When Hard Work Spills Into Lost Perspective
Together this year, we have been seeking to understand how to promote and create a pro-life atmosphere amidst very realistic and serious issues in our current culture. These issues – such as abortion and immigration – are so important because the way we approach them truly can decide whether or not we are promoting life….or opposing, if we are stifling life.
How, you ask, can we be stifling life? After all, we care about these issues because we believe in life. We promote these issues because we believe that life is important and should be treated as such. We work on these issues because we believe that we are called as human beings to protect the sanctity and uniqueness of life that is given to us. So, how is it possible that we can be stifling life?
Just like anything else that we truly care about in life, sometimes we get so involved in an issue, we spend so much time working on it, and our hearts are so fixed on making sure that the “right” thing gets done, that we lose our perspective on why we are fighting for this issue in the first place. Sometimes, the “what” overshadows the “why?” What are we going to do? What is the outcome? What is our next step? The “what” is not bad by any means. We need to act, we need to be proactive. But, if the “why” is not clear and is not the basis of what we are doing, it is so easy to lose perspective in our desire to support pro-life.
So then, the important question is: Why are we promoting these issues? The Conference of Catholic Bishops states that our role is to protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence. That is a good start. But let’s look at something that Jesus says in the Gospel of John. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Jesus came so that all people would have life, and not only life, but life to the full. His desire, God’s desire, is that all people would have abundant life….life that is overflowing. Abundant life is God’s will for his people. Broken life, therefore, is contrary to God’s will for us. This is so important to remember, especially when working on pro-life issues. When we promote life, it should be in a way that stimulates abundant life. Because when our efforts steal and kill and destroy life, it is not God’s true desire for us.
So, as we continue to journey through these issues, let’s also ask ourselves these important questions: Is this making people more whole and healthy? Is this helping people to heal? Is this creating a life that is more abundant and overflowing? Because that is God’s ultimate desire for all of us.