Daily Reflection
October 4th, 2000
Steve Kline
Public Relations
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Saint Francis of Assisi - Memorial 
Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Psalms 88:10-15
Luke 9:57-62

". . . Who has withstood him and remained unscathed?"

Job 9:4

". . . Come away and proclaim the kingdom of God."

Luke 9:60

My 7-year-old daughter's first soccer game -- her first game ever -- fell on a night when I had to be somewhere else.  Mom would be at the game.  But my gorgeous, intense, grey-blue eyed little girl wasn't giving me any easy outs.

"What's more important?  Your daughter or your work?" she demanded.

How's that for ripping out your heart?

Who has withstood his beautiful 7-year-old daughter and remained unscathed?

Not me.

My heart ached.  I was up bright and early the morning after the first game for her second soccer match and I was there, cheering for her, being a soccer dad.  Nothing would have kept me away.

I make choices like this all the time.  Mostly, I do find the space in my life for the things that are important.  There aren't many excuses.  I show the world what is important to me because my actions speak.  If I say something like prayer is important to me, yet fail to make time to pray, I'm a liar.

In today's Gospel, Jesus is asking me to make Him important.

A long time ago, I thought that His words in this passage were unusually harsh.  My attitude has changed over the years.  Jesus is not harsh here.  He is simply truthful.  He treats those who would follow Him with respect, pulling no punches, making no attempt to hide a difficult truth.

Jesus tells me that if I want to be His disciple, I should expect it to be trying, arduous.  He tells me that He requires my full attention.  No distractions.  No excuses.  No whining.

I like this way Jesus has of being Lord and good friend.  He loves me too much to mislead me.  "Come away," he says, "and proclaim the kingdom of God."

That's a big job.  I should go into it with my eyes wide open.  I should know that our seductive world will work all sorts of seemingly beautiful magic to throw me off course.  Jesus wants me to be prepared, well prepared, for this.

Far from being harsh, His words encourage me to focus on the Lord, to behave with purpose.  His words protect me.

I wouldn't send my child into the storm without a coat, hat, warm gloves and protective boots.

Jesus will do no less for me.

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