Do Everything for the Glory of God

For Sunday, February 15, 2015, 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 15

I needed to get some work done, including this reflection, but my eleven-year-old son kept bugging me to play basketball in the driveway. It had been cold recently, but on this day in North Carolina, it was sunny and close to seventy degrees. So I couldn’t blame him for wanting to challenge Dad to a game of H-O-R-S-E before the sun called it a day. I can’t say basketball was on the top of my list, but my responsibility to be present to a little boy who wasn’t so little anymore outweighed the work I needed to do. The work will always be there; my son won’t.

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
—1 Corinthians 10:31

While I was dribbling and shooting the ball, I thought of Dean Smith, the longtime basketball coach at the University of North Carolina. I just heard that morning that he had passed away. He was older and had been in decline for some time, but when a sports icon dies, it causes people to reflect. He was one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history, but more importantly, he graduated 96% of his players, with over 50% of his players going on to play professionally. USA Today’s headline on his death was “83 Years of Caring and Giving, a Legacy of Selflessness.” I am a Duke graduate, so I always have had a love/hate relationship with the school down the road in Chapel Hill. But Dean Smith was first-class. He was a religious man whose convictions led him to speak strongly in the 1960s against a segregated state of North Carolina. I didn’t always agree with all his political stances as the years went by, but I always respected him as a man trying to be the best he could be, not just as a coach, but also as a child of God.

As I was about to take a shot and show my son who is the boss, I was hoping that when I pass from this world, I will have become the best version of myself that I could be. Through his writings, Matthew Kelly, the Catholic speaker and writer, always has me reflecting on this. God has made me on purpose for a purpose, and I hope that all I do moves me closer to the best that God has created in me.

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
—1 Corinthians 10:31

Do you ever think about how every action, even that of eating and drinking, can be done for the glory of God? We sometimes divide up our lives into church, family, job, and self. There is no need for separation of these things, unless we are unwilling to hand it all over to God.

Unfortunately, we too often fight God, tethered to the lie that handing it all over leads to anything but freedom. Dietrich von Hildebrand, the Catholic philosopher and theologian, wrote, “The more our life is permeated by God, the simpler it becomes.” True freedom rests in the ability to lay everything at the feet of God. The questions of life become easier to answer, and that which is still a mystery is no longer threatening.

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
—1 Corinthians 10:31

When driveway basketball was over, I proceeded back to my home office. I reflected on Paul’s words to the Corinthians about doing everything for the glory of God. I had spent time getting exercise for my physical body, tended to my domestic church by spending time with a son I truly love and for whom I give thanks, and I was able to experience all of this outside, in God’s wonderful creation. A smile came across my face. In this seemingly simple event, I not only gave glory to God, I personally encountered God.

Lent is upon us in a matter of days. What will Lent mean for you this year? You don’t have to give something up this year, but instead you could add something: more time with a loved one, volunteering in a shelter or soup kitchen, visiting someone who is lonely. Whatever you do, or give up, be sure it is for the glory of God. Don’t overthink the whole thing. We have the chance to glorify him at every turn. You do not have to travel far. Sometimes God is calling us to places as simple as the driveway.

Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

PRAYER

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.
Amen.

—Morning offering by Fr. François-Xavier Gautrelet.

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