Staying One Step Ahead …

In the course of this pandemic we’ve learned the importance of staying one step ahead.

Working at home saved precious commuting time, but it meant carving out workspaces for everyone now at home and upgrading computer equipment and internet connections, as well as learning how to use virtual meeting tools like the ubiquitous Zoom. We’ve had to learn a new way and timetable for work.

The same was true when your children were attending school online from home — more planning and not a little hand holding and reassuring along the way.

But we managed, staying one step ahead . . .

With rising prices on everything — groceries, clothes, fuel, tuition — and chronic problems in the supply chain, family budgets have had to be reworked and purchases carefully scheduled.

We’ve had to be more careful with our money during these inflationary times, staying one step ahead . . .

Many live in that difficult economic terrain of putting away money for their kids’ college tuition, while providing for retirement not too many years beyond that. Such planning means some hard decisions about investments and savings.

As we get older and more people depend on us, we realize that we can’t live life “on the fly.”

We have to stay at least one step ahead.

Success in any endeavour requires thought and planning. The same is true, Jesus says, when taking up one’s cross. In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to embrace the role of discipleship with the same total dedication and commitment as we take up any challenge in our lives. In the parables of the unfinished tower and the king preparing for war, Jesus calls us to be as deliberate and conscientious about living our faith as we are about every facet of our lives.

In the parables of today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that we do not live the life of God by accident, that to live our baptisms demands focused attention and deliberate action. Discipleship challenges us to stop and look at the many threads of our lives and realize how they weave into whole cloth and which pieces of our life are actually tearing us away from what we want our lives to be, what we want to accomplish for ourselves and others. The “cross” God entrusts to us demands focus and care if we are to realize our cross’ potential to transform a Good Friday into Easter re-creation. We can’t live the life of God by accident; faith that means anything must be lived with focused attention and thoughtful action.  Whatever our skill set, whatever talents we possess, whatever we feel passionate about can become our “cross”: the means God has given us to bring resurrection and hope to our broken world.