“Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
We have all been invited to the Lord’s banquet! We have been invited to participate in the Lord’s Supper and to dine on Him! The meal has been going on now for over two thousand years. Many have been invited and many have chosen to attend, but many do not receive the Lord with open arms and sincere hearts. If we are not careful, with time, even the most incredible meals with the most incredible guests and host will become dull. We must be vigilant at all times for the Law of our land is this: We do not know what we have until it is gone.
How do I handle success? How do I handle failure? How would I handle the loss of a job? What would I do? How would I handle the loss of a loved one? Again, what would I do? Would I handle it like St. Paul or like Judas? Would I get back up again or would I crumble and fall? “Brothers and sisters: I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me!” (Phil 4:12-14)
That’s the secret! I can do all things in Christ Jesus who strengthens me!
We spend our money and our lives avoiding at all cost any type of loss. And yet, loss is a phenomenal opportunity for gain, and vice is a risk from gain! So, what to do? I need a balance beam in my life that helps me to avoid going from one extreme to the other. In reality, what I really need is not a balancing beam but a “cross beam” with Christ at the Center.
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8)
In his Republic, Plato had a brilliant idea when he demanded that all kings be philosophers. I personally think he had a horrible idea when he decided to expel all poets from this republic! We need poets. All of us have become way too technical in our lives. Too many parents demand that their children select careers in the technical fields, refusing to support them in the fine arts. After all, they say, “How will you make a living?” As a former engineer, I can tell you that I am proud to be an amateur poet! It has kept me alive through good and bad times! In fact, it helps me appreciate everything in life! Poetry is the best cure for overachievers and underachievers; for the broken and proud of heart.
This week I spent over nine hours in a small room hearing confessions for over 250 high school girls participating in an all-girls catholic school retreat. They spent hours dancing and cheering, singing and screaming, shouting and hugging, laughing and crying. I needed to get out of there and fast! I started walking outside in the pitch-black darkness and I began to do what I have always loved to do since my summer days in Wisconsin: I star gazed! And then I wrote a little poem just for me.
“Oh stars of night, you reflect the brevity of life. Oh how you inspire me to see the beauty and brilliance of life, the sanctity of life, the enormity of life! The tips of your wings point to the Creator of life.
When He thought of you, he was also thinking of me. I was never too small or insignificant, for when He created you, he was thinking of me! Oh stars of night, look back at me. Help me to see what is within my reach and far from me. Oh stars of night, there is much to see of what I can and cannot conceive.”
Of course it is not for publication! But it is mine! And it helps me remember that “I can do all things (I can balance life’s unbalanced moments and live it to the full) in Him, through Him and with Him who strengthens me.”