you trust.  Make good choices.