“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God.” // Deuteronomy 30:19
Obedience seems to have a bad reputation sometimes, doesn’t it? In our culture, in books or movies, it’s as though the hero is often someone who broke the rules—for justice or for love. But the Lord has given us rules to follow for those very fruits—for justice, and for love, and in today’s first reading, Moses said that if we obey them, we will live.
Obedience, especially at first, can be overwhelming. That’s when I like to remember this line from Luke 16:10: “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.” It reminds me to start small. Even very small, which feels like perfect advice this first week of Lent.
Many years ago, a retreat speaker said something I’ll never forget about trying to grow in virtue. She was speaking specifically about forgiving those who have hurt you, but her advice stands for really any desire to grow in virtue.
She said something like: If you want to forgive someone, but you’re really struggling to and just can’t seem to get there, pray that you will be able to forgive them. And if that’s too difficult to do, pray that you will want to pray to forgive them. And if that’s too difficult to do, pray that you will want to pray that you will want to forgive them.
And it keeps going backwards like that. This came to mind today when I thought about obedience and when I read Moses’s words. I want to “choose life”—I believe we all do—but the obedience required to do so feels overwhelming at times. Maybe then, in those difficult moments, our prayer can be, “Lord, help us to want to be obedient today” or “Lord, help us to want to want to be obedient today.”Lord, help us to want to be obedient today. // Annie Deddens Click To Tweet