Old Testament: Genesis 44:18-34
Morning Psalms: Psalms 80
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 7:25-31
Gospel: Mark 5:21-43
Evening Psalms: Psalms 77, 79
As great a man as Gandhi was, I find part of him to be selfish. That seemed evident to me after reading his autobiography, “The Story of My Experiments with Truth.” His steadfast pursuit of truth led him to liberate a country and become a beacon of peace and human morality. It also meant that the same experimentalism with simple living, diet, self-control and so forth that he conducted on himself was also applied to his wife and children. Their lives were dictated by his unbending search for truth. To have a more flexible approach to familial relationships would have been a distraction to that search, the paramount goal of his life.
Paul calls out the same thing to the Corinthians (1 Cor 7:25-31). Though not forbidding marriage or calling it a sin, he does discourage the act as a distraction to fully living for God’s work. For that matter, he says happiness, sadness, wealth and exciting things in this world fall into the same category. Make good use of those things, Paul says, but don’t stop to enjoy them in such a way as they become a distraction to doing God’s work. This single-mindedness seems to be a requirement to live a saintly life.
I like my distractions. The one I married. The three I’ve raised. It’s difficult for me to believe that God would have me relegate them to a lower tier in my life when it’s through them that I experience God’s Love so strongly. And I don’t think He would. Ultimately, God wants us to know Him and do whatever will help us serve Him best. For me, that includes learning lessons from being a husband and parent: to put the needs of others first; to put self-interest second to common interest; and to see others as God must see them – beautiful souls sharing this journey through life. I must be distracted at times in order to learn these lessons.