“I’m putting my money where my mouth is ……. I’m serious about what I’m saying and I’m willing to wage real money to show you”. The size of the bet can indicate how serious I am.
In reading about saintly men and women who served the poor in this month’s Magnificat, you often see a wealthy person giving away all their money to the poor and going to serve them ….”they put their money where their mouth was.” They didn’t give 10% or 50%…they gave all. It’s very impressive and very convicting. They “burnt their bridges” behind them, eliminating their options if things didn’t work out. Wow, that can make me uncomfortable. What did they know that I don’t know?
“Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart.” (Ps. 90:12) These saints knew the shortness of their life…. “ to your eyes a thousand years is no more than a watch in the night….you sweep men away like a dream, like grass springing up in the morning and fading by evening…”(Ps. 90: 1-6, 14-17)
St. Paul, knew his life was fleeting and clearly put his money where his mouth was. “Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts. 20:17-27) Again these words are very convicting and compelling, and can make me uncomfortable. They do touch something deep in me…. deep calling out to deep. In my soul I know that the things of this world are passing away and only that done for Christ will last. I do want to invest in the things of eternity.
Part of the challenge with this call is that it’s an “ongoing call”. It’s necessary to say yes to the call “again and again and again”. A young man or woman can say yes to being a celibate religious or priest in their 20’s, but they need to affirm the call in their 30’s and 40’s and 60’s and 80’s…. Each of us needs the grace to continue to give all to Christ at every stage of our life.
In 1985 Judy and I made a decision to “put our money where our mouth was” …. to leave the Corporate America track and serve in a new school and fledging Catholic community. Expecting our 7th child, our income was now about 1/3 of before, yet we jumped in with both feet and with great excitement… a chance to give all to the Lord. Well some 37 years later, I’m very happy we made the decision. God provided for our needs, the school and community are still flourishing and our 10 children never went without their needs being met. God has been so good.
Yet, I’m getting a bit tired and at times I want to put my feet up and look out the window. But then I read about Paul and I want to finish the course…I want to finish strong… After making a good start, I don’t want to shrink back. We’ve run some 20+ miles of the race, getting closer to 26.2…it’s not a time to quit.
So, let’s all take a deep breath, ask the Lord for his beautiful grace, and step out…embracing whatever the Lord has for us in this next phase of our life. We can do it…regardless of what came before. We can all finish strong. By God’s grace, we can do it. What a moment when we break that tape at the end of the race and hear “well done good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master.”(Mt.25:23)