You know those jobs that you never get round to? The ones that migrate from one to-do list to another? Or, if you’re using a digital reminder list, get moved to the eternal “tomorrow”? I confess, I have some of those. Eventually they fall off the bottom, get deleted. They’ve been there so long, and in fact it turned out that they didn’t really need doing.
“I’ll do it tomorrow” is a phrase which (for me) can evoke very different feelings, depending on who is saying it. If it’s someone I trust and who I know is reliable, then I have confidence that it will be done. And if for some reason it’s not actually tomorrow, it will be in the next couple of days.
In contrast, I can think of at least one person who I’ve known who used to say “I’ll do it tomorrow” all the time, usually in an exasperated voice, annoyed that I had dared to ask. Internally I’d roll my eyes and say to myself, “Oh really? Which tomorrow?” That really was a case of mañana – the tomorrow that never comes. The “I’ll get round to it sometime, maybe, if I feel like it…”
This Sunday’s readings put me somewhat in mind of this. In this Sunday’s reading from St Paul’s letter to the Romans (Romans 13.11-14), St Paul is urging us to do what we know we ought, to do and be what God calls us to, and to do it now, not leave it until a more convenient date. “
The context for this is that in Paul’s time, a lot of people decided to wait to become Christians on their deathbeds, so that they didn’t have a chance to make any mistakes between becoming Christian and dying!!
Our culture no longer has this approach (generally!), but there are many who frequently say they are Christian, but their actions don’t match up with their words. Because unlike so many things on our to-do lists, if we want to see and create a better world, we need to start taking action now, and actually living our faith in our actions, not merely our words. God is inviting us to work hand in hand with Him, co-creating with Him. But the change and the creating begins with us. Roll back a few verses in Romans 13, and we see the following:
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.9 The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’10 Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
As we begin Advent, the time of preparation for the coming of the Christ to us once again, the renewing of the Christ light in our hearts at Christmas, are we going to put “love” first on the Christmas to-do list, or say, mañana?
PS: once we decide to put love first, it appears on the top of every to-do list every day – not because it’s been rolled over, but because it’s the first and most important action of every day, and colours everything else on the day’s list.
Peace, love and blessings,