At any second, we stand on the edge of our own mortality and we wait. Unsuspectingly, we wait to plunge into the depths of the unknown. All humankind is poised for this moment, and as we wait we can choose to occupy our time with the world as we perceive it, or we can search intrinsically and find the depths of the meaning as to why we wait with baited breath for the moment when we shall enter the unknown. I’ve known family members to be here one minute and gone the next, with nary a moment’s notice to collect our thoughts or to say our goodbyes. I’ve had people in my life who enter like the wind and leave just as suddenly, and although they’ve not past from this life, they are removed from mine as if they were. Then there are those people, whom I love, who have chosen to remove themselves from my life, as if they were already gone, allowing time to hammer the nails of the proverbial coffin which was once our relationship. All the while, I wonder why it has to be this way, and if I just give a little they will most assuredly come back. However, this isn’t usually the case. People leave for one reason or another, and their absence, no matter how big or small reminds us all of our mortality and what little time we have to make a difference in the lives of those we touch from day-to-day.
When I was thirty-five, I being a ridiculous thinker, moved within myself and begin to think about what my life meant so far, the fact my life was potentially a third of the way completed, and how quickly the years had moved past me all the while giving me moment after moment to savor if I were just willing to open my eyes. As the thoughts continued to roll over and over in my mind, I cautioned myself not to take a knee jerk reaction to the events in my life as if I were on a sitcom, but instead to patiently begin a movement towards a life’s purpose and goal. My eventual goal was to realize the light of joy in my life and move towards this goal. The goal was an eternal existence with God, which is easier to say than do, but I’m a pretty stubborn person, so anything I do takes time and patience before I ever begin. More often than not, when I don’t exhaust my time thinking about something, I usually mess up whatever it was I was trying to accomplish in the first place.
The first step was to remove myself from the dramatic plays which went on in my head, and live a drama free lifestyle focused on those things which had purpose and meaning in my life. This of course sounds simple, until people get involved, and a sense of belonging or obligation begins to get in the way, and then what once sounded so simple takes on a convoluted tone obscuring the original goal. Much like our society, people feign the existence of love and altruism, but they do so without the principle understanding of objective truth, so their subjectivity tends to mare what would be a pure accomplishment and goal seeking life towards the transcendent. In other words, they let life get in the way and life is a hell of a mess sometimes. So, this was my goal, to focus on three things and in this order, God, Family, and handling my business. These very real foundations of life seemed to have become less important to me for some reason, and I was determined to change this. Though, I wanted the change to become a real change and not a knee jerk reaction, bound to become a passing fad in the potential future years which would come. This was terribly difficult for me!
To begin, from the earliest times I can remember, my friends and I would talk as boys do when parents aren’t around, and we would do so in the most vulgar ways. This has carried over in my adult life, and at times when anger strikes especially, I can cuss like a sailor on leave, and to this very day I’m still working on removing those words from my vocabulary altogether. However, when everything we see on television is one curse word after another, the haze of doing the right thing becomes harder and harder to see through. Although, this isn’t the worst thing a person can do, it is a perfect example of the type of struggle I have seen day-to-day for years on trying to put God first. Trying to pray or meditate in a day, for a busy person, is like trying to stop a race to ask for directions, it’s just not going to happen. However, this pace we live our lives is a very fleshly, worldly, and man-made desire. God, as far as I can tell, doesn’t want the excuses we would undoubtedly try to provide, as to why we didn’t do what we knew needed to be done, but instead action is what is needed.
Action, a word in action, so full of meaning in our own lives, it has the potential to conjure up all sorts of images in one’s mind’s eye. I know when I see people in action, it somehow inspires me to act in ways I never thought would be possible, good or bad, but watching people in action inspires. This is why what we watch is just as important as what we do. Faith in action inspires us to do the works God intended for each of us to do, but actions based solely in sin or even partially cause us to justify the works of man as being more important than God’s Will. Which is why we are bombarded with intrinsically evil works today, and told we must believe this new way of life, or we are subject to intense scrutiny, and being reasonable people we don’t want our lives upended over something which will be forgotten shortly, or do we? This is the line in the sand, folks, this is the moment in our lives where the divergent paths of sin and saint must cross. Now, I’m not saying I’m a saint by any stretch but God sees our struggles and holds us up so we might endure the pain life throws in our general direction. Those of us, who would rather not struggle at all and continue to move down the path of the sinner bring sadness to the eyes of the one who created us.
