Beads of Joy 04-06-10
Tues - Leave It All Behind
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Series I - The Call
Today we are going to look at something that links well into yesterday's thoughts. Aside from leaving behind all those activities and things that distract and derail our lives away from Jesus; we also have to learn how to move away certain attitudes or thoughts that only further separate us from Him. One major objective in being a Secular Franciscan is that we seek to also grow, and our growth has nothing to do with our own selfish desires. On the contrary our growth is in what we can do to draw ourselves closer to our Lord and to do all we can to help draw others. The gifts God has given us, need to be shared with others. This is why I do all I can in sharing the JOY that is in my life with everyone. JOY is a theme that seems to come up a lot in many of things I write about, you say why? It's simple, God has given me a most precious gift, one that gives me contentment, peace and happiness. And I have that even when I should be really emotionally down and out; and it's not from me being cold or rude, I am never those at all. I find that it is my JOY and love for Jesus that get me through any and all situations.
Some of the things that need to be left behind can be: Selfishness (probably one of the worse), ego trips (no human is perfect), prejudice (unacceptable, period, we are all equal before God). We have to look and see what scripture says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12. One of the big first steps we take when we are born again, is that we try to live a life that is worthy before God. We know we can't be perfect, but we also know that we must do something to stay loyal to our Lord. If we just do that, so much change for the good of life and the interest of others would be our National pastime. But one by one we can change ourselves and in the process, and we end up helping others. The life of J.O.Y. is such an important critical way that we must live.
When we are called it's like a another Born Again experience for many of us. It took me almost two years to make it to the SFO ceremony, but in the end it was all well worth it. Some may think, that following the call to be a Secular Franciscan is probably easy and no big deal. You may even think it's like joining a club or something. I'll tell you first hand it's not like that at all, rather it is a very serious, very demanding road to be on. Following Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis awakens the worldly passive person inside us; who accepts many of the faults that we personally have. You see what I mean, we end up being confronted and being slammed straight in our faces the little false self things we say and do in our everyday life. But while we are on this journey, we need to lighten the load of the things that burden us spiritually. Confession is a wonderful place to begin.
Change, true change, spiritually true change is the change I am talking about. But I will say that getting up and leaving certain activities, people and placed that you like that are bad for you, has truly been a sacrifice. Our lives must be lived as one with Jesus. For Jesus died for us and He to pay the price, the ultimate price. Associating ourselves with Godly, Christ like people is a huge thing we need to accomplish. Here is a suggestion as to how I handled that very issue. In my past, long before technology got to be what it is today, I lived a somewhat confused life, never really looking at anything that is completely focused on God. But when I changed and my new life in the spirit made me realize that I need to start to pick some really good friends and to associate with frequently and I also needed to start to disassociate with the radical ones. So what I did was make a list, a huge list of all my friends and all my associates. I checked off and rounded up all those who I knew lived a very Godly life. With the rest of the list I divided them into the just plain good people list and I hate saying "bad people", so I'll say the unGodly people. The Christians like me I asked them to pray for friends of mine who were good, but needed to know Jesus and for those who are bad who don't want to know Jesus. I basically turned my friends list into a personal ministry of prayer, I now have that special list in my bible, the one I talk about a lot. Maybe you to have ideas that can help draw other to Jesus; have fun with this, make a list, and pray for others.
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO