Faith of Our Mom and Dad Living Still

Picture for a moment a transport truck barrelling along Highway #1 and coming up to an overhead bridge. What happens if the bridge is not high enough to accommodate the height of the truck? Imagine yourself the driver of that truck. 

Now compare this experience to your journey toward God. How many of us merrily zoom along life’s highway not prepared for a sudden meeting with God that could happen at any moment of our lives.

Jesus tells us how hard it is for a rich man to enter heaven (Matthew 19:23). It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. We’ve heard this so many times before, but picture this powerful metaphor. The eye of a needle was a reference to the city gates of Jerusalem.

Imagine a camel getting down on its knees, all the baggage being unloaded, then the camel crawling in on its knees. That is a powerful image. If the truck had let some of the air out of its tires and slowly passed under the bridge, well maybe the catastrophe pictured above could have been averted.

We do not have to go barrelling down life’s highway irrespective of all that God has called us to through our parents, through our church, through our very culture that used to trust in God.

How fortunate we are if we can still remember Mom and Dad and going to church on Sunday morning. If we can still remember the impact of religion on our culture and mores; how these values kept us out of trouble through adolescence.

In previous articles I have traced the faith journey of my forefathers from Germany to Russia, when Catherine the Great had invited them to improve the farming methods. Then after more than 100 years, they came from Russia to Canada, bringing language and religion and culture and a Christian way of life.

The same Good Shepherd accompanied them through the centuries up to our present. The same Lord who longs for us, whose heart aches for us, who like the prodigal Father looks down the road each night trying to glimpse us on our way back to him.

“The Lord is asking us to get down on our knees and to take off all the baggage and possessions that we hold, whatever they are - material wealth, unforgiveness, pain or hurt. Leave it behind. Allow the Lord to lead us through the gates into eternal life,” Father Brendan McGuire says in “Let Everything Go”. 

“One way or the other, we have to let everything go,” McGuire says. “The question is why not now? Why not let down all our baggage? Why not leave it all down and enter into the gates of heaven?”

Imagine again that you are that transport truck speeding carelessly down the road of life, heedless of God’s attempts to try to reach you. A police car passes you going in the opposite direction and flashes his lights at you. What just happened? Maybe the police officer is saying, “Slow down. You could be getting a ticket!”
“Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of Yahweh your God (Deuteronomy 30:19)”. Are we making the kind of choices that will beget another generation of faith? Will our churches still be here for our grandchildren?

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By Ken Rolheiser