As a child, I knew a little girl who had a little problem with her family’s vacations. She always loved the different places they would visit, but she never enjoyed the journey getting there. She hated long car drives, was afraid of flying, did not care much for trains, and was simply very impatient and even paranoid about taking too long to get to their destinations. Simply put, she loved where she was going but did not love the different ways she could get there. As odd as this might seem, many of us are the same way about a far more important trip- our earthly journey to our eternal destination.
We can all agree that what really matters is that we save our souls and that of as many people as God puts before us to help. Ending up in heaven is the ultimate success story regardless of what stories we wrote here on earth. The most successful person on earth is not a success if he or she loses heaven forever. Conversely, the biggest earthly loser is the ultimate winner if he or she gains heaven forever. That being said, one has to wonder why so many of us worry so much about our journey rather than our destination.
Luggage over Location
Mother Angelica used to wonder why we all worry so much about our earthly journey, this pilgrimage to our heavenly home, when it is simply a path to what really matters. I think that there are a few reasons why we get bogged down in these concerns. First, we end up thinking that the journey is what really matters thanks to this world. Everywhere we go, people pretend that this life is all we have, and that we better make it work the way the world wants it to work. Imagine that you only have $ 5,000 for a trip and you spend $ 4,900 on travel alone. You won’t have much fun once you get to your destination with $ 100 in your pocket. Instead of spending most of your resources on travel, you should embrace the travel level you can use and focus on enjoying your destination instead. I am not suggesting that you go to Mexico on a donkey, but maybe First Class with extras is not very smart if you are on a budget.
Second, I think that many people convince themselves that there is no real destination worth dreaming about anyway. How sad for those who, consciously or not, come to believe that this life is all we have. Knowing much better, we have no excuses to ignore or deny that we are indeed going somewhere eternally of our own earthly choosing. Lastly, many of us lose sight of our destination because we do not keep our eyes, minds, hearts, and souls on it. If we spend most of our time focused on our present trek without looking at where we are headed, we may not end up where we originally intended to go.
Ingredients to The Ultimate Dish
When we cook or bake something, we go out and get the right ingredients and put them together as dictated in a recipe to end up with the desired dish. In order to do this, we need to first buy the right ingredients and then put those ingredients together in the right way. Nobody will suggest that we simply use any ingredients we have at home no matter what because we will not end up with the right dish. Likewise, nobody suggests that we simply buy the right ingredients and throw them on a table because our desired dish must be prepared correctly using these ingredients in the right combination.
In the same way, we must determine what gifts God has given us and how we might combine them in the best way to serve and love God and others. If we do this, we will have the correct recipe to end up with our desired result of eternal salvation. If we do not determine our ingredients or bother to put them together for God and others, we will never end up with our desired eternal result.
Joseph and Mary rode a donkey through treacherous areas on more than one occasion to go where God wanted them to go. They trusted God and knew that He would guide them to the right place. Similarly, we must accept whatever journey God provides us to the place that really matters- heaven.
2017 Gabriel Garnica