Looking Down, Down, Down????

Posted: May 23, 2017 in World On The Edge


When I was raising my five children, and helping to raise one of my granddaughters, it was necessary to keep an eye to the floor to avoid stepping on something, or someone. After the children grew, I didn’t really need to look down, yet I continued to do so. It became a habit to concentrate on what might lie just in front of my knees or beneath my feet. After all, I didn’t want to stumble or damage something.

Being overly cautious is not a bad thing. It is usually a good thing for parents when dealing with their children. But I still keep this cautious behavior, and sometimes it is to my detriment. While concentrating so much on what I’m likely to step on, or into, in many situations or relationships, I often miss what is just beyond me.

As an adult living in the world, too much caution can narrow one’s field of vision to the extent that it doesn’t allow for risk. An overly cautious person is frequently fearful of risk; so, if he or she sticks to a set pattern of action, then risk is reduced.

But something else is reduced as well when we look down at only a small area of our daily life. Some people call it, “not seeing the big picture.” I call it “not realizing that we have an important part to play in our world.” No matter who we are, or what we do, we have a purpose. And that purpose is to love in the same way that God loves us.

Is it risky to do? Yes. Does it sometimes take courage, humility, and a willingness to suffer? Of course.

We cannot love rightfully if we’re always looking down and around to see what might befall us. To attain and give genuine love we must take a risk. Do not be fooled: Love is not just a feeling. Loving another person is a decision, a grace-filled action. And some decisions and actions are risky. These sorts of risks may produce fear in us, or frustration, or even great sorrow.

We human beings are made in the image of an eternal God, and God’s image is love. Therefore, love is everlasting, and we human beings are able to share freely in it. What kind of human being will we be if we don’t take the risk of genuine love. Will we be human at all?

I saw and realized that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting. –St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

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