A rather drab title if you ask me.
However, it is hard to write a blog on a daily thought of hope today without logging onto social media, ESPN, or for the most part any network and seeing the millions of people mourning the death of Kobe Bryant.
I wonder if this will be the day that we wake up?
I wonder when we will recognize that death comes for us all.
Does it take the death of a celebrity to truly wake us up?
Last week, a dear friend of mine had to bury his 16 year old daughter who died from the flu.
This week, another dear friend of mine is burying his dad who died from Prostate Cancer.
Like I said, death comes for us all.
The only thought I have then today is, will we be ready when our time comes?
More specifically, will I be ready?
Did I do everything God asked me to do with the time I was given?
Did I fail to listen to his call and his voice and turn away from him?
It is a heavy topic and a heavy question.
One that many of us really don’t like to face.
Fr. Mike Schmitz in the book Pray, Decide, and Don’t Worry is quoted saying “It is so prevalent today to shrug off questions of deeper meaning or our purpose in the universe, but it is a lazy escape from the real issue we need to address, and we avoid them at our own peril.”
We choose to not dive deeper because that requires us to answer the hard questions.
Trust me, in a day and age where social media is showing the western idolatry of materialism and power, actually connecting on a deeper level is out of the question.
I know because I am in a people industry.
I take care of them every single day.
They come to my office to lay down their burdens and find some spec of Hope that things are going to get better.
We as human beings are broken.
It is a sad day when it take’s a celebrity death for us to “wake up” to the reality the clock is ticking.
Even if you are worth $500 Million Dollars when you die, you still end up six feet under ground like everyone else.
So, it is in these times I find myself asking questions such as “What are you looking for? (John 1:38)”
Meaning – what am I, Joey Kramer, looking for in this life.
9 times out of 10…I truthfully don’t know.
I have only started to dive into this question over the last year hoping that I can being to gain some insight into my own life.
You could say that I have found myself in the same shoes as you…what is my purpose.
Fr. Schmitz continues with the statement “to be fully human is to live for something, to have meaning, to have purpose.”
In light of these deaths, I reflect on how many of us say that our purpose and our number 1 is God.
But is he really?
Would you really lay down your life for him and take up the cross he gives you?
Most of us, myself included, have done everything we can to avoid that cross.
We have merely paid it lip service in saying it as some type of social acceptance – God is number 1, family is second, work is third – it has almost become cliche if you ask me.
If God is number one, how come our churches aren’t bursting at the seems during hours of adoration, mass, confession?
If God is number one, how come we choose to spend our time worshiping sports, celebrities, and material wealth?
It is a brutal question.
It forces you to pause and actually account for where you are in life.
Ultimately, it forces us to realize that time is all we actually have.
What you do with that time will determine what happens with eternity.
Remember…death comes for us all.
We know not the day nor the hour.
All we can do is hope that we lived with purpose, that we were people of action, that ultimately, we are people of Hope working every single day to will the good of the other.
How can you change your life to reflect this right now?
How can you instill in your community this virtue of hope?
How can you live with purpose?
It starts by answering the very first question Christ asked in The Gospel of John…What are you looking for?