I am very complacent today.
I miss who I was in the summertime; I remember a fiercely prayerful daily-mass goer, made myself paintings and watched peoples’ eyes brighten when I smiled at them.
I love being extraordinary: standing out when it comes to hitting a ball over a net or leading a small group.
But who am I? My inner person is found in the silence of my room and in the company of me, myself, and I. The Lord urges me onto roads less travelled by, and I find myself yanking the reigns of a God that I somehow reduced to a horsedrawn carriage with me as the only passenger.
My God does not work like this. In fact, He doesn’t work in understandable ways at all. He simply IS. Accepting Jesus as my Lord and savior is a good start on the path to holiness, but surrendering my own will to God’s…that is faith, that is virtue, and ultimately, that is Heaven.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
There’s a story I recently heard at a talk, and it goes like this:
A wonderfully talented man walks on a tightrope with ease across niagra falls, and an amazed crowd gathers to cheer him on. The man asks the crowd, “Who thinks i can do it again, this time blindfolded?” The crowd goes wild and screams, “We do! We believe in you!” The man goes on and does it. “Now, who thinks i can do it again, blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow?” The crowd goes ballistic. Again, they all yell, “We do! We believe in you!” The man nods and proceeds to do the nearly impossible task. Then he says, “Alright, who thinks I can do it again, blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow, with a person in the wheelbarrow?” The crowd nearly explodes, saying, “Yes! You can do it! We believe in you!” The man smiles and says, “alright! I’ll do it, now who wants to get in the wheelbarrow?” Suddenly, the crowd draws silent and no one believes in him that much anymore.
It saddens me knowing that this story reminds me of my own trust in the power of Jesus Christ.
Advent season is here, as is my personal and newfound interest in Mary; I find that she provides a concrete example of trust without borders and love without limits. At the Annunciation (Luke 1), Mary’s response to the Lord was meek yet dangerous, and she changed the entirety of life as we knew it with a single word: yes. Mary jumped in the wheelbarrow (the hypothetical wheelbarrow, of course) with two qualities that she gracefully embodies throughout Bible history:
humility & fierceness.
I desire a spirit like Mary’s, but struggle with accepting that that kind of trust doesn’t come without suffering. There is a whisper and a call to this deeper level of holiness, a call to keep close to my heart the events in the life of Mary – those events that wrecked her plans and pierced her heart. I know that the world is much too comfortable with being comfortable, myself included. But if I am truly who God created me to be, my comfort zone might just get destroyed in the explosion of Love that Christ set off in my heart. Oh well, I like it better that way anyways.
Mother Mary — Hail, grace-filled queen of the universe. I love you. Help me to purify the intentions of my heart. Keep me forever in your arms. Let me know your beauty in the inner parts of my soul so that I can give my heart to you with joy. I want to hug you and the Lord, help me get there one day.