In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway. – Mother Teresa.
Recently, Collin posted another picture of his Sims City Game to my Facebook page. Horrors! I like to think that my Facebook page is all about me. To a point that would be correct. I control my page as best as I can but from time to time Collin interferes. Facebook has become a world-wide phenomenon. It has helped families become better connected. It has given all who participate a vehicle for communication above and beyond the imagination of prior generations. My page tells the world about who I am. I like to think it reflects what I stand for, what I am all about. There is nothing wrong with our daily two minute shout out to the world unless we forget, as Christians, it really should not be all about us.
“When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Which is why it is becoming easier to think that the world revolves around us. It was for the better part of human history that we thought the sun revolved around the earth until we discovered that there was a larger point of view and that we were only a very small aspect of the universe. Once we realized that we are not the center of the universe, we begin to mature. Reflecting on Jesus’s Mother Mary, a priest once told me that the basis of all sin is selfishness or self-centeredness. Me first. My needs over your needs. My demands over your demands. My feelings over your feelings. Selfishness looks to see if our needs are being met at the very least the same rate as everyone else then complains and demands its fair share. Would that all things could be equal. But that would not be life as we really know it. Mary, he explained, free of sin, a requirement for being allowed to carry the son of God within her, was free of selfishness. She was able to choose love over hate, gentleness over violence, kindness over anger and others before herself. And this was not because she was a door mat or because she had no self-esteem. It was her choice because full of grace was full of love.
“Love is patient, love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
With the advent of our instant mass communication, never before have so many people have their lives affected so quickly by so little wisdom. More and more people can connect but it is almost as if the more we communicate on a mass level the less we connect on a simpler intimate level. We have the ability to broadcast to the whole world our daily thoughts. Disagreements and fights are no longer only between two or three but between hundreds and thousands of people who have never met. Everyone seems to have an opinion that everyone needs to listen to. Anonymity makes it easier to say or write things we would never say or write in a personal way so much so that social graces have become the first causalities.
“If I give away everything I own and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3)
Sometimes the things posted are so hurtful to me that I wonder why I even participate. Oh, I do not mean the wonderful pictures of loved ones. Most everyone I know posts pictures of their loved ones. To love our families and neighbors and friends as we love ourselves is the other half of the holiness equation of loving your neighbor as yourself. Showing genuine delight in one another’s children and grandchildren and spouses and friends makes us part of the greater overall family of God. Caring about other’s losses and hopes and dreams is what makes us brothers and sisters to one another.
“[love] is not jealous, is not pompous; it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
At a time when our country is wheeling from so many disasters, the extent of natural disasters are nearly dwarfed by the horrible violence in our land. People scream for more secular laws on the books when they refuse to obey the laws of God already written in stone. They have forgotten, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness and thou shall not commit adultery. But that is the real problem is it not? It is not that there are not enough laws, it is the laws that exist need to be written in our hearts, living in our actions and lingering in our speech. We sowed the whirlwind of violence and hate and we now reap the great and terrible storm. Our houses will fall because we did not build them on the rock of Christ. We built them on the false hope of government handouts and our ten minutes of Facebook Fame.
“[love] does not rejoice over wrong doing but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13: 6)
Too often opinions expressed in twenty worded posts are set up as truth without any evidence or proof when they are merely someone’s opinion at best, or lies at the worst. Then the texts are sent out as obliquely aimed arrows against one another, some of who may have been family and friends. Take no prisoners and extend no forgiveness. The depth and the willingness to forgive one another is directly proportional to our ability and our willingness to love each other. Love is not some accident or magic happenstance, it is a choice. With all the negative posts, the choice is apparently clear and love is not an option for many.
“[love] it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests. It is not quick-tempered it does not brood over injury.” (1 Corinthians 13:6)
When I realized how many times the communication is lacking in love, I am reminded by God that in heaven, those who refuse to love each other now, will most certainly love one another in heaven. Sadly, we only have to wait. Not a matter of if but soon enough. Once we understand that it is not all about us, we can humble ourselves and be a real use to God. Every day there should be a post reminding us that God is in control and we are thankful to him to who knows our needs even before we post them because it should never be all about me and certainly not all about you.
“Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)
The rest of the prayer by St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.