Monday, October 18, 2010

To Be or Not to Be

Women of Faith:
How are our lives and our society driven by convenience?

We have “convenience foods,” drive-thru drug stores and even drive up windows at “eat-in” restaurants, so now we can save the time that might have been required to prepare the food. We have DVD’s in our cars to entertain the kids. Our stores stay open 24-7 so that we will have “convenient” shopping hours. We have “convenience” stores that carry everything from milk and bread, to medicine, to gas for our cars. We carry cell phones and hand held computers so that we have “convenient” access to our email, our offices and we can be “tracked” and kept track of without every really talking to our children or our spouses.

What has all this convenience done for us? We no longer sit down as a family to have a meal, or to hang out on a regular basis in the kitchen, learning how to cook. Sunday’s (and even Christmas and Thanksgiving) are filled with shopping for a something we might “need” (or is that want?) Our children are entertained not only by the TV at home, but even when we are traveling down the road. When do we take time to talk and find out about their day? And we (and our spouses) are always connected to our work, so that we never really have “free” time or silence in our lives, a chance to connect with each other, or a time to listen to God’s call in our lives.

In St Paul’s letter to Timothy he says: “Beloved: Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.” 2 Tm 3:14-4:2

God is not a God of convenience. God is a God of truth and mercy. His word is inspired with wisdom for our salvation, forgiveness for our past wrongs, and perfect love for those who chose to seek His narrow path. We are asked to be persistent (and patient) in learning, convincing, correcting and encouraging others and ourselves to live His truth and share His love.

How do we make our faith lives convenient? We justify our every choice with the ever popular “it must be right, everyone is doing it.” We choose to do something for ourselves, rather than to do something for our neighbor (next door, or in a country around the world).

We ignore the opportunities we are given to help a child (both our own by giving them quality time with us or by being a good role model for our younger generations). It is inconvenient to talk to our lonely, elderly neighbors, or to help out the person next door who may have lost their job or have no food on their table. Instead we use our time and money to entertain ourselves and give ourselves more toys and conveniences, filling our homes with “useless” treasures.

We go to church when it is “convenient,” when it fits our schedule. We choose marriage and divorce with convenience—it’s easier to live together than to make a commitment to one another (and to not communicate God’s word to those who are making this choice); and when our spouse “fails us,” divorce becomes the “convenient” choice.

We even choose “life” when it is convenient, with birth control, abortion and euthanasia or by voting for someone who is pro-choice, because they promise us “lower taxes.”

It is tough to take the “inconvenient” path. It is not easy to “do” what God tells us is right. And as Paul said, it is not always “convenient” to speak the truth: to “know Him, love Him, and serve Him.”

Dear God: Praise be Your merciful forgiveness of my past “convenient” choices; for sending Your son who suffered “inconvenience” for me and died on the cross. Forgive me for the times I have chosen entertainment over service, anger over love, or envied “what everyone else” was doing. Thank you for the “conveniences” I am blessed with—a warm home, a car that starts, food on my table and friends to support me. Help me to listen to You in the silence and to be patient with those who have not yet heard Your truth. Help me to remember that the inconveniences of this world will be blessed in Your world. Amen.

Be “inconvenienced” today! Blessings,

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