From 1865 to the late 1960’s the Baltimore Catechism was the official national catechism for children in the United States. Most older people still remember the question: “Why did God make you ……… “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.”
Our goal is to be happy with God now and forever. Yet, even with all our efforts to follow this directive, we can have days that we don’t do very well in “knowing, loving, and serving him”. We can lose confidence that we will be happy with him in heaven one day. We can have some bad moments and some bad days or even months and years. Nevertheless, it’s important that we keep our eyes on the goal… the goal of heaven, despite the fact that we may have stumbled.
Chuck Yeager is probably the most famous pilot in our history. A WWII ace and test pilot, he is known for being the first pilot to break the sound barrier in the X1 experimental airplane…. flying faster than the speed of sound… 767 miles per hour. Yeager had unusual skills and excellent eyesight. Even in his late 60s, he still had 20-10 vision where he could basically see twice as well as the normal person. Despite the incredible skills as a jet pilot, during his first trip in an airplane he got very nauseated and “tossed his cookies” all over the airplane. Not a very auspicious beginning. If on that day Jimmy the Greek, the famous Los Vegas bookmaker, was giving odds on Chuck becoming a famous test pilot.. the odds would have been pretty poor.
Well, on some days the odds of you and me becoming saints might also seem pretty poor. Yet, some of our seemingly worst days might actually be some of our best days. Sometimes our failures cause us to reach out to the Lord in humility, sincerely asking the Lord to help us, to save us, to have mercy on us. These lowest days can sometimes propel us forward to new levels of holiness.
Augustine reminds us that “Jesus is enough for us; and apart from him, nothing is enough for us.” If Christ is enough for me, than even on my bad days, I’ll be okay. If God is for us, who can be against us. (Romans 8:31) So, like Chuck , we may have some unpromising and disheartening days; yet, our hope is in the Lord and he is enough for us. He will help us, and one day we will be happy with God in heaven. And that is very good news.