Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Taking Inventory

By Colleen O’Sullivan

The king went up to the temple of the Lord with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem:  priests, prophets, and all the people, small and great.  He had the entire contents of the book of the covenant that had been found in the temple of the Lord, read out to them.  Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the Lord that they would follow him and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees with their whole hearts and souls, thus reviving the terms of the covenant which were written in this book.  And all the people stood as participants in the covenant.  (2 Kings 23:2-3)

Jesus said to his disciples:  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.”  (Matthew 7:15)

I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (Jeremiah 31:33)

Life always seems so busy – doing my own job, plus learning the ropes for a new position I will assume in the fall; long distance care for my elderly father, singing in a choir, Cursillo, writing Daily Tripods…  The first half of 2014 has just flown by without much opportunity to come up for air.  But it’s good for each of us to stop once in a while and assess where we are, what we’re doing and whether or not we’re walking a faith-filled path.

King Josiah probably didn’t realize that’s what he was going to be doing the day the scribe Shaphan brought news to him of a major discovery in the temple.  It seems the high priest Hilkiah had stumbled upon the book of the law.  We don’t know whether it was the Book of Deuteronomy or the first five books of the Old Testament in their entirety, but we do know that the contents shook the king to the core of his being.  Josiah realized that the people had not been keeping up their part of God’s covenant with them.  They had not been living according to God’s law.  No wonder things weren’t going so well.  The king immediately tore his clothing as a sign of remorse and repentance and then called the people of Judah to renew their intent to live faithfully as God’s people.

It doesn’t hurt to take inventory once in a while.  We can do this in any number of ways.  We could look at our baptismal vows and ask ourselves how well we’re keeping each of them.  We could read through some of the parables and ask ourselves if we’re living as Jesus asked us to:  Are we sowing the seeds of God’s word with abandon?  Are we putting to work the gifts God has entrusted to us or hoarding them for ourselves?   Are we vigilantly living as though each day could be our final one?  We could also reread some of the accounts of Jesus’ healings.  Are we looking out for the needs of the marginalized and disenfranchised segments of our society?  Do we take care of the sick and the poor?

As Jesus reminds us, the Evil Spirit loves to come to us attractively disguised in order to get between us and our God.  Maybe the Evil One hopes we will throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the frenetic, 24/7 society in which we live, with no time to reflect on what we’re doing or for whom we’re doing it. 

Make some time this week to prayerfully reflect on how you spend your time.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

An Examination of Conscience is a wonderful way to stay on track.