Skip to main content

Keep Plowing Forward

"Another said, 'I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.' Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9: 61-62)
These were the words that spoke to me when I heard the gospel at mass today.  I couldn't think of more appropriate words than these to address my current struggle as an unemployed man. 

There are many moments when I wake up (particularly since I have been unemployed) and my mind is full of negative thoughts. These thoughts are so powerful, that it causes me too dread the first moments of my day.  Many times I given into these thoughts not because I believe them, rather because I am so beaten down by life that I do not want to fight anymore.   The Lord is telling me to fight but how can I when I barely can get out of bed each day?

Having no job is hell.  As a man this is a severe blow to my pride.  By evolution I am hard wired to be a hunter gatherer.  If I can't gather my prey then I am failing at the most basic job as a man.  I know that there are certain extenuating circumstances in my case such as an economic recession and being a recent college graduate.  Still it is difficult to find meaning when I can't accomplish this basic task.  How I can I keep plowing forward when when there is nothing to look forward to?  The answer is I must pray more earnestly for the virtue of hope, that sacred, lofty ability to keep plowing forward when life threatens to keep me down.  The good news is that the Lord understands my struggle intimately even if I think that he has abandoned me.  The Lord knows acutely the pain of abandonment. He is there with me even if emotionally I don't feel it.  The even greater news is that the Lord doesn't even expect me to fight on my own.  He is willing to fight for me; all I have to do is keep getting up each day, plowing forward and he will do the do the rest.  Easier said then done.  After all I am human and there is only so much that I can take.

In the Old Testament God  makes it abundantly clear the dangers of looking back.   In the book of Genesis God turns Lot's wife into a pillar of salt because she disobeyed his command.  (cf. Gen 19:26)   In the New Testament St. Paul mentions several times in his writings that the disciple must keep plowing forward as he says in his letter to the Philippians  "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3: 14) and in his second letter to the Corinthians, "Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come." (2 Cor 5: 17)

The message is simple we must all keep plowing forward even if everything around us is falling apart. 


Popular posts from this blog

10 Great Quotes from The Book of Sirach

The book of Sirach is a book that is often overlooked in the bible. This is unfortunate since this book contains many wise, practical saying on how to live a virtous life. The book was believed to have been written between 200-175 B.C.E.

Here are ten quotes that I feel best reflect this timeless work.

1."Do not become a beggar by feasting with\borrowed money, when you have nothing in your purse." Sirach 18:33

2."In all you do remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." 7:36

3.."Glory and dishonor come from speaking; a man's tongue is his downfall." 5:13"

4."A wise man is cautious in everything." 18:27

5."One who trusts others is light minded." 19:4

6."If you pursue justice, you will obtain it and wear it as a glorious robe." 27:8

7."Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but no many as have fallen because of the tongue." 28:18

8." In all of your work be industrious and no sickness will…

George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and The Afterlife

I was stunned, as was most of the world was when I heard about the passing of George Michael on Christmas day.  Michael possessed enormous talent was and one of the most successful acts in the 1980's and early 90's

Shortly after Carrie Fisher died.  Fisher was famous for her legendary role as princess Leia from the Star Wars movies.  Strangely her mother also died the day after.

2016 was a notable year for celebrity deaths.

Some names include Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie,  Doris Roberts, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali.

As a Catholic these deaths got me thinking about the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death.

Marcus Aurelius, the stoic, emperor, philosopher king wrote about the passing nature of life as he reflected, "Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."

Even though I agree mostly with Aurelius&…

Me vs. The Almighty

There is a famous scene in the Bible where Jacob wrestles with God.  Jacob fights with God until God takes out a bone from Jacob's thigh. Interestingly, God eventually relents and stops fighting with Jacob. After this dramatic incident, Jacob is renamed Israel which literally means, "he who struggles with God."

I can relate to this story.  Many times in my life I have argued with God. I still do. (my wife can attest to that.) Many times I have criticized his tactics, his ways, and his wisdom. In my worst moments, I have even used choice language. I have a complicated relationship with God. Like Jacob, I have wrestled with God. (thigh bone still intact)

Recently I approached a priest friend of mine and told him of my struggles with God.  I expected that he would chide me for my lack of respect and informality. What this priest said was illuminating and encouraging. He told me that it was OK at times to be angry with God, God understood. He, in fact, encouraged this honest…