What governs your life? That is, what really determines how you live each day?
Most of us are aware that at least some of the time—if not most of the time—we are governed by fear? We are afraid of all sorts of things. Some of us fear failure. Somewhere along the way we were led to believe that if we didn’t succeed in all our endeavors, we would virtually cease to exist. Therefore, we are driven to succeed, and when we fail we either deny that we have failed or are absolutely devastated because we fell short. Some of us fear that we won’t have enough, and spend our lives accumulating money and thing, and live under the illusion that once we have enough all she be well. Of course, we quickly discover that we will never have enough. We know that we will always be anxious that no matter how much we have it could all disappear tomorrow.
Today’s feast day, The Feast of the Ascension, is a feast that invites us to be governed by something other than fear. Today, the fortieth day of the Easter season, is the day the Church remembers that after appearing to his Apostles for 40 days, Jesus ascended into heaven and took his place at the right hand of God (Lk. 24:51; Acts 1: 1-9). Unfortunately, people often get hung up on whether or not the risen Christ actually defied the laws of physics and went up into the clouds. The stories of Jesus ascension into heaven are not trying to describe a physical event, but are the early church’s poetic way of telling us that in the end our lives are not governed by fear, but by the steadfast love of God made known in Jesus. It is the early church’s way to proclaim that unconditional love—and nothing else—reigns supreme.
So what would it be like to live today governed by love rather than fear. What would it look like today to live trusting that God will provide and therefore we don’t need to be anxious about having enough? What would it be like today to live knowing that we matter whether we succeed or not? What would it be like today to realize that what ultimately governs all reality, and therefore will have its way in the end, is love beyond all imagining?
If we allow the ascended Lord to govern our lives, we will find new life and new energy. We will also find ourselves inspired to love one another as we have been loved. We will also be inspired to help God build a society that is governed by love rather than fear. We will build a society that welcomes rather than fear strangers. We will build a society that loves rather than hate enemies. We build a society that forgives offenders rather than incarcerates them forever. In other words, we will build a society that is governed by the love of God.
What will govern your life today?.