The readings this week concern the decisions we must make in order to live a good Christian life. The first reading from the Book of Wisdom reminds us of the importance of prudence and Wisdom as we try to stay on the right path day by day. The second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us of yet another aid, the Word of God. Finally, the Gospel reading from Mark gives us some clues in Jesus's own words for how to inherit eternal life: to follow the commandments and to follow Him.
Again, this sounds like a pretty easy recipe to follow, but , like baking a cake, sometimes what happens along the way is not what is expected. Personally, I think the recipe is still a really good one even though it is not as easy to follow as it seems. To me, the key is taking the time to process the Word of God and translate it into where I am in my everyday life. Seeking Wisdom based on that Word is not always as clear to do as I'd like it to be. Although I can claim some wisdom through age, I am still an integral part of this now generation, thanks to two "grown" children in their twenties and a grandbaby. Waiting for Wisdom and engaging prudence in my decisions runs the same race with doing too much at one time. I am glad that the path is a long one and is really not a race at all.
In my mind, following Jesus means lots of things, including spending time in prayer, spreading the Gospel message, and helping the less fortunate. In the place on the path where I am at present, I must say that it is important for me to pace myself more carefully. I must slow down enough to embrace the Word and Wisdom. I must also just keep on going to avoid falling into the ruts along the way, those so easily fallen into by those of us who get wearied by life's trials and difficulties.
Many a day I think that things are just impossible to sort, in my family and in the situations of some close friends. It is then that I remember "All things are possible for God". I know God will provide what my family and others need to stay on the path and inherit eternal life, imprudent decisions and all. In the meantime, I try to stay focused on the three things that seem to help me remain faithful: prayer, preaching, and service.
(Comments to Lanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.)