Crises make us face realities about what really matters, but God is pretty clear about what matters most.
What matters most is the relationships that we are in.
When I was a young mom and was preparing my oldest daughter for her First Communion, we were exploring some of the great questions of the Faith. One of the first questions was, “Why did God make me?”
The simple answer of course (much simpler than I was expecting), was: “God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this life so that I can be happy with Him forever in the next life.”
I was stunned.
I was stunned at the simplicity of the statement and the magnitude of the call. That statement changes everything. If the reason I was created by God, the gift of my life, was for the purpose of knowing, loving, and serving God, that changes everything. My life isn’t about me.
And how, exactly do I know love and serve God? Through those around me, apparently.
Matthew 25:40 (just read the whole chapter … it’s a ringer): “The King will reply, ‘Whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’.”
And that’s how we know. That’s how we love, and that’s how we serve. And so, that’s how we get to heaven.
That’s pretty clear. It’s painfully clear. How often are we unkind and impatient and inconsiderate? We aren’t those things in a vacuum, when we’re isolated. We are those things with other people, who are here, in front of us.
We enter into parenthood with a lot of gut feeling rather than experience. We believe there is something true and good and beautiful to be had here. But grasping the basic kindness required is pretty hard, some days. It’s certainly hard to remember at all the right times.
And what is the key, then, to being able to remember at the right times? What is the key to see Christ in others and remember to treat them accordingly? It’s the humility to change, to grow, to convert constantly—to turn our thoughts and actions always towards God.
Jesus matters, and he tells us to be kind to each other, even when the world seems to be falling to pieces around us.
Change is hard, but we get better at it when we practice. We don’t ‘arrive’ at holiness … it’s a process, it’s practiced repetition, and constant movement. It’s a dance from here to there, and it requires continuous editing. We need to rewrite our lives constantly.
Whether the edit is a tweak or a makeover, what I know is this. We are always going to need rewriting. During some phases of life, we have to rewrite every afternoon!
We should thank God every day for the depths of His Mercy. He is patient with us as we grow towards Him. It is necessary that we pay that patience forward to the rest of the human race, (starting with those in our own home) as they wrestle with their burdens, crosses, and weaknesses.
When crisis comes—and it will, in ways large or small—the incidentals in life that we spend so much time fussing about, simply fall away, so that we can see clearly what really matters. Jesus matters, and he tells us to be kind to each other, even when the family, or the world, seems to be falling to pieces around us.
by Bonnie Landry