I woke up with this phrase in mind, ‘fumbling toward heaven.’ It didn’t seem to be connected with a dream or anything – it just was there.
But it got me thinking about football. A fumble is when someone on the opposite team makes you drop the football and recovers it for their side. I am going to stretch this metaphor so run with me on this one.
Jesus is the football we carry through life tucked under our arm close to our heart. We are advancing through the game of life toward our goal: heaven. When certain circumstances of everyday life dislodge Jesus from our heart and make us drop the ball, how do we get it back? In the second letter to Timothy St. Paul writes, ‘God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but rather a spirit of power, and love and self-discipline.’
Relying on the Spirit of Jesus we gain the power of the practice of self-discipline to scoop up the ball of Love and continue to carry it to our final destination. If we are called to be Jesus to each other and the world, then it shouldn’t be so hard to stoop down to lift up Jesus, ourselves and one another.
Sometimes, we feel like we drop the ball constantly but thank goodness we have fans to cheer us on whether we are in possession of the ball or not. Who are our fans? Family and friends, co-workers, and all the angels and saints are cheering us on! Not only are they fans but also our team! They offer prayers and lend support, especially when the everyday cares and set backs get us down. In our most desperate hours, we throw a ‘Hail Mary’ forward pass to our Lady and she is there to help us.
To all eyes, Jesus’ death on a cross seemed like the biggest fumble ever. But those who gathered below his cross: his Mother, John and Magdalene, believed and hoped in Jesus who came to save and bring them to heaven. And we know their hope was not in vain.
So, let us not be like Lucy who whips the football away just as Charlie Brown comes up to kick it. Let us be like Charlie Brown who, even though he fumbles, he always believes and hopes. Let us never ever give up hope. Let us continue to fumble our way to heaven believing in Him who comes to save.