Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Seize the Day

The plane was bumping around, shaking, and wobbling. I do not usually get airsick, but I was starting to worry that I might not be able to keep myself from "losing it". Finally, after about 10 to 15 minutes of this, it suddenly just stopped. The plane was flying level and all things seemed calm. I noticed that the "fasten seatbelt" sign was still on so I just waited, but I heard a few clicks going on around the cabin and even saw one person get up and start heading for the lavatory. Then the captain came over the speakers: "OK folks, so sorry about that disturbance, and I know that you may want to get up now that things have seemed to settle down, but I am going to have to ask you to remain seated with your seatbelts tightly fastened. We are not past the area of bad weather and there is a chance that we may hit some turbulence again unexpectedly." Though I heard a number of groans from other passengers, I was glad he said that. My first thought when things got calm was, "when will it start up again?"

Right after a trying experience, we often jump to the conclusion that we can settle down and relax without any worries. In actuality, that is often the worst time to let our guard down. Feeling the relief of "dodging a bullet" makes us easily miss other problems. As the captain of the airplane said (in essence), "don't assume nothing bad can happen now", so also I am going to say, "don't assume nothing bad can happen now". The majority of Americans (who voted) chose not to elect someone who openly expressed hatred for the Catholic Church, approves of murdering babies, refuses to take national security seriously, and who appears to be involved in numerous criminal activities. Instead they chose someone who . . . well, someone who . . . someone who . . . ummm . . . is not exactly like that.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that I expect President-elect Trump to be just as bad for the Catholic faithful as it appeared that Mrs. Clinton would be. That is not my point at all. My point is this: just because Clinton did not win, does not mean that we can sit back and "enjoy the ride" right now. Rather, we need to double our efforts. Not in the sense of defending ourselves from outright attack, but rather in the sense of taking advantage of the current state of freedom that we have been granted. Freedom is not free; it has cost many people their lives to ensure that we today would have the liberty to worship God as we believe is right. Now, we have to recognize that the faithfulness of God's people will play into the future of our nation.

After the 9/11 attacks on the USA there was a massive surge in Church attendance. Everyone was saying "God bless America". Well, guess what? He did bless us. Then we went right back to the way that things were; Church attendance returned to normal (it even went down in a number of places), and then the terrorist attacks kept coming. If we just stand back now and say "God bless America" but do not show Him our love and devotion (for longer than a few weeks), how can we feel confident that He will do so? God does not bless us if we remain in our sin and show no desire for repentance (though it is merciful when He sends us messengers to tell us to repent!). Christ has shown us mercy by apparently allowing us to have the coming four years be somewhat peaceful. Will we take advantage of this peace or will we take it for granted? Now is the time that God has given us to do the work of spreading the gospel message. Now is the time that we can show what it means to be thankful for God's gifts. Now is the time that each of us (especially parents) need to stand firm, and speak the truth in love. Seize the day; who knows, it may not last for long.