25 JAN 14
An Officer walked up to me yesterday and asked me:
Chaplain Marty …. is there really light at the end of the tunnel or is that just something we say so that we can keep going…or something we have been told so that we have hope.
I’m going to invite you to hold that question in your mind…is there really light?
I have always been enamored by this Gospel….
He called them, they left and followed him.
Let’s be honest….there had to be more to the message and the invitation of Jesus to those first disciples than these words: “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It’s a great question…because no one with one iota of sense or even family business loyalty would leave a family business….esp. a lucrative fishing business….because some guy walked up and said: Repent the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!
Either there is more…or we are left to interpret a seemingly simple statement that must have profoundly moving depth!
There has to be something more or it had to mean something more…..
I am of the ilk that it is a combination of these two perspectives.
First, remember Sacred Scripture is not a word for word account, but first and foremost it is a faith document! So is something left out…most certainly! On purpose….maybe? or maybe not?
Secondly, I have to believe that Jesus touched and inspired their spirit….you know that place deep in us all that gets excited about life about the potential about what could be and the way it could be.
Jesus had to touch the heart….but unfortunately I often believe we have so misconstruted the message of the heart under the guise of religion that we have obscured it beyond recognition.
You see the older I get the more I believe in dreams….they hold a key….maybe a key to understanding..insight…faith….
Houdini….chained with like 7 different locks….7 different keys
There was something deeply spiritual as Leonardo DeCaprio balanced himself precariously on the front railing of the Titanic leaned forward as the ship cut through the waves of the North Atlantic and shouted at the top of his lungs: I am the king of the world!
Those kinds of experiences or encounters point out the fact that deep within us all…the kingdom of God is just waiting to be born….
One of my spiritual directors once said: Never give up on the greatness of your dreams, but always be satisfied with your progress.
It is a constant call….the invitation to spread the Good News….
I grew up with an image of what “the call” looked like….
And that image was reinforced….in sometime blatant ways like “vocation talks” and sometimes in not so blunt ways….like the simple but deeply respectful attitude that was shown to priests, nuns and even those ministers of other faith traditions.
In other words I grew up with that understanding that “being called” had to do with something about being different than I was, and that only “special people” were called.
But all that reinforced in my spiritual life…that holiness was something that other special people are and live, and that anything I would do or could do would be miserably short in comparison.
What does call look like…used to think…away….life dedicated to God…priest…
Now I think it looks like housewife, professional, retired, teen, all kinds of manifestations…..
I think maybe we misconstrue what it means to be called….as if it is something different or more than what we are….
The reality, just like the disciples is that the call changes….the call evolves in our lives….
The call of Christ looks like….the housewife who struggles to balance job, family and laundry. Or the husband who struggles to balance work commitments and family life.
The call looks like the young adult who is becoming what he or she is or can be for the world with all of its expectations and demands. Or the call looks like the business executive that struggles with schedules, flights, taxi’s and corporate clients.
The call looks like a teenager who is working like crazy to learn and earn grades for the future or a young adult trying to navigate the complex world and a future that is unclear at best and muddy at its worst.
The call looks like the person who has retired and now volunteers time and tries to balance that and time with family and friends.
You see my friends…..maybe it is time for a new perspective on “vocation” or the “call”
Maybe the only way that the world will ever know the Good News….that God’s love is bigger than any institution, any religion or even our words…maybe the only way that will ever happen is if we live into that reality no matter where we are in our vocation!
Maybe vocation has more to do with how we ARE and less to do with what we do…
My hope is that when we put our head on the pillow at night….in those few moments of peace we can take a few deep breaths…look back at our day and say…well I did something good in the world today…
Never give up on the greatness of your dreams, but always be satisfied with your progress.
Remember the question: Is there really light at the end of the tunnel?
I leave you with the words of Isaiah…because I believe they are words spoken directly to us….
Anguish has taken wing…
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light!
You have brought them abundant joy…
For the yoke that burdened them has been smashed….
I hope our dreams will always inspire us to holiness….