October 17, 2019

A Note For Times Of Trouble

With Neil Armstrong’s passing on August 25, who can forget the famous words he spoke on July 20, 1969:

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

Having fulfilled President Kennedy’s “race to space,” Armstrong would later reflect upon that historic trip:

The moon was simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to.

And yet, in remembering that unique experience, we do well to conjure up another picture (although not of the moon) that had been transmitted just prior to Christmas 1968.

If you will remember, Apollo 8 was NASA’s first space flight to orbit the moon. This picture is one of the first pictures of the earth taken from the moon.

I ask you to look at this photograph and picture the earth as a big ball hurtling through space. Now picture yourself standing on that big ball. When you look at yourself and your life in that light, you begin to realize your own insignificance. We are nothing more than a speck of dust; smaller than a grain of sand. But despite this, we place so much importance on ourselves and on the events in our lives. In the grand scheme of things, we, and the events in our lives, are meaningless.

When you come to that understanding of life, you begin to realize that the only thing in this universe that gives our selves and our lives any meaning at all is the fact that we were placed here by the God that created all of this.

Why?

That becomes the obvious question. What’s it all about and why did He put you here? He answered that question for us when He came here. He said,

I came that you should have life; and have it more abundantly. So don’t worry about cares and concerns of life.  For not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s consent! And you are worth more than a flock of sparrows.

He taught us that God is our heavenly Father and that our Father loves each and every one of us, His children, more than we love our own children. He loves more because He is love. His spirit, His very nature, is love.

We are here, on this big ball that is hurtling through space, simply because our Father put us here and He wants us to have fun and to enjoy the life that He gave us.

The purpose of life is to find peace, happiness and enjoyment in our existence. Ultimately, the creator of our world, and of the entire universe, is in control. We do have free will. So we are free to do either what we want or what He wants us to do. So when events don’t go the way that you would have liked, recognize that your heavenly Father is in control. And He wants only what is best for His children. Learn to look at certain events in life, not as disappointments, but rather as blessings from your Father. He wants something for you that is ultimately far better for you than where you’ve been. He wants us to love Him and to trust Him. Consequently, he doesn’t show us the future, but he does show us the next step to take. So we have to learn to take each step that he places before us trusting in Him for the outcome.

So don’t become blue and depressed when you don’t get what you want. It’s just your heavenly Father showing you that He loves you. Learn to trust Him.

Live in the moment.

The only moment that you can be absolutely sure of having is the present one. There is nothing that guarantees the next breath or the next heart beat. So enjoy each moment.

Life, and each and every moment in it, is a gift to be enjoyed. Don’t worry, don’t become blue or depressed. Trust Him and live and enjoy each and every moment that you have. And recognize that certain events that we may see as disappointments are actually blessings.

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Written by
Deacon Donald Cox

REVEREND MR. DONALD COX is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On June 9, 1979, Deacon Don was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence John Cardinal Dearden, an important American Father of the Second Vatican Council. He is currently assigned to St. Cornelius parish in Dryden, Michigan. Married and the father of three children and grandfather to four children, Deacon Don was born and raised in Detroit, and educated at St. Brigid Elementary School, Mackenzie High School, and Lawrence Technological University. His theological training was taken at Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

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1 comment
  • I remember when your cousin, Eugene (my Dad) came home just a few weeks after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. He had a gift for me, a book entitled "We came in peace" which chronicled the moonshot and first steps on the moon in words and pictures. I remeber realizing at 11 years of age that my Dad must have been very proud of our country and the accomplishment. It made me proud too. That is America I want back. With God's blessing, that is the America we will have.

Written by Deacon Donald Cox
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