Surrendering our lives to God’s way is so easy that most of us don’t do it, and those of us who do struggle with it constantly. Why is that? What is it about being human that makes us want to turn “Love one another as I have loved you” into a bookstore full of self-help, neighbor-help, poor-help, environment-help, economic-help complexity? It really is that easy, but our human nature fights simplicity.
I’m beginning to realize the richness to be found in poverty. All of the stuff that I possess in reality possesses me. Like an infant that never grows up, my house needs to be tended, changed, bathed, and nursed constantly. Two homes? Multiply your work times two. Got a car? How about two–or even three–cars (at one point, my wife and I owned more vehicles than we had licensed drivers; I still don’t quite understand how that happened)? Clean ’em, wax ’em, maintain ’em, and drive them, or they pout in the garage and leak oil on your floor.
Contrast that with God’s call for you. You don’t need a car; you don’t need a garage. You don’t even need ears; God can get through no matter what. All God needs is for you to let your heart be open to His Spirit. Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta won the Nobel Peace Prize, but she didn’t own so much as a pair of shoes. St. Francis of Assisi walked away from his father’s wealth with literally nothing on. How much do we really need?
“Why are you anxious about your clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will He not much more provide for you?” (Mt 6: 28-30)