The theme of this retreat offers some very important reflective materials, especially for those who serve in the Church, those who carry out special missions, or in general, all those who labour for God. In fact, our journey of becoming followers of Jesus Christ is intricately related with that of Martha and Mary.
Perhaps, you may feel that the concerns and solutions discussed in last two weeks’ materials are easier said than done. They demand our tremendous effort as well as determination. You may ask: how do I find time to examine my life in order to make positive changes? How do I break through my current dilemmas?
Indeed, the most difficult step is the breaking through! We all know that this is easier said than done; however, if we refuse to even take a first step during this Lent, all our introspection will be squandered. We will be, so to speak, back to square one; thus, the problem remains unresolved!
If we want to improve the situation, we must be willing to take the time. As mentioned in previous reflections, we need to, first, make an appropriate plan for ourselves, and follow through with it, step-by-step. At this stage, the key to success is that we must not regress, thus, adding to our already heavy burden. First and foremost, we shouldn’t commit to any responsibilities that are beyond our duties. Secondly, we must identify the things in our everyday life that are “time wasters”. In general, the detection of these “time wasters” can be quite challenging. However, an effective starting point is to examine our day to day decisions, major or minor.
Many people would think that we only need to be shrewd when making decisions on the “big things”, while the “small things” don’t really matter. However, the many “small” mistakes can easily culminate to “big” mistakes. Ultimately, our erroneous decisions will bring us agony.
Most of the “time wasters” are rooted in our many wrong decisions on “small” things. For this reason, we need to pay even more attention to the smallest or most insignificant decisions. We may believe that God’s will applies only to great and important issues or situations; however, God desires us to follow His will even in the tiniest decision. In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 16, verse 10, Jesus said,
“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.”
The path of holiness also begins with the small things.
If we make every decision in our lives according to God’s will, not only will we not deviate from Jesus’s teachings, but also be able to fulfil the unique mission chosen by God for each one of us.
You may ask: Most decisions in life are not simply about right or wrong, why should we care so much and be so particular about the process? Isn’t it better to take it easy in life?
The story of Jesus, Martha, and Mary offers us some inspirations (ref. Luke 10:38-42). Firstly, we can be assured that the services chosen by Martha and Mary are deemed equally beautiful and good by Jesus; however, Jesus said to Martha, “there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). In all our everyday small decisions, God knows the “better” choices. This truth is, indeed, illuminated in this vignette for us.
In truth, whatever God asks us to do right here and right now, we can only respond and fulfil it right here and right now. If we fail to seize the “here and now” to make the decision of responding to God, such missed opportunity can never be restored.
Yet, these “better” decisions are the ones that can help us to “stop the bleeding”, so that we may stop feeding the “time wasters” in our lives.
How do you usually make decisions in your everyday life? Do you habitually take pause before making decisions?
Do you feel that you have a lot of “time wasters”? Please write them down and reflect on them now.
Loving God, Abba Father, Your loving attention to me has rendered me speechless. You are even concerned about every single detail in my life and desire me to make the right choices. The ones that can make my life better and be free of trouble; a life that is meaningful and bears fruit abundance. Forgive me for my past negligence of your good intentions; my self-centredness has only led me to please myself and others instead of You. Grant me a heart that is radiant and renewed, so that I may remember You in every moment of my life. For this I pray in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
I have asked God what ‘big’ things He want me to achieve upon my baptism. In my mind, ‘big’ things mean something to be noticed by others. I have the misconception that I cannot glorify God if my acts did not draw others’ attention. How naive I am. As mother Teresa said, ‘do small things with a big heart’. If we do the tiniest things with love for others, we will not be wasting our time on some unimportant matters.