Sunday, July 7, 2013

Devotion for today: Lead a life worthy of your calling

Ephesians 2:10: For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Matthew 6:25-27: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

The other day I was trying to figure out how Noah could honestly have gotten one of every single kind of animal into his ark. How did he get all the food in there? How did his family fit? I moved onto wondering why David, who loved God so much that he was able to compose beautiful psalms, could actually have Uriah the Hittite killed so he could marry his wife Bathsheba. Why didn't he just stop and read some of his own psalms?

My point in bringing this up is simple. I waste a lot of brain space on inconsequential matters. What difference will it make to my salvation if I ever figure out either of my two musings? None; yet this is indicative of the way many of us use our precious time on earth. We are only here for a brief time; we are pilgrims, sojourners, finding our way back to heaven, seeking the face of God in our lives, and yet we waste away hours on silly matters. Jesus tells us there is no point in this. We have a Father in heaven. He made us, He loves us, and He will take care of us. Our job is to stop worrying about earthly things and start living a life of faith, trust and love.

How much time do we spend each day in the 4 types of prayer: praise, thanksgiving, supplication and contrition? How much time do we spend each day engaged in devotional reading? What about studying the lives of the saints? How about checking our fantasy baseball teams or playing on-line games with strangers? What about reading the latest book on the New York Times best seller list?

Are we to cut out worldly entertainment and concentrate solely on getting to heaven? Well, yes and no. We should be sure that our worldly entertainment helps us to get to heaven at best, and doesn’t keep us from heaven at worst. We need to take the time to do an inventory of our typical day, and see if our entertainment hours are not near occasions of sin, and are truly worthy of our time. Is our relaxation the reward for a day spent in hard work and service to the Lord? Does it follow our prayer time or our visit to the chapel or our inspirational reading? We can certainly use our free time to pursue our interests, but we must limit and choose wisely. If we are spending many hours killing robots on a screen and only 10 minutes in prayer, we are seriously off balance. If we are obsessed with talk radio and TV and not even mildly interested in Catholic programming, we are wasting our time. If we spend a lot of money eating out and do not regularly donate time and money to a food bank, we are neglectful. It hurts to admit it, but all of us have a weak area where we put ourselves first and God last. We are quick to point out the good we do and yet seldom stop to examine if we should be doing more. If we take the time to ask God if we are leading the life He needs us to lead, He will let us know. Sometimes our worrying is just a result of wasting time on unnecessary matters and not enough time on what counts. Ask God for help, and He will help you meet all your needs.

We are here but for a short time, and in eternity forever. When we die, all we own will be given away. All the worry we spent on food and shelter will be over. If we are good stewards of our money, living a simple life filled with time for God and His people, we will be satisfied. None of us can stop death, but we need not fear it. If we own the world, and the world doesn’t own us, we will always have the faith, hope and love to make the world a better place. We will find the time to simply relax, love God and man, and contemplate the beauty of God’s creation.

Heaven awaits us all. Let us get a peek of it here on earth by thinking about God and not about the amount of space required to house a zillion species of birds and animal in an ark. As for David, well, he turned out OK in the end! He repented; God forgave him, and from his family line came the Messiah. I could have just read the rest of the story. We only have so much time and brain space. Let us use it for the greater glory of God!!

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