Out of Control

Out of Control

I hate being sick. But it's not the runny nose or stuffed up head that gets to me. I was actually quite sick a couple weekends ago and what bothered me most was losing my voice. That and being dizzy. Cause those are two things where my body is totally out of my control. Try as I might, I simply couldn't say anything that didn't sound like I was going through puberty all over again. Nothing I could do would stop the dizziness. I was pretty miserable, to be honest. And, as happens when you're laid up in bed for a couple days, I got to thinking. And I realized that what I dislike most about being sick carries over to the rest of my life as well. I don't like not having control. Now maybe I'm completely alone in that, but odds are you can identify with me at least a little bit. Thing is, we never really do have control over our own lives. We're always a breath away from death, an unexpected accident away from tragedy. And we don't like to think about that. Seriously… picture yourself on the way home from work or an errand or school tomorrow. Some random guy pulls out in front of you and you wreck. Or maybe you go to sleep tonight and just stop breathing and never wake up. Uncomfortable yet? Now, the point here isn't to make you afraid. Not at all! By all means, keep driving and sleeping! But maybe ask yourself why it's uncomfortable to not have control. What about it bothers you? Maybe… it might...
Mary: The First Disciple

Mary: The First Disciple

I was listening to a scriptural Rosary Thursday while driving, and something during the Wedding at Cana readings caught my attention. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "… My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."  (Jn 2:3-5) Imagine you're Mary. They must have been close friends of the groom, because even the head waiter didn't know they'd run out of wine. It's not exactly something you broadcast to the whole party. Your good friend just ran out of wine at his wedding, so you tell your Son (who happens to be God) about it, obviously so that he does something about it. He does, of course, and in the Gospel, Mary displays complete confidence that he will: "Do whatever he tells you." By the way, mad props to Mary: she knew Jesus was God, but disagreed with him anyway on behalf of her friend.  And Jesus did it.  Powerful intercessor.  Just saying. But even this isn't what I find most amazing. What I find coolest about this story is the thirty years before it. Mary knew her Son was God. And she lived with him for thirty years before this wedding. Imagine what Friday evenings would have been like! Family night would have been listening to God talk in your living room.  Picture chilling on your couch, playing video games or watching a movie with Jesus. Or maybe going to the synagogue. Imagine going to church on Sunday with Jesus. What those conversations must...
Gift Card

Gift Card

I love gift cards. They're great. You go somewhere and instead of having to spend your hard-earned money, you just pull out your gift card and voila! All taken care of. I know it's also money but the point is: gift cards are awesome and we're always grateful to get them. And we're usually a little more careful how we spend them. Slight change of subject: I don't know about you, but I prefer using my bank card or credit card over using cash. It's more convenient and I find it easier to see where my money is going. Stuff like that. Now, it's easy to think of our money as ours. You earned it, you pay taxes on it, you feed yourself and your family with it. If someone stole it you'd be upset. 'Course you would: it's your money. That's a very natural way to think and be, but we as baptized Christians are called to be more, to be supernatural. When you take a minute to think about it, all credit/debit cards are gift cards–the money isn't ours to begin with. All good things and blessings come from God. You work hard to earn that money, yes, but who gave you the technical ability to perform your job? God. Who blessed you with the opportunity you had when you got hired? God. Who has given you the family and upbringing and schooling that you've had? Your family? Not really–they had something to do with it, sure, but top honors go to God in that one too. Everything we have, everything we own, everything we call "ours"...
LOL

LOL

I’ve had a bad week. It’s not a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week of Alexandrian proportions. Just kind of a yucky, stressful, rotten one. Basically I’ve been having troubles with my truck and who I’m making payments to.  I won’t bore you with the details, but long story short, I was forced to pay late and had to take a trip to the dealership right after I got off work one day. Only problem: I was scheduled to go to a Core Team meeting for our youth group right after work. So, naturally, I texted the youth minister (who also is one of my best friends).  Something along the lines of “hey man I might be late tonight. Late on a car payment and I’ve got to go to the dealership to sort it out lol.” I didn’t think anything of it, but later my friend told me he was surprised at the “lol”. “That’s not a ‘lol’ moment!” he said. I thought for a second and realized that he was probably right.  Most people wouldn’t “lol” at being late on a car payment or having to deal with lifey stuff they don’t want to deal with. Then again, I’m not most people, and neither are you. I think it’s important to laugh at things that folks don’t normally laugh at.  Not in a rude or insensitive way, of course (that’s mean!), but in a way that realizes that those annoying things aren’t what are important. When you think about it, nothing should get us down. There really is no reason for a Christian to go around with...
The Hardest Commandment

The Hardest Commandment

Recently, I've been reading a great book called "Memorize the Faith." It uses the classic loci method of memorization to help you remember stuff about what we believe as Catholics. It begins with the Ten Commandments, and as I was going through them, I realized something. We all break the rules. Whether we mean to or not, we all sin against the Commandments of God. Take a second and think about some of your flaws and weaknesses. Get angry at people? Number five. Lust over someone? Número seis. And nine too, actually. It's not hard to see what sins you commit most, if you take a minute to sit down and think about it. But maybe what you're thinking of really isn't what you struggle with most. Remember the Ten Commandments? Just in case you don't, here they are again: I Am The Lord your God, you shall have no other gods beside me. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Keep holy the Lord's Day. Honor your mother and your father. You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false works against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods. Look over that list. Which one do you have the most trouble with? How about the first? "What? I don't do idol worshippy stuff! What're you talking about?" You're right. Most of us don't bow to little metal cows in the garage. But that doesn't mean that you don't put other gods before our Lord....