I have a friend from college who is going through a mid-life crisis of sorts. Although she’s trained in the medical field, she has a strong desire to make some sort of shift in her career. She has all sorts of ideas of what she might want to do, but she can’t seem to take that step towards making her dreams a reality. Her interests include owning a yoga studio, training companion dogs, designing home remodeling projects, and being a motivational speaker. Knowing her, she would likely be successful at any of these things. For at least the last five years, she’s been talking about wanting to make a major shift from what she’s currently doing to one of these areas of interest. When I ask her why she hasn’t done it, she says, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next. I wish God would give me a sign.” How many times have we heard, “I wish God would give me a sign?” If it were that simple, we’d all be born with a sign instructing us as to what we’re supposed to do with our lives. Ironically, I think God is giving my friend many signs. She’s just choosing not to see them. For example, she knows a person who would love to invest in a yoga studio with her. A dog training group has asked her if she’d be interested in teaching companion classes. A builder/remodeler has commented that she’s got a good eye for interior design and he’d love to collaborate with her. And countless people have told her that she is a gifted speaker. I believe she’d see the signs if she’d open her eyes, but since it isn’t a billboard on the side of the interstate, she doesn’t see them. In today’s gospel (Mark 8:27-35), Jesus spells out the “sign” in pretty plain language: Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. That’s about as clear as it gets! If we want to follow
Jesus, we must set our own needs aside, embrace the burdens that are set before us, and follow in Christ’s footsteps. I don’t think Jesus could have been any clearer in His message than this. Scripture is filled with many examples of how we should act, what we should (and shouldn’t) say, and what we should do. We must care for the poor, the sick, and the widows among us. We should feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty. We should clothe the naked and visit those who are lonely. Are we seeing the signs that Jesus presents to us in our everyday lives as to what we should do to imitate His love? Or are our lives so busy with “stuff” that we fail to see the poor, the sick, the hungry and the naked who are standing right next to us as we hurry through our harried lives? My friend wakes up every day going to a job that is unfulfilling for her. She wants change and is desperately looking for her next opportunity. Unfortunately, she seems to be looking while wearing a blindfold. Don’t be like my friend who is paralyzed by indecision. Act on the signs that God presents to you no matter if they are subtle or obvious. Christ calls on all of us to deny ourselves, take up His cross and follow Him! Blessings,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC