I just read an interesting quote from a book called Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly, speaking about the necessity of discipline in life. The crux of it was that the level of our happiness is equal to the level of our discipline. I’ll be thinking about that one today. He says if you have too little happiness, try being more disciplined in whatever area of your life seems lacking that happiness. It’s a question of going deeper than the surface, I think, to discern what our deepest desires are and then working to fulfill them. Consciousness and honest assessment are the necessary disciplinary practices for long-term success in this matter. For example, a large piece of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream may momentarily assuage the hurt of a bruised ego, but too much of that might have dire consequences. A good vacation may restore equilibrium but if there are issues at home that we don’t care to face, the effects of the time off will dissipate quickly. It’s up to us to take charge of our own choices and come to clarity about what’s really important to us.
This morning’s gospel (MK 10:46-52) is a good example of how Jesus was always calling people to get to the heart of their desires. He asked the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” Knowing that he also said more than once in one way or another, “Ask and you shall receive,” the short, seemingly simple exchange is really rather stunning – especially if I consider the answer of the blind man who asks to see and gets his wish. Now there’s something to ask for! Considering my “blind spots” would I be disciplined enough to ask to have them removed? Am I willing to look life that fully in the face? What would I need to give up in order to see that clearly about everything?
God asks: What do you want me to do for you? Hmm…