“Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.” (John 18:27)
Peter was in the inner circle of the apostles, one who spent more time with Jesus and was even more devoted than the others. Yet even Peter denied knowing Jesus when he thought it may cost him some form of punishment. He reacted selfishly and tried to protect himself. The cock crowing reminded him that Jesus had told him he would make this decision. The passage ends with Peter all alone, pondering his selfish choice.
Daily we are given the challenge to be alone and ponder our own selfish choices. Every morning the cock crows. It’s time to face things.
What are you denying?
Are you denying your own personal health? That’s often the first domino to fall in matters of our overall well-being. We sit too much and don’t move around. We eat too much and eat the wrong things. The pounds mount up. It happens slowly and we really don’t even notice. The distance increases between fitness and our bodies – it just seems too far to travel so we continue in the wrong direction.
Wake up. Stop filling your mouth and get moving. Take a walk. Take the first step and then the next and good things start happening.
Are you denying your emotional health? Here’s where the substance problems start. We slide from two drinks to three, on to four and five. Cigarettes are tempting little bullets. Those pain killers seem innocent enough. We can rationalize most anything.
Is this where you want your life to be? What is it you’re really feeling? Write it down or tell someone. Open up instead of covering up. It’s all in there whether you admit it or not. Sooner or later it has to be dealt with. Now’s a good time.
Are you denying the need for some quiet prayer? We don’t know how to pray, so we just don’t do it. We jump out of bed and hit the day running. We go from thing to thing and collapse in a heap at night. We feel hurried and chaotic but all those things and people are our responsibility. We can’t just let them go.
You don’t have to stop your life. But a life void of reflection is soon lost. It’s later than you think. Sit still a little and just watch and listen. That’s prayer, in case you’ve forgotten.
Have you denied your own shortcomings? When’s the last time you apologized for something?
Are you denying grace? The world is set up for progress. Things are being transformed around us. Have you forgotten? Do you think you have to make everything yourself? Do you think all you have is from your own effort?
Whoa, there. You’re not that smart or capable. Things are happening more in spite of you than because of you. Might want to stop and say thank you.
Are you denying your need for the community? Are you stuck thinking people are stupid and institutions are corrupt? They are but isolating yourself cuts you off from life. You’re no better and no worse than anyone else. Get in the mix for God’s sake.
Denial starts small. Then it builds into a lifestyle. Eventually the world collapses around you.
The cock is crowing. Ponder your choices. Just take a step in the right direction. The road will carry you from there. Sin leads to redemption when we face things honestly.
Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr.
Stewardship Meetings in October
Sunday, October 4, at noon
Thursday, October 8, at 5:00
Sunday, October 11, at noon
Tuesday, October 18, at noon
Sunday, October 25, at noon
As we make our financial pledge to the church for the following year, we go through an important spiritual practice. We consider our resources in gratitude. We make a conscious sacrifice for the good of the community. We decide to live with a little less and come to find God providing true life for us. Each year we are all asked to consider the percentage of our resources that we give to God’s work in the world. And we are asked to grow, to increase our giving percentage. It’s a spiritual practice with dramatic and tangible effects in our lives and the parish. Please plan to attend one of the Stewardship Meetings which will last 30-45 minutes. Hear about the financial health of the parish, our vision for 2016, and pick up your pledge packets. Make your commitment so that we might grow together. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.