Not all of us are called to have our heads chopped off or be eaten alive by lions like the saints of old. But all of us are called to be saints in one way or another.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what that means. To be a saint nowadays might mean martyrdom for a few people, but for most of us, it’s probably not going to come to that. Most of us are going to lead somewhat ordinary lives getting some sort of an education, having some sort of job, probably raising a family, etc. You get the gist of it. Most of our lives are pretty ordinary. But all of us are called to an extraordinary mission.
This mission is to be a saint, to be the salt and light of the world. It’s going to look different for different people, but the common denominator is this: being a saint means giving until it hurts, loving without boundaries, and living with a higher purpose.
Giving until it hurts means letting go of our plans and giving God the room to lead us where He made us to go – no matter how tough that path may be. This also means giving of ourselves in service to other people and the greater community. Loving without boundaries means reaching beyond our comfort zone into whatever situations we face and meeting people where they are at. And living with a higher purpose does not mean we’re doing this because we’re more awesome than other people. It means doing all this not for ourselves, or to look good, but because it is right. And giving is better than receiving.
But golly gee, that is WAY easier said than done.
It’s easy to watch just one more episode of something or have a second cookie we don’t need. It’s easy to justify not exercising after a long day of work. It’s easy to look up from social media and wonder where two hours went. It’s easy to forget to pray. Overall, it’s just plain easy to get by in life.
But those things are not going to make any of us saints.
I don’t want to just get by. I want to thrive. I want to say “no” to things that don’t help me become a saint. And I want to say “yes” to things that help me become a saint until it becomes a habit. I want to be more purposeful about how I spend my time.
So that’s why I’m creating a personal mission statement.
Yes, it’s somewhat cheesy. But I’m dead serious about wanting to become a saint. It’s what we’re all called to! Because of that, I’m going to use this statement as a guide. If something doesn’t match the guidelines, then too bad. It’s not happening. And if something does match, and does make me a better person, then it’s happening – even if it’s hard.
Failure will happen. But at least I’ll be closer to what I should be doing.
That’s how I’m going to work on becoming a saint: evaluating what I do and saying “yes” and “no” to the right things.
Yes, it’s kind of a duh moment. Shouldn’t I be doing this anyway? Yes, but writing this out forces me to be mindful. For now this is taking a concrete step toward being more intentional about my time on this side of heaven. And that’s what you can do too! Have you ever thought about defining what your mission in life is?
So here you go. You can click here to visit my new personal mission statement page.
What you think? Share your thoughts in the comments, and shoot me an email if you want to chat about what helped me create this.
Cheers to a purposeful life! And who knows? Maybe your life will involve lions. Maybe not. I can’t guarantee it won’t come to that. But maybe it’s something else that’s keeping you from being awesome. Identify it, and make it your mission to overcome it.
Today my step toward sainthood is reminding myself that we’re created with a purpose. This is mine. What’s yours?
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Image via Pius Mahimbi on Flickr.
4 thoughts on “How to be a saint (but not get eaten by lions)”
Very thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Maria! Glad it was food for thought.
Great post – I love that quote from St. Augustine – we have created a family mission statement, but I have never done a personal one – that is a great idea!
That’s a favorite quote of mine too. I’ve heard of people making family mission statements, and think that is so awesome! Do you have it online I could take a peek at? Thanks for stopping by!