What Part of the Message Did You Miss?

St. Francis rebuild my church

My dear Brothers and Sisters, may God’s peace and grace be with you! The month of June is upon us.  Last weekend we were wearing coats, this week, the AC is on full blast.  How did it happen so quickly? There was no easing into summer this year.

I have never been tied to my cell phone like it was my lifeline to the world. I’m not the President of the United States; so, no one needs to get in touch with me that urgently. Of course, when ‘life’ is urgent and I am ‘needed’, the cell phone is never far. But we don’t get to pick and choose when we are needed.  Life doesn’t work that way.

One late afternoon recently when I remembered I hadn’t looked at my cell phone all day, I picked it up and found it was out of ‘juice’.  I plugged in the charger and went about my business.  Around 10:00 p.m, I heard the sound for an incoming text message.  That had the hair on the back of my neck standing up.  When I do get text messages, they definitely don’t arrive at 10:00 p.m.  It was from my ‘baby’ sister and it stated “Just wanted to let you know that we are all OK and home again”.

What had I missed?  There was something that came before this message that I didn’t see or bother to check.  There were two texts that came in around 5:30 a.m. and I hadn’t checked my phone when I got up.  The first message was “PRAY! The police just called and said Bill was in a very bad accident and they were trying to get him out of his truck.”  The second message was “I’m at the accident scene.  A young lady had been on her cell phone – t-boned Bill’s pickup at such a high rate of speed, that his truck was catapulted through two lanes of north bound traffic, across the three lanes of southbound traffic, rolled down a hill and knocked over two trees.

I felt terrible that I had not responded to the early morning messages and at the very least been in touch with my sister to let her know I was available to come be with her and was praying.  Those messages had been a call to action and I missed it. God gave me an opportunity to serve and I wasn’t connected.

During the Profession ritual, there are three different times that we answer “Yes, this is what I want”. But how connected are we to the meaning of our “Yes”?

Rule 21  The ministers’ and councilors’ task to lead is temporary.  The brothers and sisters, rejecting all ambition, should show love for the fraternity with a spirit of service, prepared both to accept and to relinquish the office…….

Their service, which lasts for a definite period, is marked by a ready and willing spirit and is a duty of responsibility to each member and to the community.

…should show love for the fraternity with a spirit of service.  Is that the part of the message we have missed? When it comes time for the fraternity elections, so many are sitting on their hands and avoiding eye contact in order to not be asked to serve. There is no member of this Region that doesn’t have other things going on in their lives.  We all have family issues, health issues, financial issues, job issues.  If we wait until life is calm and without any obligations, we will have missed the opportunities that God has offered. Our vocation is one of service. We cannot rebuild the church (fraternity) if we aren’t willing to pick up a brick or two.
I am learning to keep my cell phone close….and charged.  My brother-in-law’s injuries were relatively minor compared to how that pickup looked; thank the dear Lord. But I failed my sister that day by not being ready to serve when I was needed.

If we have missed the first part of the message, the second part won’t make any sense. Check with God to see what message He is trying to send you.  Stay connected and be ready. God doesn’t dial wrong numbers. The message is for you!

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