Today’s Thoughts: I ran across this story a number of years ago. I’m not sure of the origins of the story, or who wrote it but I find it an appropriate on for what we celebrate this Easter morning.
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing it with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Noticing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the devil decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind. “You have been pushing against this rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These troubling thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” Maybe I should just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.
However before giving up, the man prayed one last time. “Lord, I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even been able to budge that rock. What is wrong? Why am I failing? Help me Lord!”
The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, When I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?”
“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass those which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith, your hope and trust in my wisdom and love. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
Sometimes we forget that the most important aspect of our journey of faith, of our prayer and of our work in this life. What God is most interested in, and truly what produces the most profound fruits of our labor, our living of life, is our simple obedience, faith, hope and love in God. Living by faith and hope can move mountains, but let us never forget that it is God who moves them.
All God asks us this Easter morning and every morning is to push. He challenges us to believe in the empty tomb and like Mary of Magdala and disciple whom Jesus loved to believe and proclaim that believe to all we meet. There is goodness and newness of life today do we believe? The Messiah is among us, the Messiah is one of us. Are we willing to keep pushing?
The Lord is risen, Alleluia! Happy Easter everyone - Easter Sunday blessings to all!
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...