Hosea 14:2-10 Psalm 51:3-4, 8-9, 12-14, 17;Matthew 10:16-23
“Whoever endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)
There are times when life is a joyful sprint, when you sense the wind of the Spirit propelling you along. But there are other times when it feels like a hard slog down a barren, endless road.
If you’re facing the hostility that Jesus mentions in today’s Gospel, you may well feel worn and weary. You may also feel this way if you’re unemployed, deployed, disabled, caregiving, or working two jobs to make ends meet. Or if you’re struggling to overcome a temptation or repair a relationship. What can help you stay the course when you don’t know if you can make it through the next hour, let alone endure “to the end”?
Here’s a simple suggestion—a saying well-known to members of Alcoholics Anonymous: Just do the next right thing. Don’t let the size and scope of the challenge leave you overwhelmed and paralyzed. Just look at the present moment and what you can do in it. “Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus says. Don’t get anxious over how you’ll deal with this or that future challenge. “Tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil” (Matthew 6:34).
Here’s another way of looking at it. Procrastinators will like this one: Put off till later the evil that you can do right now. Tempted to fritter away your work or study time playing video games or surfing the Web? Just tell yourself that you’ll play or surf later. Then when “later” comes, repeat the process. Do you feel like giving in to self-pity or an angry tirade? Put it off, and give yourself a chance to accept the grace to put it off again. Make procrastination your friend, and use it as a tool for persevering toward the good.
One last thing. Rejoice! Your heavenly Father, who wants you with him for all eternity, will pour out his Spirit to help you through every endurance test. “You will be given at that moment what you are to say,” Jesus promises (Matthew 10:19)— and what you are to do. Step by step, he will help you cross that final finish line.
“Father, sustain in me a willing spirit so that I can endure to the end and be saved. Holy Spirit, come to my aid in every moment of this day.” ~WAU