Jesus is constantly telling us we must be prepared, to be ready, for we do not know when the Lord is coming for us. The great spiritual writers advise us to live each day as if it were our last. Then we would be ready to meet the Lord whenever he comes.
Good intentions are not enough. We have to be prepared for the surprises of life that can throw a wrench into our plans. We have to be adaptable, but focused.
Being a disciple of Christ requires a commitment to four important aspects of living. They are to show up, to be present, to be ourselves and to let go.
Rick Tocquigny once said, “The secret of success in life goes to the man or woman ready for the opportunity when he or she faces it.” For Christians, “showing up” has a God-centered meaning. The worst thing a Christian can do is fail to show up when God pours out his blessing on us. Jesus wants us to show up to the situations God has placed us in, to face the problems life presents to us.
Disciples of Jesus must not only show up for the life in which God has placed us, we must also be present. This takes work and concentration. In the seminary our class motto was “Age quod agis.” It means “Do what you are doing.” Live only in the present moment. That’s where God is. God is not in the past; God is not in the future. God is only in the present.
If we are holding onto grudges or to past hurts, we are living in the past. We have to let go of them and forgive so we can be free to live in the present. If we long for the “good ole’ days,” we are living in the past. The past is a figment of our imagination. Let it go and live in the present.
The future is also unreal. If we are constantly saying that our “real life” is going begin when I graduate, when I get married, when we have children, when the children leave the home, when I retire, we will just be going through the motions of living and never really lived.
If we want to pursue happiness, we must live in the present moment with passion and enthusiasm for whatever we are doing.
Resist the temptation to take life for granted. Live fully every moment.
Many people in our culture admire celebrities, the rich and famous. Admiring and wanting to be like someone else can be a distraction from our primary task of discovering who we are and being the person God wants us to be. God has given everyone different gifts and talents. God wants us to use and develop our gifts, talent, energy, and skills and stop trying to imitate others.
We all grow in ways that God intends or does not intend. Will we grow into God’s image for us, or will we grow into God’s image for someone else? To live life by imitation or impersonation can result only in failure.
We love to be in control of our life and our environment. However, the wonderful surprises that God has in store for us is that when we can at last “let go” and let God take control, we do not suddenly experience some breathtaking free fall but a liberating freedom from our slavery. Only in the supreme state of letting go can we hope to experience the ultimate peace and security of an intimate relationship with the Divine and with our environment.
So show up, be present, be yourself and let go and let God take over. Enjoy the ride!