Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
We really wanted this to be amicable split. On our part, there was nothing personal in the decision. We had a great singer with connections in the music scene who we got along with. Why, then, did we part ways? Because we weren't on the same page as to what it would take to be polished as a band. The instrumentalists felt weekly rehearsals were a requirement to becoming a great band. EVERYONE rehearsing. Our singer felt as long as everyone did their "homework" we could get together less frequently and be ok. The final straw was an email at 10 pm the evening before our scheduled rehearsal stating they couldn't make it because they wanted to go to a performance a friend put together. Oh, and that they couldn't make the next 2 rehearsals as well. But we'd have like 2 rehearsals before the next gig so we'd be fine. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
The bottom line is that our singer's level of commitment was not the same as the rest of the band. So, what is my point with this? Am I just venting or airing my dirty laundry? Actually, no. It occurred to me today that this is a good metaphor for this past Sunday's Gospel (which you can find here if you care to read it). This Gospel reading always confused me a little. Jesus tries to teach us about priorities. I believe He does so in sort of an odd way. People come to Him and say they'll follow Him, but first they need to do something. One needs to bury his father, another wants to say goodbye to his family. To yet another, he seems frustrated and says "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
So what is Jesus really trying to say? Jesus is questioning their level of commitment to Him (see how I tied that together?). For those of us that profess to be Catholics and Christians, what really is our level of commitment? Is Jesus at the top of our list? Or do we thing we can just "show up" when it's convenient and nothing better is going on? Can we really help build the Kingdom of God with minimal effort or on our own? The obvious answer is no. For a band to be successful, they need to rehearse together regularly so they get to know each other and even anticipate what the rest of the band is going to do next. When a band is tight, just a glance will clue the rest in about what you're going to do next.
So too, I believe, with being a follower of Jesus. You practice your faith in small and big ways every day, pray often, go to Mass weekly, take opportunities to give back your time, talent, and treasure. After a while, it becomes easy to know what God is calling you to do. Bringing about the Kingdom of God starts to become second nature.
We have so many distractions in life. Things we'd rather do. Obligations we place upon ourselves. Our children have activities we need to take them to, we work, volunteer, try to find time for friends and family. Where is the time for God? If Jesus asks us to follow Him, would we be willing to drop everything, as the disciples did, and just go? Or would we say, "oh, let me tie up this loose end and them I'm good to go"? I wish I could answer the same way as the disciples did, but it's not so easy. I keep saying I'll need to let some things go in order to follow the path to being a deacon. Yet I haven't given up much at all so far. That's something I'll need to continue to reflect on and discern. Am I really ready to let the dead bury their dead and follow Jesus?