“Two Masters”

Flickr User Guppydas

by Brian Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do you ever feel pulled in two different directions?  I certainly do.  Sometimes it’s more like three or four different directions.  Let’s say you get home from school on a Friday, but you’re not exactly looking forward to the weekend; you have a soccer tournament, your younger cousin’s birthday party, and your shift working at Starbucks.  As if that weren’t enough, you also have a huge project due Monday that you haven’t even started yet. 

For a lot of us, that pace of life is the norm.  Our schedules and calendars are completely maxed out; and it might even be with all good things!  You may really be looking forward to your cousin’s birthday party, and you may really love your job and your soccer team…maybe not so much the project for school.

But even with so many good things in life, when we’re pulled in different directions, we can start to resent those things.  We might struggle to figure out what to prioritize.  And sometimes we can get it wrong and put the least important things first, because the calendar says so.

In the Gospel this week, Jesus says, “No servant can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” Jesus is talking about the love of money vs. the love of God here, but we can apply that to our jam-packed calendars as well.

The secret of course, is to always put God first.  If we do that, then He can give us the wisdom we need for what to prioritize, what to set aside for the moment, and sometimes even what to let go of completely.  He can give us peace to live in the present moment, and not be constantly thinking about what’s coming up next.  That probably doesn’t mean God will say to you, “You know what? Don’t even work on that project for Monday. It’s not that important.” That doesn’t mean we have to burn all of our money because “money is the root of all evil.” That doesn’t mean we have to quit all of our sports and activities and join a community of monks with interesting haircuts in the mountains and chant prayers all day and night (unless that really is God’s plan for you!). But it does mean we should order our days properly with God at the forefront – and when we do that, we are able to live life to the fullest and discover joy that can’t be shaken, even with a fast-paced life style.

Next time you are running from one thing to the other and getting stressed out about everything piling up on you, take a moment to turn to your “first master” – to God – and ask him for direction. When you’re drowning, you don’t have the perspective of the one who is rescuing you. Maybe the solution is not far off, and prayer can give you the sight to grab onto that, or provide the peace and clarity that only comes from God.

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