I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want a 32” waistline, but I really like those Big Macs with fries…… hmmmm, “good luck Tubby”. I guess most of us can think of times where we wanted something, but were not willing to pay the price to make it happen….. and then we were “bummed out” when the unwanted result occurred.
As Christians, we have decided to follow Jesus…to follow him as our Lord….the will of God determining my actions. Yet, I can find myself trying to cut corners with the Lord. I know his will for me in most aspects of my life… but too often I can tend to do my own thing. “I know I should eat better to maintain my health, but….. I know I need to go to bed earlier, so I’m ready for the challenges of tomorrow….I know it would be better to read a good book instead of watching another season of Jeopardy on TV… it would be better to guard my speech instead of criticizing that person….. ”.
When I don’t choose God’s ways, it’s not good….. those choices brings some measure of sorrow, despair, anger, frustration; those choices take me away from the Lord and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Depending on the magnitude of those choices and sin, the results can range from “a slight spiritual headache to a stage IV spiritual cancer.”
St. Anthony of Padua said all this very clearly. “Christ says to love the Lord your God with your whole heart. He doesn’t say to leave a corner for yourself. He bought the whole of you by giving his whole self to you. Do not try like Ananias and Sapphira to hold back any part of yourself or else like them you will lose all. If you really wish to have the whole, then give it all to him, and he will give you all of himself…. if your neighbor is blinded by pride, give him light by your humility…if he’s afflicted by the leprosy of sin, cleanse him by the word and example of a holy life…if he’s dead from gluttony and drunkenness, your abstinence may help restore him to life.” (Magnificat, 6-13-22)
I know this is a pretty tall order, but it makes sense. Why consume a little bit of poison because it has a sweet taste…it will lead to sickness and maybe even death. There is no advantage to choosing anything other than God. Why drink from a polluted stream? The world is passing away, why cling to it?
Holy Spirit please help us to choose Christ in every situation. Help us to not only chose him in the big ways, but also in the small ways that may seem unimportant. In truth it’s all important. If we make these wise choices, we will notice our peace and joy and happiness grow stronger every day. And that is very good news.