Monday, July 5, 2010

Step Up!

Women of Faith:

It’s kind of interesting how sometimes you have a discussion with someone, and within a few days the same subject comes up again and gives you have the feeling of “I never thought of it that way.”

And how when you do something, or see something you like, you start looking around to see what others are doing or wearing or being or using?

Well, I started the week by accidently reading someone else’s blog, checking out what others were “blogging about,” which led to a discussion about that blog. That blog said something to the affect, about how frustrated we can get when we see someone who does something they think is good for them, actually hurts those around them, or is against the principles Jesus teaches in the bible. How we would like to “beat them” over the head until they “got the whole picture.”

My discussion with Stan followed with how we wished the people we came into contact with daily, our clients, friends and extended and immediate family, would go “one step up” and understand or realize how they are affecting others they care about, or how their lives were straying from the path we think Jesus wants for us.

It also led us to reflect on our own shortcomings, and where we have been, and where we want to go. We reflected that we haven’t and don’t always “get the whole picture,” and that we are sure that we have been done things in the past that have hurt others and haven’t been done with Christ by our side. We also know that we have to be careful not to be judgmental, that God will work in his own time, and that it is His time, not ours; His control, not ours; His way, not ours.

We also reflected on the things that we have done, the people we have met, the books we have read and the places that we have gone, that have made us grow spiritually; retreats like TEC (Teens Encounter Christ), youth service trips, our CEW (Christ Encounter Weekends) and Marriage Encounter; people like Zig Ziglar and Peter Lowe who are motivational speakers who firmly have God as their “leader and base;” and our readings and listening to Christian and Catholic radio and TV--to Patrick Madrid, Scott Hahn, Father Corapi, Mother Angelica, and others who so eloquently teach our faith with a real life perspective.

On a broader basis our discussion continued about how we wish the politicians who make laws understood the Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence and why this country sought “freedom of religion.” (Not so that we could make rules that did away with God’s commandments, but so that we could better live under and with God’s commandments as our guide.)

We aslo wished everyone from our closest family and friends to politicians would “step up” and take the time to listen, read, and understand some of these same faith broadening opportunities.

As is so often the case, Father gave me a different perspective on my dreams and wishes for myself and those I meet as he reflected on this Sunday’s readings. Lk 10:1-9 “He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. … Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you…. 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"
Father said, “The bible shouldn’t be used “to beat someone over the head with,” but rather to offer it to as many as possible as a means as a “step up” to a life with Jesus as our guide and to our ultimate heavenly goal.

And finally his reflection served to remind me that everyone is in a different “growing place.” A growing place, not based on AGE, but on spiritual maturity. That even for the most mature, there is still room to grow and share.

Some of us are infants, taking baby steps, and living on the trust and faith alone theory, believing as long as we trust, someone (God), will take care of us.

Some of us are in the “teenage” rebellion years—not listening to anyone about God, or life, but only trusting ourself and the “feel good” attitude; thinking we know it all; not yet having had an experience that makes us realize that we really need to search, seek, grow, and look for the truth of God’s teachings; not yet realizing that there are many that we should listen to and that we really “don’t know it all.”

Some of us are in the honeymoon stage, not seeing that we have any problems, thinking that if nothing is wrong, why should I seek more, or fix something not broken. We are oblivious to the idea that there is and could be more to God’s love.

Others of us are in “midlife crisis,” realizing there are major problems in our faith life, not liking what we see in ourselves, seeking answers to questions, and ready to look to and accept God’s wisdom as our answers—those ready to be harvested, the plenty.

And finally some are in “spiritual maturity,” understanding God’s wisdom, understanding the need to share it with others, and the need to bring others along in their journey—these are the laborers who are so few.

Dear God, Praise be your Words, Your message, Your availability in my life. Forgive me for the times I have been a “rebellious teenager” thinking I knew it all. Please give me the maturity to grow in faith, to be always open to Your words and Your truth. Help me to use the bible as a “Step Up,” both for myself and to share with others. Amen.

Hoping you will join me in “Stepping Up!”



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