"We are not called to be successful. We are called to be faithful." -Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Lately, I ponder this quote and its meaning on a daily basis. In my mind, I am never successful enough. I never get enough done in a day. The work I actually do is not productive enough. No matter how much I do, it does not make enough impact on society.
And, you know what? It won't. Ever.
I can't do anything without God. I can't blog. I can't brainstorm. I can't even breathe. Without God, not only is doing anything at all impossible, but everything I do becomes meaningless and pointless.
Our new pope said something today which rang true for me. He said, ""...self-help courses can be useful in life,
but to live by going from one course to another, from one method to
another, leads us to become pelagians and to minimize the power of
grace, which comes alive and flourishes to the extent that we, in faith,
go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little
ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all."
Before becoming Christian, that's what I did. I hopped from course to course, method to method, believing I would eventually get somewhere. I had gurus and teachers who told me there was nowhere to arrive at and that I was perfect as I was but those same teachers would sell me the very courses and methods that propagated the illusion.
Amazing thing, grace. It's not just a "feel good" song. It's the truth.
Grace gives us reason for living and the power to do it. Grace makes it okay to be human, because we let go and let God do what we alone cannot do. He becomes the fiber of our being, the blood in our cells.
So, what is being faithful? Being faithful is remembering just that. Believing and trusting in the power of grace.
That's all God expects from us.
Yet, just remembering the truth isn't really faithfulness. God expects us to embody and practice that faithfulness, through demonstrating our faith in all we do.
But, when we let Christ live in us, everything we do is enough, no matter what our neighbors think, the government thinks, the media thinks, or anyone else for that matter.
Jesus expected the disciples to stay awake for an hour while he prayed. He expected them to be loyal and faithful. They all failed Him. Yet, was Jesus a failure?
Jesus was the greatest success in history. We will always be a failure without Him.