Matthew 10: 16-19
A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Greetings to all! I heard these words and the priest’s homily today and it got me thinking about this whole grieving process. It is not quick and it is not easy by any means. This past Saturday and Sunday were particular rough on Ali. She came back inside Sunday afternoon after having some quiet time outside and she began to apologize for the way that she had been acting and proceeded to tell me how much she appreciated me. I stopped her, mainly because they were all vicious lies, just kidding, and said, Baby, you do not need to apologize, I do not need you to “be” anywhere or “do” anything else.
One of the difficult aspects of grief is that you want to hurry it up, get through it, and get over it. There are a lot of books out there on grief, there are a lot of support groups for those people who are going through the grief process, and there are a lot of ministry groups for people going through loss. Now, do not take me the wrong way, I believe that all of these are good in their own right. But I know for me that I am often tempted to “do” something, rather than “be” something. We live in a world that has the cure for everything, the ten steps to this, the five steps to that, and all of them require us, “doing” something. So often I find myself doing these things, following these steps and at the end I still feel like the young man in the Gospel, still looking. I think that is the case for faith that we often find ourselves in. Our world has become so “climb the corporate ladder” oriented that we begin to place those ideas on to all aspects of our life, even our faith, or in the case of Ali and I the journey of grief.
The young man in the Gospel today wants to know what he can “do” to gain eternal life. Jesus’ final words to the young man are, “Then come, follow me.” I think that we can get everything backwards so often. I think that if we can start by following Jesus, all the “to do’s” will come in to clear view. I think that if we can put all of our books down that are telling us how to live our lives and start just spending time with our God then we will know with confidence what book we need to pick up. If we can simplify our lives of the multitude of ministries that we can get ourselves so wrapped up in that we forget why we are doing in them in the first place and start to really looking to our Creator, then we can begin to realize what ministries will best fit us, ministries where our gifts and talents will be best utilized, and/or what specific needs we have in our lives, i.e. grief support groups, for Ali and I. There was this reporter that once asked Mother Theresa of Calcutta, “What do you do in Adoration?” Regarding the time she spent before the Eucharist. She simply answered, “I look at Him, and He looks at me.” And I do not know what you think, but I think she sure was on the right path.
(Ok…Ali’s Sidebar commentary….
After reading Charlie’s analogy on the “young man,” I realized that I never notice Jesus’ final invitation to …come follow me. I have always hung on to…”go, sell all of your possession and give to the poor.” Um, excuse me…my bank account is not padded and I often feel like I am the “poor,” not to mention I am TOTALLY vain and even in my “poor-ness” I still like to buy shoes. But to follow Jesus in the day in and day outs is do-able (most days). If I can march in my payless pumps and still follow Jesus, then I guess I will turn my attention to “being” with Jesus in this grief and to stop trying to “do & accomplish” the next stage of this process. Pray for us, as we pray in thanksgiving for you, that we can “be” with Jesus and rest in His grace. love to you all, Ali )
We want to commit today to following our God in this grief process as well as every aspect of our life. I know that He will lead all of us down the road that will have lasting results. I know that it may not be a quick fix, but it will be a lasting one. I know that if there is a book to read or a group to join that He will put it on our hearts strongly that this is where we belong. When I was talking to my buddy who is giving me some guidance on writing our book, he said, “Instead of putting our energy in a lot of different directions, let’s find a good direction, and put a lot of energy into that one. I like that idea, I’ve got a wonderful Counselor in Christ, I am going to put a lot of energy into Him and I know that He will lead me in the right direction. I pray that we all stop trying to climb the corporate ladder of faith and start listening to the CEO’s directions because they seem pretty clear to me, “Come follow me.” Much Love, The Cantrells
P.S. We uploaded some new picutres of Ella and Dude and their first day of school as well as our trip to The Games of Acadiana to check them out go to www.flickr.com/photos/cantrellkids