In this week’s Gospel God asks a difficult thing: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me’. In other words, it’s not all about me. I need to put God first in my life, allow Him to take the driver’s seat and take me where He wants me to go.
A few years ago, I was very keen to do some particular study and set about trying to make it happen. I came up against snags and in the end, I needed to let it go. After about a year and a half, out of the blue, I was invited to do that same study and the doors flew open for me to do it at that time. It reinforced for me the need to ‘hold things lightly’. When we are able to hold things loosely enough without grabbing, in the event they are taken from us, we don’t topple over trying to keep hold of them. We hold onto God first and no matter what else we hold or what falls away, we remain secure knowing there will always be God and me.
God asks that of us at all stages of our journey: in marriage and family life, in our workplace, in our finances, in our relationships, in our physical abilities. It’s not all about what WE want. ‘Not my will but yours be done.’ (Lk 22:42)
And so it is in the life of our parish at present. God seems to be asking us to ‘hold our plans lightly’; not grabbing at them but allowing Him the freedom to take them and make them what He will. I am thankful that He is not asking us to leave country and family to serve Him on mission in Syria, where survival is questionable. But he IS calling us to be missionary here in Mairehau, Christchurch; to be ready and willing to let His will be done. Let’s pray that we might all come to have Mary’s missionary heartfelt response, in time:
‘Be it done to us according to your word’.