Catholic Girl Journey

My choice, my responsibility

If a non-believer asked you why does it matter if they believe in God, how would you answer?

I was watching a video from Bishop Robert Barron about ‘Reaching the iGens’, which concerns individuals who have grown up in a post i-phone world and the alarming number who have no religious affiliation. They are considered the ‘nones.’ He pointed out a few main considerations to think about when evangelizing to them. For instance, he mentioned seeing a billboard in California that seemed to sum up their attitude: “My Life, My Death, My Choice”… a total contradiction from the Catholic perspective, in which these are God’s choices.

The idea of having an opportunity to evangelize a ‘none’ person has me thinking of what I would say. There are so many ways to express why I believe, but most end up starting with the assumption of a belief in God, a higher power. But what about those who claim that since science hasn’t found any evidence of God, that the Bible is just a bunch of fables and tall tales like Greek and Roman mythology? I think the answer lies in society’s preoccupation with choice. Every marketing campaign starts with knowing that the consumer has a choice, they want you to choose their product. But a plethora of choices surrounds us: from the number of TV channels to ways to watch TV, to opportunities to dine out, what to make at home or even a combination of ordering from McDonalds and having it delivered by Uber. Among all these choices, how do you make a case to choose God?

“It’s my right to choose,” is far too often a defensive cry. But what if we turned that into the basis of our argument for God? Yes, we all have the right to choose, but who gives us that right? God does. He gave us freewill to either invite Him into our lives willingly or to turn away and ignore Him. However, with every choice there is a responsibility one has to accept for making that choice. For example, if I decide I don’t feel like going to work and I stay home, I have to accept the responsibility that at some point my employer is going to terminate my employment. It might not happen immediately, but eventually some disciplinary action will occur. If a person chooses to ignore God, He’s not going to go away, but at the point of their death, they must accept the consequences of this choice – eternal damnation. Would you want to wait until the point of death to realize that there is a God? God is merciful, so depending on how one lives their life, it’s still possible to reconcile with God even at that last possible moment.

I choose to believe in God. I believe that He will help me become the best version of myself. I will never reach perfection on earth, but I try because I know He’s supporting me. Even when my world seems rocked and anxiety starts creeping in, His peace is never far away. Living my life for God gives me purpose, direction and guidance along the way. I’m choosing to believe in God because I’m responsible, not just for what I do or not do in this life, but also for what happens after I die. I don’t want to wait until then to find out I should have done things differently. That reality may happen sooner than I think!

Catholic Girl Journey

Excuse me, do you know the way to heaven?

They are our constant companions. They are our lifeline to the world. They are smartphones. Without them, we would be, well… LOST.

There was a time when I would search a map for the best route to get to my destination.and carefully write down the directions, turn by turn. Then I would notate the reverse, so that I could drive home without driving in endless circles. Now, I don’t have to prepare a thing. I just type in an address and the map in my phone will take me there. Don’t like the way it’s taking me? I can turn down a different road and it will re-route me. As long as I have my phone charged up, I can go anywhere.

We put faith in an electronic gadget that it will get us where we want to go. We might get frustrated with our phone for dropping a call or sounding a notification without cause, but we trust that whatever map app we have, we can make our journey. We may make fun of the way it takes us, sometimes the long way around, but never do we really question if we will make it.

How do we make the journey to heaven? Do we trust God enough to lead us there? Or would we rather put the address into our smartphone and drive there? I don’t think of myself as a person who has to be in control all the time. However, since I drive on a daily basis, I think some of that need for control creeps into other areas of my life, like my faith journey. Can I let God take the wheel and lead me to heaven? Do I think I’ll get lost on the way? Well, if I insist on driving, I very well may get lost! But if I let God drive me, how can I ever think I won’t make it? It sounds so easy, but it does require trust on my part.

I have to trust in God’s Word. I may not be able to enter an address for heaven, but I know the way because it has been mapped out by Jesus.  “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). I need to be open to way that Jesus is directing me. I open up myself to a relationship with God through Jesus in the Mass, in prayer and in trying to follow Jesus’ life example.

It’s not about what I want, it’s about what He wants for me. I need to stop being a backseat driver, telling God where I want to go and how I want to get there. I need to trust that He will take me where He wants me to go. Sometimes it may be a direct route and sometimes it may be the scenic way. What I need to remember, is to just sit back, relax and enjoy the view and the journey.