Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Friends of Faith:
I know I am just like many of you, I often groan when I hear someone older than me say, “Those were the good ole days!”
But more and more often I long for the simplicity of the good ole days myself. I long for the simplicity of the past: a time before Facebook took the place of actual conversations and handwritten notes; a time before the beep of a cell phone text or message interrupted every meaningful conversation and a time when entertainment meant playing cards with the cousins or a board game with my brother and sisters.
I long for leisurely conversations after church where no one has to run off to be entertained by a football game, or a shopping trip. And I long for the time again when going to Sunday mass IS the event of the week.
But in the simplicity of the past, there is/was much more of an unknown, a mystery of how, and why, and when. In this age of information we are not very patient in allowing that mystery to unfold before us—we want instant answers, instant information and instant satisfaction.
So, we go looking in all the wrong places: searching for information, searching for answers from as many people as we can touch, or“friend,” and searching for entertainment which will provide us an instantaneous, warm, and fuzzy feeling.
Unfortunately though, all of these “instants” take the mystery out, and leave us with a fleeting satisfaction that is sometimes more empty than where we started from.
“Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.”
“Thus we may say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.* It is good to have our hearts strengthened by grace and not by foods, which do not benefit those who live by them”. Heb 13:1-9
A simple answer—let mutual love continue; be hospitable in serving each other, compassionate in caring for each other, and content with what you have. Don’t be led astray by the “politically correct or the popularly instantaneous answer.”
Often it is difficult to stay simple and to not “go with the flow” of consumerism and instant easy. But Christ will never forsake us. When I stay within the mystery, the faith of trusting Him, I am not afraid and I am strengthened by His grace, by His hope, by His love and by His mercy.
The simplicity of giving love to another person, of helping them to understand that God so loved them that He gave up His only son for them, of offering another person hope, understanding and comfort, is an unending challenge.
It is in the simplicity of making another person FEEL God’s presence in their own life, in helping others to understand their own God given purpose, that I feel the greatest and most lasting joy.
Heavenly Father, You hold the key and the answer to my every question. Help me to search for You in all the blessings (people) You have already placed in my life and those I have yet to encounter. Allow me the grace to be content in the simple joy found in sharing You with others. Amen.
Enjoy the mystery. Be strengthened by the Spirit. And be“simply” blessed by the family and friends with whom you share your week.
In the Spirit of simplicity,