What will you leave behind? August 20 Daily Reflection

Jake touching a stone carved over 100 years ago at Squire Boon

Jake touching a stone carved over 200 years ago at Squire Boone

 We learned lots about Squire Boone when we went on our field trip; one was that he was a mason among other things.  To touch something tangible that was made so many years ago is almost precious.  Just think, this man has passed through this life into another and has left behind some of the fruits of his labor, the stones that he carved by hand.  We also heard many stories about him and his brother Daniel Boone.  I had a wonderful conversation with a friend from high school yesterday, whom I have not spoken with recently, about life.  How many people are scared to talk about the depth of life and the real meaning behind it? Sometimes it just takes too much deep thinking.  We were discussing what really matters in life. After you have passed through it like Squire Boone.  Will you be remembered at all?  She said if you are remembered it will be through your family. Corporations, no matter how good you were at making money, will have forgotten you.  But if you treat your family and children right stories of you will live on in their memories. Hopefully you will have instilled values and a sense of who you are within your children and family.

I believe as she does that the things of this world do not matter. Our society says “Buy more things, if you buy this car you will have happiness.  Climb the ladder of success – no matter who you step on to get to the top.  The bigger your house, the more toys you have the more important you must be to others.  It’s about what you have and what you do for a living that defines the person that you are now”.  We have been pressured by our society to believe these mentalities, it is in advertising, our everyday experiences and people who surround us.  If I were to ask you to define success in your life right now at this moment what would your answer be?

Did your answer include being at the top of your career, gaining financial stability and living well?  Well, it’s not a big surprise and don’t feel too horrible about it, if you did, because that is what we as an American culture have been taught.  What is the American dream?  To come from nothing and build a place for yourself and your family. That would have been great if it had stopped there, but now it is becoming monetarily wealthy.  Have you seen the billboard “Could you use $76 million” for the lottery power ball?  How many stories of heartbreak have you heard from people who have won the lottery? 

 The majority of religions go against the grain of our society, maybe that’s why the pews are emptier than they were back in the old days. Society’s views are getting the best of us all.

Success to me is doing what God has called me to do the best way I possibly can.  To me that is to be the best mom, wife, friend, sister, aunt, daughter, parish member and school parent I can be to those around me. I am not saying that I am successful at this, I am not, I fail miserably daily but I keep trying because that’s what I am called to do.  I believe God calls each of us to fulfill a purpose in this life and maybe it’s not just one thing we should do maybe it’s who we can become if we open ourselves up to finding out what God wants from us.  I think that when many of us start searching for that “call” we feel a different calling from the charms of our world and neglect to dig any deeper.  As my friend said “things don’t make you happy.”  Happiness or fulfillment I believe comes from feeling complete like you have done the best you can possibly do for your child, parents, and siblings, Church, School and God.  

I just completed a lector class, training to be able to proclaim the word of God during Mass. We had a priest who talked to us about how scripture is the Living Word of God. As the LIVING word no person can interpret it and say with finality the meaning of it.  But that scripture holds different meanings for each of us in different situations and times in our lives.  He quoted the scripture “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” Matthew 19: 24 Then he told us that he believes it’s not that rich people don’t go to heaven, it’s that all that they have earned or been given to make them rich has been given to them by God and should be recognized as such and shared as God would share.

When like Squire Boone you have passed through this world and have moved on to the next what will you have accomplished that will live on?  Will it be a monument in a cemetery for you?  Will it be a picture on a wall in some corporation that shows that you were the president of the company? Will it be huge house with a cornerstone you dedicate to yourself?  Or will it be the fact that you tried to be the best parent, spouse, son/daughter, grandparent and hopefully great grandparent you could be?  Do you want to be remembered as a person who lived his/ her life to fullest through relationships with family and friends or the person who passed through this world only trying to gain things of this world? 

 Things of this world do not matter!  What matters is how well you are able to accept love, give love and listen to God’s call to you personally and pursue that call.  What do you want to leave behind?

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