Last week when I was changing Bonita’s sheets, I was only a little surprised to find a mound of clothes under the bed. I recognized that pile, and knew that I had told her to put them away in one of those, “We aren’t going to the museum until your room is clean” moments.
Seeing that pile gave me a good laugh. It’s so typical of most children – rather than taking the few minutes that would have been required to put those clothes in the drawer, she threw them under the bed, then spent the next week complaining that she didn’t have clean socks, pj’s or underwear.
I was also quick to recognize the child within myself, who puts off tasks, when life would be so much easier if I just did them when they first presented themselves.
If you’ve read “Dead Fish Doesn’t Get Better with Age,” you know that this is a recurring theme for me. But this time, it struck me a little deeper.
In our lives, I think that each of us, if we’re open to hearing it, will see very clear directions that God wants us to take. For some, it might be a vocation to the Priesthood, religious life, or to be a missionary, a doctor, or a public servant. Sometimes, it’s something smaller, like telling a crying stranger that you’ll pray for them, or inviting a non-Catholic friend to Mass.
Having spent the initial thirty years of my life confident of my own self-sufficiency, the first time I felt that God was telling me to do something was when He called me to the Catholic Church. Three years later, when I felt another calling, I was quick to get started. But then life happened. Matters that seemed more pressing arose, and that calling ended up thrown under the bed, much like Bonita’s pile of clothes.
A couple of months ago, Christ lifted the dust ruffle and brought “that calling” to the forefront of my attention. Having made great progress, I’ve been joyously amazed at how God has blessed the effort.
As Christians, we must constantly remain open to God’s call, and be ready to respond. The scriptures are full of examples: Joseph’s immediate response to the angel’s instructions to take Mary into his home and to flee to Egypt (Matt 1:18-25 and 2:13-15); the call of the first disciples (Matt 4:18-22); the waiters at the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11). Even blind Bartimaeus in today’s Gospel took action and “got up” (Mark 10:46-52).
My prayer today is for me, and for you, and for all Christians: That we will remain open to God’s call, that we will hear His voice or feel His gentle nudge, and that we will respond to it with the immediacy of Joseph, Simon, Andrew, James, and John. That we will remain committed, never losing courage, lest we sink (Matt 14:30), and that we will always give Him everything He asks, like the waiters at Cana, filling the jars to the brim.