This is the time of Choice. For many of you, there has been an ongoing theme that has taken shape in your times of prayer and contemplation and quiet. The closer you listen, the louder the message. You hear the reminders of reality: that this world is passing; you can’t take it with you; family is more important than mortgages; you need to spend more time in silence, etc. First of all you need to thank God if you can hear that; not everyone does.
But then there is the application to your life: how does that dovetail into your personal ‘strategic plan’ for your life? You need to work to make enough money to pay the bills, be responsible, provide opportunities for your children right? But what is the ‘price’ you pay for that? How much time do you actually spend with your spouse and children each and every day regardless of how busy you were making the money to provide the house and food to keep you going? Are you really living your life, or are you just existing?
Right about now you are saying, yes this is all nice and good, but I really don’t see myself having the time to implement something like this in my life. I just don’t have the energy, it’s hard because there are things my spouse and I need to address before we can just sit down and play Monopoly. It’s a can of worms next to a sleeping dog.
So if not now, when? This is not something you can ‘cram’ for.
You have been choosing for days, months, years, perhaps decades. So why not start choosing to do the things that begin the journey towards living life the way you really want to? Sit with your family in a comfortable place each day for 5 minutes of silence. Or try it yourself first, then invite your family into the ‘bubble of peace’ that is created when you pray together. Prayer, peace, conversion of heart; these are the stepping stones along the way of true joy and lasting peace.
Every institution in the church – schools, parishes, dioceses, hospitals, ministries, etc. are making the choice right now between money and mission. This is a choice from God’s Merciful plan to test and purify His vessels to see which ones he can use when He pours out His Spirit on the earth. Those who are still serving money when this happens will be placed out of commission while they ‘triage’ the attendant wounds caused in their own humanity by committing the sin of idolatry; placing the ‘bottom line’ before God. If they wish to serve His mission, they will have to be willing to walk away from it all. Not that they will have to; they just need to be willing.
The way you know if an institution, family, parish, or non-profit will succeed in responding to the call to be true instruments of God’s coming outpouring, is whether they follow the directives in this word from Divine Revelation: St. Paul’s letter to Timothy:
“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”