Every life comes with a paddle: life grows when we use it!
No one living on this earth today is perfect. This is true despite the many who may think they are. However, my mother reminded me: “You have to wait for heaven to be perfect, so make do with what you have!”
While it is true God made us perfect using Himself as the model, it was sin that stained that noble image. God then sent Jesus to begin re-fashioning us and placing us back on the path toward excellence. Jesus taught us that holiness came through obedience to His Father, who designed us. Jesus shows us how by declaring: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Jesus, then and now, lights our way.
He does this by His examples – of loving God and our neighbor and by His merciful words – “Go and sin no more.” Jesus made it clear that if we live as He lives, we are re-fashioning ourselves according to God’s goodness. When we do, we will regain much of the brilliance we lost through the sinfulness of our first parents.
Jesus always reminds us that no matter who we are, where we live, or what we become, God, His Father and ours, sees us, knows us, and loves us with a lasting and abundant love. And when we veer off course, we can easily obtain anew God’s mercy and good graces.
When we admit our failures, weaknesses, and sins, God waits to forgive us and place us back on our pathway to try again. This is who God is – loving, encouraging, and understanding.
Jesus also shows us a God who is happy when caressing His children in joyous times and welcoming them home when they’ve strayed. We are fortunate to be loved with such fulness and compassion.
Thomas Merton defines it in this way: There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
That’s the delightful gift of being a child of God. At times our luster may dim, but we never lose our spark. When we feel darkness clouding our way, this is the time to seek God’s help and be open to those He sends to accompany us. God never fails to send help. After all, why would God make us if not to help us succeed?
When God places us in our canoe of life, He also places a paddle in it as well. We merely have to use the paddle to find the help we need. God always hears our cries for help and points the way. We need simply to use the ever-present light of trust to discover it.
My mother is right, (not that I ever doubted her), perfection resides in heaven, but the means to mend our brokenness lies on this earth right in front of us. God is sending it. Never give up. Use your paddle. And never lose hope!
BE PATIENT WITH EVERYONE, BUT ABOVE ALL WITH YOURSELF