But I kept getting stuck on a paradox. Every mistake that I tried to rectify would jeopardise the really good things that happened. The unlikely circumstances that led to my meeting and marrying Lana were too extraordinary to come about through planning of my part. By knowing and loving the Faith as I do now, I would have been unlikely to have met Lana. If we had done the wiser things financially, I wouldn't have learnt what I now know and probably wouldn't have ended up in the lovely country place we now enjoy.
It seems that God really does draw straight from Point A to Point B using crooked lines.
Then yesterday I was pondering life in front of the Blessed Sacrament giving thanks to God for all the blessings He has given me. We have come to realise that stable two parent families are not in the majority - neither here in Australia, our parish or in the US when we lived there. Even at the local parish with an attached "Catholic" school, only a minority of the children attend Mass and even less do so with both parents. We often make up half the children present.
With all the dopey things Lana and I did and thought along the way, how did we end up where we are today?
"There but for the Grace of God go I."
When we explain to the children the better way of courtship, life and love they ask us if we followed that advice. "No," we reply, "Unfortunately we weren't told, and maybe we wouldn't have listened. We didn't have any examples on which to base the correct actions. But it is much easier to learn from our mistakes than make them all yourself."
Last night the children made the main meal of the day. Roast Lamb and potatoes, peas and carrots. Very tasty and Lana just had to answer a few basic questions. It is worth bucking society's general advice and focussing on having a faithful, fruitful family life.
So I wouldn't change anything even if I could. The risk of not getting here is too great.