How long can we do this, before the sin in our lives takes a toll on our very being, before our desire is anything but the Glory, God has promised? Our culture seems to be at a crossroads as we speak, we see derision among every facet of society, and those who would desire moral and truthful lives are shouted down into an oblivion (or so it would seem) and forced to face a society where seeking God becomes a lonely road of superstition and make-believe. This is what our culture would have us believe, but this has never been true. God is very real, there are more reasons to believe than to be an unbeliever, and the challenge to anyone would be to prove God doesn’t exist. It can’t be done, likewise I can’t prove it either, except for the overwhelming miraculous, spiritual, historical, and faithful beliefs I’ve seen and know about to convince me God is very real and very much wants us to take our mortality into consideration when we walk our personal path in life.
Seeking God in all we do, helps to create in us an awareness of love within every fold of life as we take those steps of faith. I currently work with many professional people who neither openly pursue a life focused on God nor do they entertain conversations where God might be the main topic. Most of them are intelligent young professionals, who have been fed a steady diet of ego laden fodder and they’ve begun to believe what another person has told them. I’ve seen some treat other people with so much disdain, I became incredulous at the event unfolding before my eyes. It was like life imitating art, as if they saw themselves placed before a movie camera and they were acting out a dramatic scene. A couple of thoughts entered into my mind while watching this unfold, the first being my own culpability in allowing such behavior and also my own behavior over the years in just such a situation, and the second was an immediate awareness of the thinness of words as opposed to action. There is the word “action” one more time. I knew, almost immediately, my words if uninteresting to them, would fall on deaf ears, and I wouldn’t get anywhere with their current perceptions of life. However, my actions, in love, would carry the strength of the angels in a movement to destroy the hardness of their hearts. Believe me, there is a lot of harness, I feel sometimes as if I’m making no progress. Tough is usually not a strong enough word to describe their total desire to unto themselves rather than the Will of God. This is what we are all here for, to find the light, and then to lead others to the light we’ve found. While standing on this precipice of life, awaiting a forever with Jesus, we should realize the need to tell what we know before it’s time, but the way we can tell our story and what we see is through the loving action of patience and charity.
This is where we’re at, a life meant to be lived once, and a life meant to example to others where the paths we seek in mortality will go. Sin is everywhere, the more aware of God we become, the more we revile the sin which surrounds us and as pervasive as this sin is, we desire to tell others. Much like telling a teenager about the pitfalls of life, most people choose to find the sin themselves and likewise have the hubris to believe it won’t cause detriment to them like it did so many others. I’m not one to preach a gloom and doom topic of conversation, but I do believe in a world which exists either in dark or light. Our desire to touch sin, because we’ve no longer turned to the light, puts us into an existence of greyish hue. Life becomes dull and sullen as the darkness begins to overtake us and less of our world becomes visible.
The danger of life and our mortality comes from living the word of God, and not turning our very backs on the truth (no matter how uncomfortable it makes us). As far as I can tell there are some major topics of discussion which plague our society, and I think I will discuss more in the future, but to this point as I type issues like transgender, homosexuality, definition of family, politics, and faith are all such hot button topics, just talking about them seems to cause riotous behavior among some folks. For the record, I don’t presume to judge or dictate the path a person should take in life, but I will express the focus of what sin is and what it does to our lives no matter the simplistic justification and baseless ideologies which are thrown to explain.
Since our mortality is so prevalent, embracing any type of sin is a matter of life and death for hell is a place where we must request entry but heaven is gate open because of the love in our hearts and the purity of our souls.
As this New Year begins to take shape, I encourage everyone to stop focusing on tomorrow and forget about yesterday, today is what you have. If you’re inclined to seek God, know on this day you might be sent a personal request to meet God. Are you prepared to be in the very presence of love and goodness? If you died today, where do you think you would go? If being with God is of the utmost importance to you, but you’re not living a life worthy of this importance, how serious are you really about being with God for eternity? Morality isn’t a chant performed weekly at mass by unaffected and uninterested people. Morality is the presence of mind and spirit acting as one to attain recognition of Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice made for our souls and then to marry the understanding of our sin as it relates to God, the very nature of being itself especially as it relates to the silence which exists in our very hearts. Become a moral person if you’re not, be the example of a moral person to those you can see are seeking the light of Christ, don’t turn from the wretched, they need your patience and your love so they can tear away the fleshly coils and chains of man, and realize the beauty in which God lovingly sculpted their soul before they were born in to this world.
If you have a story or something which has been weighing on your mind lately, unburden yourself not through words, but a recognition of action and your very own mortality. As morbid as it is to contemplate, realize we will all die at some point, but the difference between those who turned away and those who embraced God, is a distinct perception of joy. The distinct perception of joy will brighten the colors we see, increase the passionate emotion we feel for everything, and the enrichment of life will be such, and we barely have words to describe the fulfillment of life’s needs on absolutely every level of your life. Your family will be blessed by your actions, you will appreciate your family on a more granular level, and as much as you live, so too will the people who are blessed to be with you every day. May God bless you and your family!!!
God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good!!!