Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Follow His Steps

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


Anonymous said...

It is so great to hear from you as well as Charlie. He is a great guy but we know not all the wisdom lies in him...LOL
Our Prayers are always with you guys'
Sherrie & Todd

Crystal said...

WOW, Thank you Ali and Charlie for the great message. I was really happy to read from the both of you. Ali keep marching in your pumps your beautiful, and Charlie keep up the prayers and being the great husband and dad you really are.

God BLess
Crystal Judice

Lila Lambert said...

From the Magnificat today...God's blessing is true light in the mind's of darkness, true rain for the soul's earth, true life for the seed of everlasting life that lies buried in the soil of the human heart...with God's blessing sweet Cate, her family, and her book will yield a rich harvest in thought, word and deed...

maureen said...

dear payless pumps and family,
you guys are the best..... praying for y'all everyday!!!

Anonymous said...

I think of you guys everyday and still pray everday at 3pm for you and your family. Even in your grief, you always know what to say to make all of us feel better. God Bless the Cantrells!

Molly Thibodeaux

Rachel said...

Thanks for continuing to share. Prayers for your family!

Rachel Larpenteur

Anonymous said...

i can't believe ella is in school! is that the same baby who we kept for date night so long ago? she's such a big girl now w/ her cute haircut and pink backpack! seeing her grow up makes me happy and teary-eyed at the same time!

love you guys...ever praying

Anonymous said...

Lots of love and prayers....
The Lantz Family

Jolene said...

Charlie and Ali,
You are always in my prayers. Nothing wrong with Payless pumps. Jesus had sandals or nothing at all. As long as your shoes lead you to follow Jesus, they can't be all bad. God bless,

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of my favorite passage..."Be still and know that I am God." This realization for you both is just another example of His Hand gently nudging you in the right direction.
Love you all. Jane

Anonymous said...

Again I find myself reading your blog and thinking it's just for me because it's so applicable! Thank you again Charlie and Ali for always being so open! I will pray that you can follow Christ through your grief! Please also pray for Michael and I as we embark on a new life that we can follow Jesus and not listen to the world telling us we're crazy! Thanks again!

Teresa Clark

Anonymous said...

beautiful!! So true- I am praying for the whole publishing process and discernment... wow!
~ Tricia

Anonymous said...

Still Praying!

Anonymous said...

I am really amazed by the strength of the two of you! I heard about your blog from a friend a while ago and just cannot continue to read without responding...I have never been so inspired by two people that I have never even met.
Not only do you have your own little angel in Heaven but you are truly angels here on earth!

Anonymous said...

love you guys, and im still praying. THANK YOU so much for continuing to post blogs.

Anonymous said...

i just met tricia last night at the hickman gathering (they are coming home!) and we talked about you. actually, a lot of us were talking about you ;)..were your ears red? anyway, when i got into the car with ben to head home to our (hopfully) sleeping children, i brought you guys up and the book..ben said "gosh, a lot of people brought them up tonight huh!" no worries..only good things! anyway, you have inspired many of us, we felt like we were (those who physically couldn't be) right there with you and are right there with you now as the hurt does still in fact..hurt. it never magically goes away as you see. some days better than others, but the reality is that you are still hurting b/c you are human...and we miss our daughters..but..point point...i pray specifically for this book b/c...YOU GUYS...the Lord will use Cate EVEN MORE (is that possible??!!!) to reach/touch/change lives!! praise God!! we'd like to pre-order!! ;)

love always
the walther girls and daddy B