My legs came swinging over my head as my mind readied my arms for the fall.
I knew it was coming. I felt the ground grow closer and my heart pump faster. And then it happened. Crash! My body hit the stage floor with a punishing amount of force right in front of a crowd full of spectators. I watched as their concerned eyes fell to inspect damage, to see if all was well.
And all was well. My bones were intact, my limbs were unscathed. But my heart. Oh, my heart. It was crushed.
I thought about it all on my drive home, the memory replayed with varying degrees of shame. I thought about how unprofessional it was for a professional dancer to fall . . . on stage . . . right in front of everyone. I thought about how I didn’t deserve the check I received in exchange for my performance. I thought about how I’d probably never be asked back.
And then, deep in the dark of night on a lonely highway, something whispered to my heart, “Who are you seeking approval from?”
For a moment, I let my idea of perfection become an idol that could tell me who I was, instead of listening to who He says I am.
I think we all do this to some degree. Because it’s easy to let the idols in our lives take hold of our hearts. It’s easy to find identity in a thing or a person or a passion, to base our happiness on the approval or acceptance of others.
Today’s Gospel is a beautiful reminder of that. “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).
What idols are you placing at the forefront of your hearts? Because, let me tell you, those things will always let you down. But Christ, He offers us freedom. So, take up your cross and follow Him, for it is only in Him that your reward can be found.
Do you know much about Saint Bonaventure, the Saint for today whose work restructured and saved the Franciscans? He always had Jesus at the heart of everything.
Brittany Calavitta is an enthusiastic advocate for a good book, strong coffee, and a hopeful heart. After battling years of infertility, she and her husband welcomed their first child on September 11, 2016. You can find out more about her here.