Reading: Luke 10: 25-28
In our culture there is a large emphasis placed upon ‘success’. This emphasis leads us to judge others and to compare ourselves and our status or position to others. We begin doing this the first time someone compares us to someone else. It may be a bike race, the height chart on the wall, or any other form of evaluation. Not to say competition or success are bad things, but early on we are taught to compare ourselves to others. And naturally, we want to be the best.
Of course there can only be a small handful of ‘best’ people. There is only one at the top of each list. And for almost all of us, none are at the top of any of these lists. In turn our success becomes relative. We work hard for the next promotion, the bigger house, the nicest yard, the next gadget. Life too easily can become all about our stuff and how it compares to those in our little worlds. But all of this is temporary and in the end bring no satisfaction because there is always a ‘next’ thing to buy or to accomplish to keep ahead.
By contrast our faith leads us to consider other before self and to find our contentment in our relationship with our Creator. Once we understand and know God’s great love for us, we are led to share this love with others. It is a great gift that compels us to share it with all we meet. We treasure this gift of live above all else and we want others to experience it as well
But sometimes the drive for success and the call to love God and neighbor collide. We ask the question the lawyer asked: am I doing enough? The harsh reality is that when we ask that question, the answer is almost always ‘no’. When loving God and neighbor permeate our life, we seldom look within to find ‘success’. We are simply led to offer all we can to all we can whenever we can. When we miss an opportunity to do so, we note it and commit to not missing the opportunity the next time. It is not a competition but a life of service to God and neighbor. May we live our faith in such a way that we never have to ask that question. May love always be our guide.