Balancing the Cross
We had friends over to the house to watch the BCS National Championship on Monday night, and while the party was fantastic, the game was not. In short: Alabama creamed LSU, 21-0. It was a painful, disappointing game to watch. By all accounts this year, LSU has had the best season in recent memory, and the Tigers’ uncoordinated, lackluster performance on Monday night didn’t seem to reflect that in the least. Frustration and disappointment are natural and appropriate. It’s OK to analyze where the problems were, but it’s not OK to be ugly about it. All of the outcry and nastiness from LSU fans toward the team and the coaching staff since the game has been horrendous. The speed with which thousands and thousands of “loyal” fans began to demonize the players and coaches during and after the game was breathtaking. Not unprecedented though. And not unexpected.
An exasperated friend (and fellow Tiger fan) posted this nugget of shining perspective on his Facebook wall after the game,
“I love LSU Football, but reflecting on last night, I think it has become our idol. If we gave a small amount of the commitment, passion, and emotion (and $$) we spent last night to our Lord and Savior, our world would be a much different place.”
After I read my friend’s Facebook post on the morning after the game, God suddenly put this thought on my heart: All things in the context of the Cross.
I know there are people who will read this post and start to roll their eyes right about now. “Really? You’re going to bring God into this? Look, I’m a good person. I go to church. We’re all just having fun! Do you have to bring God into everything?! Do I always have to censor myself?!”
And my answer is, I think so. But if we all censored ourselves with respect to becoming more balanced in the light of the Cross with everything, our world would be a lot more peaceful. Our own lives would be a lot more peaceful.
I have felt God asking me to reflect on balance over the past six months, bringing to my attention how I need to be more balanced in handling my emotions, in parenting my children, in living my vocation to marriage, and in dealing with difficult situations with friends and family members.
The Wise Counselor has pointed out a few things to me about balance over the past few months. At least, He has pointed out what He is asking of me, and I’ve been trying to live that out–failing often, but trying.
Like how to be generous in giving others the benefit of the doubt, in not jumping to conclusions about the intentions or motives behind their actions.
Like how He wants me to better reign in my thoughts and offer large and small challenges and suffering to the Cross–instead of letting my internal stress and anxiety run unchecked like a herd of wild horses.
Like the fact that having a new baby means that my home (and lots of other things in my life) will be a little more disorganized for while. Maybe for a long while.
Like how it’s better to do a few things very well than many things good enough. But how sometimes good enough is absolutely OK.
Like the fact that there should be no all-or-nothing in any area of my life. There is only the offering of my I-am-shooting-high-because-
Like how He asks me to be charitable and loving when speaking about others in conversation, instead of crossing the line from fruitful discussion to all of the ugliness that quickly comes with venting.
Like how He asks me to make sure that each moment of time I do have with loved ones is spent in cheerful, no-strings-attached gratitude–instead of entitlement.
Like how when I’m having a tough time with my husband or with something in my marriage, He asks me to think with humility and objectivity in the short term, and with hope and confidence in the long term.
Like how He gently reminds me not to make a mountain out of a molehill with regard to any challenge or frustrating situation or person or experience.
Looking to the Cross for balance is such a natural thing to do as a Christian. It’s at the Cross that our suffering finds meaning, our joy finds perspective, and our hearts reconnect with the will of the Father in becoming the person He created each of us to be.
As always though: big talk, tough walk. But an honorable and right walk. A walk I’m trying to walk all the more because I’m talking about it on my blog.
Our Lady of Wisdom–pray for us!
Copyright 2012 Erin Franco