Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
Before we can get busy and live, we first have to get busy and die. Fr. Mike
I finally threw them away.! I had a pair of shoes in the garage that were older than the middle lovelies who will be taking a seat in my classroom next week. I had a really hard time throwing them out for a few reasons. First of all they were so completely comfortable and easy. Secondly, I had worn the backs down so they just slipped on in a second and they were all stretched out and broken in so they formed perfectly to my feet. The last big reason it was hard to toss them out…besides my earrings, they are about the only thing I own from 1999 that still fits! They sure weren’t pretty, they sure weren't the best I could get, they honestly were all used up and were practically out of function but I still held on because it was easy, I didn’t have to think about it or invest any effort into picking new ones or breaking them in…as bad as they were, it was just automatic!
I was at a funeral last week and Fr. Mike used the quote above early in his homily. It got my attention for sure! I’ve been mulling over his words for almost a week now and each day they tug my heart a little more. When we think about living, we think about today and tomorrow and probably next week. We think about our schedules and the upcoming events we’re looking forward to, like trips or celebrations. We also think of events and trips we aren’t looking forward to, like the dentist appointment or defrosting the freezer. The truth is; none of that is the living Fr. Mike was talking about. True living comes in the next life. In eternal life we never have an event that brings us anything but COMPLETE happiness and joy. No stress, no deadlines, no organizing or planning and certainly no “get the yucky stuff done so I can get to the good stuff” thinking. If we take our absolute best, most perfectly amazing day on earth and multiply it by a million, it won’t come anywhere close to the supremely awesome time we will spend in eternity with the Father. That thought has me grinning from ear to ear as I sit here typing. Making sure we experience the amazing life God has planned for us is where the “get busy and die” part comes in.
I was so busy hanging on to those nasty old shoes because it was habit, it was easy, it was convenient but I finally had to die to the shoes. I had to make a decision to put them to rest and do something better. When I actually did that, things were a little stiff and uncomfortable at first but now my feet are happy, and the performance of a pair of shoes that actually stay on my feet and keep the mud and yucky barn and yard stuff off my feet when I run out to do chores is a big bonus. Everything, including my toes, is fresher, cleaner and in much better order. I’m perfectly aware that changing out my chore shoes is much different than changing out some of the habits, practices and attitudes that are mucking up my eternal life, but you can see where Fr. Mike’s homily led me. If I don’t begin to die to self in the way I do my living, I’m risking my chance at truly living…with HIM…where living really matters! I had to really look hard at my earthly living and recognize that this is nothing compared to what I’m really looking forward to. Is it better to complain about things or people that are making my earthly living inconvenient or uncomfortable or is it better to recognize my selfishness and die a little to my selfish wants in order to put someone else first. That homily and those old shoes caused me to ask myself a couple of serious question. “If my life ended this day, what would I have to make an accounting for?” “If I stood before the Father today, what parts of my living would I have to explain, defend or prove?” “Are my judgmental thoughts, my overindulgences, my stubborn pride and my determination to do things my way, things that help me get busy living?” I decided I need to ditch those things like my old shoes and get busy and die to those things and probably a whole list of others. Step one; Jesus, take my hand, I’m gonna need some help learning to die!
A Seed To Plant: Make a list of all the things that are going to get in the way of truly living and ask God to help you devise a plan so you can get busy and die to the things that are in the way.
Blessings on your day!
Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com