How do people of faith respond to the challenges of day-to-day life? It’s not just a matter of balancing work and leisure. It’s a matter of bringing realistic expectations to all the roles in which we find ourselves: spouse, parent, employee, student, volunteer, etc. Do we have meaningful endeavors which keep our dreams alive, or are we simply filling up the voids in our lives with excessive activity? Does our life have a purpose? Furthermore, how do world events affect us in regard to our outlook on life?
During the Season of Lent I have attempted to reduce my intake of the news on television. I still follow enough to know about the issues making the headlines, but I have not delved into the details surrounding each of the topics presented. I have tried to utilize my time in more fruitful endeavors such as prayer and spiritual reading, but success in following through with this resolution has been sporadic at best. My mind still wanders into the realm of everything that is going wrong with society.
The spying practices of the NSA are still troublesome. The targeting of conservative groups by the IRS still has Lois Lerner pleading the fifth and refusing to testify. The Affordable Care Act continues to hit one bump in the road after another. The HHS Mandate will be front and center again next week as the Supreme Court begins to hear the case from Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. What will happen with the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious organizations down the road regarding their court cases against the HHS Mandate? These are just a few of the topics in our own country. What happens when we expand our view beyond the borders of the United States? An airplane full of people is still missing. Crimea was just annexed by Russia. We still don’t have answers to questions about the terrorist attack in Benghazi. The list could go on and on.
What happens when we shift our focus to the cultural and moral values of society beyond the politics of it all? The breakdown of the traditional family unit in the last forty years has already brought some devastating social issues to the forefront. How will the continued erosion of the traditional family impact the existing societal structures that shape the norms and mores which strive to guide behavior in a productive way? What happens when the Church is silenced in speaking out against sin? If the Church is not the moral compass for society then what individual or group will step in to fill that role?
There are definitely enough challenging issues to tempt us into despair. However, as followers of Christ we are people of hope. The virtue of hope is a blessing indeed. Praying for an increase of all the theological virtues is a prudent thing to do on a daily basis. Let us not be pushed by our problems, but let us be led by our dreams. May our dreams include the pursuit of holiness as we seek to grow in faith, hope, and love!