I got news yesterday that I will be waiting a year to enter the convent. I was shocked and deeply upset when I received the news. It was in my plans to enter in the Fall. It fit with my plan for my life and the timing of everything. I quit my job in anticipation of entering and have been mentally preparing as well. It took me awhile to get a grasp on everything and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s going to take a whole lot longer than 21 hours to find peace in this situation. However, the Lord has been faithful to me in this anxiety and chaos.
This morning I was reflecting on the passage in Matthew about the conditions of discipleship. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his lie will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” 16:24-25
Every time in the past when I have read that passage I instantly think about how I must lose my life to enter religious life, i.e. give up friends and family and possessions. However, this morning the Lord revealed to me more clearly what it really means to be His disciple. Discipleship isn’t specific only to those entering religious life and so my original interpretation just doesn’t really make sense. Discipleship is for every one. And so it must be accessible in all vocations. And the Lord isn’t asking everyone to live like a hermit.
Discipleship is about seeking the Lord’s will above all else. When Jesus says we must “lose our life” I think what He’s really trying to say is that we must lose our will. We must give up our control. To really be a follower of Christ we have to totally abandon ourselves into His hands. And that means entrusting our entire lives to Him and seeking to follow His will not our own.
For me, right now it means that I need to take my life one day at a time, seeking His will in each moment alone. It means allowing Him to lead me instead of trying to plan out everything. It means trusting that the Lord’s timing is perfect and His plan is for my good.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope.” Jeremiah 29:11