We’ve all heard the expression, don’t stand with “one foot in the boat and one foot on the shore”. This type of indecision usually leads to disaster. After the proper amount of reflection and study and prayer, it’s important to decide.
Blessed Cyprian Tansi who died in 1964 said “If you are going to be a Christian at all, you might as well live entirely for God.” This is a pretty simple statement and it makes a lot of sense. The decision to follow Christ is one that demands being “all in”. You can’t modify the terms of the agreement. If Jesus is who he says he is, then the case is closed. There’s really no way to “hedge our bet. We need to be “all in”.
Think of a young man who decides to give all and become a priest… to give up the things of the world… vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. He has decided to “live entirely for God”. He’s pushed all his chips into the middle of the table. In Christian marriage a couple does a very similar thing. A single man or woman may do a similar thing. It’s a beautiful thing to see a person give all in following Christ.
Yet after the initial decision, there’s usually more testing around the corner…. whether for a priest or religious or married couple or a single man or woman. The one sincere decision to live entirely for God will be tested over the span of their life. This precious decision must be guarded and protected from the lures of the “world, flesh, and devil”, not just for the first months and years but for the decades that follow.
Many of us have spent years trying to “live entirely for God”. You would think as the years go by this decision would now be cast in stone. In one way it is, but in another way it’s always calling for a renewed commitment. The scriptures are full of man crying out to the Lord to help him stand firm in his commitment…..”if today you hear his voice , harden not your heart… teach us to number our days aright…fill us in daybreak with your kindness…” (Psalm 90)
St. Paul reminds us to “ think of what is above, not of what is on earth…for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God…put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry…”(1Cor. 3:1-11)
And Christ himself says “ take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions….later speaking of the rich man building more barns in order to eat , drink, and be merry …you are a fool, this night your life will be demanded of you…” (Luke 12:13-21)
So, it’s the wisest of decisions to “live entirely for Christ”. But let’s also use each moment to guard that decision… to reaffirm that decision. If we fail in our decision, let’s quickly get back up and run into the arms of our savior who is always cheering us on and will be there to help us. And be at peace, for “all will be well with our soul.”