Whenever I am given a task, I take it upon myself to try to be efficient, yet I was raised to be thorough. These two things are sometimes at odds, but they should not have to be. In order to be expedient, we are often tempted to take shortcuts that minimize our effort and increase our efficiency, yet that sacrifices our thoroughness. This is not a good compromise, for a job done quickly but not thoroughly might not fulfill the expectations of the taskmaster.
In our spiritual life, rather than efficiency, it is thoroughness that is asked of us. Our honest and faithful effort is the main measure by which we are evaluated. When we take a shortcut, we may miss some of the learning opportunities presented by the path; there is a reason Christ Jesus spoke about entering through the narrow gate.
If we choose the short and easier way, we are short-changing our tasks and failing to give our all. We end up missing the opportunities to grow that the full journey provides for us.
There is a process for every task and a reason for every process. Following the process allows us to follow a well-threaded path that is proven to get us where we need to go. Our Church is like this; it provides us access to the narrow gate. It helps us navigate the fullness of the path, and it stands with us along the way. To live the Eucharistic life means putting in the effort to know Christ, living the sacraments, and sharing in thanksgiving with our brothers. It means that sometimes we go out of our way to care for one another, even when it is difficult.
The path to sainthood does not have to be a lonely journey; it is, in fact, preferred to navigate it in the company of our brothers so that we may all together testify for each other and support each other.
We depend upon our brothers to help us complete the journey. They also depend upon us to help them with all that we have and all that we are. Dishonesty on small tasks may also lead to dishonesty on large tasks. Let us not take shortcuts. Let us experience the path to its fullness, for we know Who the path is.
Jesus, our Lord, did not do anything halfway, but He always stuck to the process. Jesus always waits for us to state what we need and then asks us to do what is required, like in the healing of the leper from the Gospel of Matthew.
After the healing, He asked the leper to present himself to the priests. The life Christ Jesus lived while on this earth is an example that shows us there are no shortcuts on the path to Heaven. There is always something that is required from us; our willingness to follow His path and do what is necessary to the fullness of our ability and with our most honest effort. Let us approach Him who loves us, with faith, and follow His lead.
Let us pray: Father, help us and guide us that we may grow firm in our faith in You. May all our efforts be done in accordance to your will for us. That we may endure and absorb all your lessons, that we may follow Your lead and that of your Holy Church on the path to Heaven. Amen.