A young naval student was being put through the paces by an old sea captain. "What would you do if a sudden storm sprang up on the starboard?" asked the captain. "Throw out an anchor, sir." replied the naval student. "What would you do if another storm sprang up aft?" asked the captain. "Throw out another anchor, sir." answered the student. "And if another terrific storm sprang up forward, what would you do?" asked the captain. "Throw out another anchor." replied the student. "Hold on," said the Captain. "Where are you getting all your anchors from?" The naval student replied, "From the same place you're getting all of your storms, sir."

Storms do not know any boundaries and play no favoritism. The two men in today’s Gospel had the same experience. They saw the rains coming, the streams rising and the winds blowing. At one time or another, we have all experienced storms in our lives. It may be a storm of sickness or depression. It may be a storm brought by a financial situation or a breakdown in a relationship. It may be a storm triggered by doubt and uncertainty.

There is an equality to the storms and trials of life. Your storm is different than mine and yours may have come at a different time than mine. Yet, we all face them. In a world filled with adversity and tribulation, punctuated by hardship and affliction, none of us will be spared.

In the midst of the storms, all of us received the same instructions. We are all told what steps to take. We are all told what we should do. All that Jesus wants us to realize and to remember always is to choose the right kind of foundation in which to base and build our lives. These foundations prepare us for the storms and trials of life. These foundations spell the difference that exists among us.

A life built on a solid foundation lasts more than a life built on a sandy and shallow base. Shallow foundations produce distressed lives. A life invested on people has more returns than a life invested on things.

If we have to build our lives on rocky foundations, we have to spend more time with our loved ones because they will not be around forever. If we have to build our lives on solid foundations, saying a kind word and being patient to someone who looks up to us would be necessary because that little person will soon grow up and leave our side. It is not what we leave to our children; it is what we leave in our children.

Our children are not going to be just our children. They are going to be other people's husbands and wives. They are not just our children. They will also be the parents of our grandchildren.

It does not cost much to say I love you and really mean it. It does not cost much to spend time with a loved one more than any business meetings and appointments, for someday that person may not be there again. The greatest good we can do for one another is not just to share what we have, but to journey together in a place where we can share all that we have.

Jesus is not just reminding us about the importance of building the right foundations, but he is also asking us to act on what we have heard him say. Differences exist among us in what we do with his instructions, in the choices we take.

There is set before us in every hour the choice to hate or to love, the choice to be generous or to be selfish, the choice to help or to hinder, the choice to build a solid foundation or a weak one.

A good choice than being grumpy is taking the time to be patient. A better choice than being selfish and stingy is taking the time to share. The best choice than being hateful and unforgiving is taking the time to love.

Our choices have consequences. Look at the choices we have made with the lives we live now. Since we do not live in isolation, whatever we have decided to build our lives on affects a lot of people. The choices we made in our lives impact our families, which impact our school, which impact our church, which impact our community, which impact our country.

The real test in life comes when the storms are upon us. And Jesus knew that. He was a builder. He built a new relationship that involved the sanctity and divinity of God with our helplessness and humanity. He built a new church which involves the right foundation based on rocks of faith, morals and tradition. He built up new persons and new communities involving you and me participating in his sacred sacraments.

Perhaps you are in the middle of a storm right now. Think back, reflect and act on what God wants you to do with the rest of your life.

1 June 2008

1 comment:

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Nice post. Thanks for sharing.