Reassessing- Religion Column

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 30, 2018

By Fr.Jonathan Filkins 

Often, when we have notable events in our lives, there is a brief pause to reflect. When there is the death of a loved one, a medical event, a change in employment, or other similar “mile-markers,” the occurrence brings us up a bit short.

We are really not prepared for the abrupt circumstances which brought us to the point. We may have planned, a bit. Perhaps we have set aside some monies to get us through the proverbial “rainy day.”

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We, quite naturally, assume those older than ourselves will depart this mortal coil sooner than us.

What brings us all of these assumptions to a crashing completion is the unpredictability of our own natures and the nature of God.

Just because we have a plan, does not mean He has the same plan; either for we, as individuals, or as the larger whole. For each of us, all of the planning in the world will not address every contingency. Consider the moment it takes for a car to crash, or a sociopath to firmly believe, “what you have, is mine.”

Each condition creates life-long effects and outcomes.

We delude ourselves if we hold that we are above the fray. History has repetitively delivered this succinct message of abrupt change.

“Well, then,” we may say, “then what is the point of planning at all? Why don’t I just live for today and let the fates take their toll?

Just because we do not know what God’s clear plan is for us, does not give us license to capitulate to the darker sides of our nature. We all know someone who follows this “just live for today.” Theirs is a constant teetering between confusion and chaos.

Given the whims of human nature, we find them in a constant struggle to awake from their tragic dilemmas and discover hope; rather than hopelessness.

The real burning question for each of us is, “What am I living for?” Some will hold that their presence is merely a time and space occupier; consuming air, comestibles and anything within easy range. Others believe their time on earth is to be spent in service to others.

Reality dictates that most of us are somewhere in the middle of all this.

Neither all giving, or all taking, we move back and forth on the Scale of Life. We also slide back and forth with our resolve for what the future will bring.

No one has all of the answers about what will happen to us. Events happen in our lives, and the vagaries are, on occasion, not of our own choosing. In a blink, the courses of our lives may change, and it could be better, or worse.  We simply do not know. What we do know is the constancy of our Creator. As Christians, we believe God has always been and always will be. Through His Son Jesus Christ, and the active movement of the Holy Spirit within us, we have the eternal hope of everlasting life. What matters the most is the planning for our eternal lives, far more than our earthly lives. Yes, the preparation for our departure is vitally important and will yield eternal results.