Run the Race: Live for Heaven Today
Have you ever pictured the finish line? You know, the one with the tape waiting for you to run through before the person next to you does, or what about the yellow light that is just on the edge of turning red... will you make it?
What is your finish line? Maybe it’s the end of the meeting, the end of the work day, the end of the day when the kids finally make it to bed after brushing their teeth and getting the 15th glass of water, or is it lying in bed next to your spouse at the end of the night?
Before St. John XXIII went to bed every night he prayed this simple, yet humble prayer “I’ve done the best I could in your service this day, Oh Lord. I’m going to bed. It’s your church. Take care of it!” How freeing!
My finish line is Heaven, but often I get so caught up in the monotony of life that I forget why I’m here. I forget that God is in charge. I live in a human mindset of scarcity instead of believing in God’s infinite abundance. Lately, I’m recognizing this invitation into the ‘abundance mentality’ that Jesus had; the childlike trust the Son had in his father, the same childlike trust that Pope (now Saint) John XXIII had when he recited his prayer every night.
If I’m keeping my eyes open, God is constantly pouring his love over my life. It’s true in this moment, and Wednesday of last week was no different.
I try hard to attend Mass every day, but I had decided Wednesday morning that there was no way I could make it that day; I had previous engagements that I was going to be preoccupied with for both Mass times. Out of the blue, I received a text from our priest that morning inviting me to Mass with the college students at noon! I was stoked, feeling pretty sure Jesus set this up just for me; little did I know what he had in store.
When we arrived at the school, it was business as usual. We caught up with the students as Father got ready. He had a travel Mass kit that he brought with him, but today he told us he only had a small host and not a celebrant’s host. It didn’t seem to phase anyone and we quickly began.
As we entered the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I had been praying with what it meant to have an abundance mentality and how I could be like the disciples in the reading ‘Go and take your place and tell the people everything about this life’ (Acts). When Father lifted up the host and the chalice and I saw the small broken host with the tiny travel chalice, it hit me; Jesus’ humility! The King of the world, in a mass kit that was the size of a child’s dress up set, died that I may have life and have it in abundance.
You see, I don’t deserve abundance, and I constantly fight the battles of my lies; lies of unworthiness, lies that I’m unloveable and unwanted. Lies that I will be overlooked because there’s nothing that makes me stand out - and if I’m being honest, I don’t know that I really want to stand out.
The truth is that God delights in me and you. HE loves ME AND YOU. God’s abundance is for ME and YOU. “In whatever you do, remember your last days, and you will never sin.” (Sirach 7:36) The competition to get to the finish line isn’t with other people, it’s with the sin in our hearts and the lies we believe. Instead of competing with one another, what if we tried to help complete each other’s journeys?
We must call each other to greatness, we must speak truth into the lies of each other’s hearts, and champion one another to the finish line. We must also be open when others try to do this for us. We’re created to run this great race of life and finish at sainthood, so how can we live for heaven today?