Monday, January 19, 2009

Baptism of the Lord

Some years ago I decided to invest money in the stock market. I chose conservative investments, so I thought. For a while I made some money, and took some out to give away in charity. I envisioned the remainder to continue to grow and take care of me in my later years. I had a plan. The plan went bust. I have, so far over the last year, lost about half of what I had. Now, I will have to work until about three years after my death! In other words, there will be no genteel retirement for me.

But I have found some Good News in all this. My investment and retirement plans did not include trust in God. I never asked God for help in my investment decisions. I never included God in my visions of later years. In a word, I was not much relying upon God at all. I have been baptized, and received seven gifts and twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit. I am a child of God, a brother of Jesus in the line of grace. But none of this empowers me if I do not ask God each day to empower or activate these gifts, this relationship.

In other words, I have got lots of potential, but not much happens with the potential, if I exclude God each day, in all my plans. My economic demise has opened the door for me to invite God back into caring for me. My messy financial status has opened my heart to again realize that all of me rely upon God, for any good to happen. My financial failures have turned me back to God. I now rely upon God more for what the future will bring, and even how long a future I will have on this earth. I have again become dependent upon God and not the economy for my welfare. Sure, I will make decisions, but I will keep in perspective that my life depends upon God and the grace of God. My decisions may not work out the way I want, but they will work out as God wants, with me accepting and even embracing them as the presence of God. Financially, I bear a cross, but the cross is always the way to resurrection and union with God.

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