Live With Purpose

6 Aug

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”J.K. Rowling

I always get the biggest kick out of watching YouTube videos of people who try to protect themselves while rolling downhill.  Some situate themselves in huge tires, some envelop themselves in bubble wrap, still other in huge cushioned cylinders.  The inevitable outcome?  They usually pop out of the device they have constructed and wipe out.

That is how some people go through life.  They are so afraid of getting hurt that they “cushion” themselves in order to protect their feelings.  They find out, usually rather quickly, that it is not possible to protect oneself from being hurt by others.

That is also how some go through their spiritual lives.  They wrap themselves up in a “safe cocoon” of practices.  The practices might include regular Mass attendance, contributing to organizations that will benefit the poor and the needy, and certain volunteer work.

“What?!” you say.  That is not good?  Regular attendance at Mass is not good?  Contributing to the needs of others is not good?  Volunteer work is not good?  Well, no.  Not if those things are being done simply to create a comfort zone for a person.

Some people think that they are exemplary Christians because they attend Mass or contribute to causes or do some volunteer work.  However, their spiritual lives are carefully constructed so as to make them interact with others as minimally as possible.  When they attend Mass, they forget the final instruction: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”  When they contribute, it is mainly so that they do not have to get their hands dirty helping the people who might be in need in their own community.  When they volunteer, it might be at someplace “safe” where their faith is not challenged.

When we practice an overabundance of caution, Rowling would tell us, we fail by default because our living is not truly living.  It is more like existing.

When we die and meet up with our God, I do not think He is going to ask us how many hours we warmed a pew.  I do not think He is going to ask us the amount of money we gave away.  I think He is going to ask us how often we got our hands dirty, how many people’s lives we not only touched, but changed, and how many people we brought to Him because of our witness.

FAITH ACTION:  Dedicate your day to God and ask God to fill your words and actions with His love.