Life Planning Questions
We will be dealing with the difficulty of being in the world without being of it.
We must stress the quality of life above the quantity of life. We must not define life in terms of having rather than being.
We must learn the wonderful truth that to increase the quality of life means to decrease material desire; not vice versa. Listen instead to the life-giving words of St. John of the Cross, “Let your soul turn always not to desire the more, but the less.” Richard E. Byrd recorded in his journal after months alone in the barren Arctic: “I am learning…that a man can live profoundly without masses of things.”
Turn your back on all high pressure competitive situations that make climbing the ladder the central focus. The fruit of the Spirit is not push, drive, climb, grasp, and trample. Don’t let the rat-racing world keep you on its treadmill. There is a legitimate place for blood, sweat, and tears; but it should have its roots in doing your best where God placed you. Life should be directed toward reaching your graduation.
Never put happiness as your focus of life. It is the by-product of being a Child of God, not the chief end.
“To have what we want is riches, but to be able to do without is power” (George MacDonald).
Clement of Alexandria counseled that the servant of God should never attempt to work out his salvation alone, but rather should seek advice of a spiritual director (trainer).
Choose someone with whom you can share intimately, someone wise in the things of the Spirit – a person able to speak the word of Truth with tenderness. Seek his or her counsel and advice. Share your spiritual goals. Be open, listening, teachable. If he or she detects in you a spiritual problem and share with you, do not become defensive. Listen eagerly to these words of life. You desperately need this help.
Find new creative ways to get in touch with God. Enjoy in the infinite colors around you. Listen to the birds. Walk whenever you can. Enjoy the texture of grass and leaves.
Learn to enjoy things without owning them. If we own it we feel that we can control it, it becomes very important.