Monday, April 18, 2011


“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your kind spirit guide me on ground that is level.” Psalm 143: 10

A few years ago I went to Warroad, MN to speak at a youth rally and I had to fly there. I don’t mind flying, but after I left Minneapolis, the planes I was flying in got smaller and smaller by degree with each layover. The last plane I ended up in was an 18-seat turbo-prop that had to wait for take-off until a caribou cleared the runway. Needless to say, I was a little nervous as I climbed the steps into the “cabin”. But the fun started as we were getting settled. I was sitting in one of the front seats on the right side of the plane putting on my seatbelt when a very nice, smiling, no-cares-in-the-world flight attendant came over to me and asked if I was Mr. Anthony. I replied that I was and then she proceeded to tell me very nonchalantly that they were going to have to ask me to change seats and move to the back of the plane on the left side. Innocently I asked why and she responded by telling me that they needed me to move so that the weight on the plane would be balanced and if I didn’t move we couldn’t take-off because the plane wouldn’t be able to fly level.

Gulping back my shock I just shook my head yes, grabbed my carry-on and headed to my new seat. But as I got settled and started to really look around at this small, tubular recycled soda cans with propellers, I began to sweat thinking about how it was ME who was responsible for keeping the plane level. For the next 45 minutes I was so scared I didn’t even use the bathroom because it was across from me on the right side of the plane and all I could picture was the plane going into a death spiral because I was urinating and shifting the weight of the plane. I know, I was being a little over-the-top.

But you know what? I think in life we get stressed or scared thinking that the balance we crave in our lives is solely up to us. Our lives keep swaying from level ground because of the choices we make, the things thrown at us, situations and circumstances we can’t control or simply because we are too busy. And yet the more we try to shift one part of our lives to straighten out another, the more imbalanced things seem to become. The more we try to keep our lives level the more they seem to spin out of control.

So what is the solution? Seek the will of the Lord. At all times. In all circumstances. Maybe He does want you to volunteer at school or your parish. Or maybe He wants you to spend more time with your family. Maybe He wants you to take that new job and the raise and move to another state. Or maybe He wants you to stay where you are and be content. Maybe He wants you to attend that certain college away from home. Or maybe He wants you to keep close to your family for a few more years. Just because something seems good, or feels right or is even morally neutral (or good) does not mean it is God’s will for you. Perhaps the reason why so many of us can feel so imbalanced is that we are trying to do what others (or even ourselves) think is right, but we’ve never asked God whether it is right for us.

Jesus ALWAYS did the will of His Father. If we want to live lives of greatness, we need to follow the will of the Father as well. Then, and only then, can we be confident that we are not doing more or less than what He desires us to do. And in this reality we find peace, balance and lives lived on level ground.

Dear Jesus, help me to do ONLY Your will in my life. I want to walk on the level ground of Your perfect plan. Stop me from chasing after things that are not of You and allow my intentions to always be pure and holy. Amen.

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