“We know that all things work for good for those who love God “--St. Paul
Too Small to Fail: A Purposeful Calling
One of the fundamental mistakes made in deciding upon success in the spiritual life is using the same criteria we use for any enterprise. Usually, one of the signs of success is size—the bigger, the more successful. Success, often, is envisioned by many members working in large, impressive, buildings affecting large segments. Visible signs of wealth also come into play and work well in concert with size. By joining such an enterprise, we can then associate ourselves with this type of success and, by transfer, consider ourselves successful. Unfortunately, using this criterion in the spiritual life is a mistake.
In today’s Old Testament reading, Solomon, instead of asking for riches and conspicuous signs of success, asked for “an understanding heart”. In turn, God richly rewarded him with “...a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you, there will come no one to equal you.”
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he declares that “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose .” Quite often this is misremembered as “All things work together for those who love the Lord”. Notice the difference. What our life of following Christ gives us is the sure faith that all our pain and suffering “work together” to fulfill God’s purpose (the good) in accordance with our calling. Everyone God has called has a role to play in God’s plan of salvation for humanity; however, not everyone heeds the call, but, everyone who heeds God’s call, through the merits of Christ, walks blamelessly before God. We are reminded by Paul to remain faithful to our calling not the pursuit of wealth and importance. Indeed the wealthy and powerful are offered salvation and are called according to their purpose, but their wealth and power, like what we have been given, is instrumental, not essential, in fulfilling God’s purpose. For us, failure in the eyes of the world is always an option. We are the people united under the cross of Christ with the motto: “Too Small to Fail”.