Monday, 16 May 2022

Remember to make time for God in your life

SO Andy Murray won Wimbledon — again. The less said about football the better. The Olympics

SO Andy Murray won Wimbledon — again. The less said about football the better. The Olympics are yet to come, so there is still hope, especially with our wonderful rowers!

So what comes next? What comes after the cup or gold medal?

A young man once approached St Philip Neri, a saint even in his own lifetime famous for the lightness and precision of his spiritual touch — almost a saintly stand-up.

The student wanted to share good news. After two years of sweat and toil he had passed with five A-starred A-levels and won a place at the most prestigious university (Cambridge — obviously!) to study law — he wanted to become a lawyer.

St Philip pressed him for more information. “And then?” he asked. “And then,” the young man replied, “I will be a successful lawyer.” “And then?” the saint asked again.

“Then I’ll join a law firm and build up my practice, and become a partner. “And then?” “And then people will speak well of me and I’ll have a good reputation and I’ll be briefed on important cases and people will want my opinion and I’ll make shedloads of money.”

“And then?” came the question once again. “And then I shall lead an easy life and be happy.” St Philip asked a final time: “And then?” As he considered the end of his life, it dawned upon the young man that in all of his life’s plans and dreams, he had made no reference to the will of God at all.

ALL our victories — the gold, silver and bronze, the career, the marriage, the children, the recognition, all of it; and all our second-bests or failures — the promotion missed, the dead-ends, the divorce, the finding ourselves misunderstood and  unappreciated; ALL of it has to be seen in a wider context.

Is life, the whole of life yours and mine, a race towards a tragedy or a triumph? Here’s a quotation from a somewhat less humorous saint (Paul) in his last surviving letter, written in the awareness of his imminent execution: “... the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day ....” 2 Timothy 4.

Integrity, resisting wrong both in others and yourself, faithful trusting in God — with those we will cross the finishing line in triumph and find our reward.

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