ALICE IN WONDERLAND…SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING!
In that timeless tale, Alice in Wonderland, Alice meets up with two strange characters
who ask her very pointed questions. Their questions and Alice’s answers give us food for spiritual thought. First, Alice meets up with the Great Caterpillar, sitting on a mushroom, smoking a hookah. “Who…are…you?” he asks Alice. Alice answers, “I…I hardly know, sir, just at the present…at least I know who I was when I got up this morning. But I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
When it comes to our spiritual lives, it would do us all good to look in the mirror and ask: “Who…are…you?” If our answer sounds a great deal like Alice’s, then it should be a warning to us. If we cannot answer this question in a matter of fact way, then it would suggest that our spiritual life is not where it ought to be.
We’ve all heard the term “Sunday Christian”. That’s someone who has one spiritual identity on Sundays (at Church), another Monday through Friday, and perhaps even another on Saturday night! This sounds like spiritual schizophrenia, yet there are many, many people living just such spiritual lives and thinking that it is normal. It is most definitely not normal, nor is it healthy. Spiritual commitment involves knowing who you are and being that same person (spiritually), seven days a week…24 hours a day. Our outer activities can certainly change moment by moment, but who we are on the inside should remain constant. That spiritual consistency will bring both spiritual growth and contentment.
St. Paul knew who he was when he wrote: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).
The other character Alice runs into while in Wonderland is the Cheshire Cat. The Cat’s insights will build right on the previous matter. Alice asks the Cat: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cat answers: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where…” replies Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” grins the Cat. Alice adds: “…so long as I get somewhere.” To which the Cat says: “Oh, you’re sure to do that, if you only walk long enough.”
Many people wonder why their spiritual lives seem to be going nowhere. In order to go someplace spiritually (growth-wise), one first has to deal with the question of “Who are you?” If one decides to be committed to having a spiritual life and being a spiritual person, then the next question is: “Where do you want to get to?” If you have no spiritual goals, then your path will be an aimless one, wandering here and there. And if you wander long enough you will get “somewhere” which in all likelihood will be “nowhere”, perhaps back where you started (which is the case in Alice in Wonderland).
Do you want to be a man or woman of God? If so, there is a path laid out for you to follow. It may not be the easiest path, usually aimless wandering is easier. But, it will be the best path, a path that will actually lead you toward your spiritual goals.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:6). This path will involve commitment and sacrifice on your part. It may involve some changes in your life.
Take a look at yourself, where you are at in different spiritual areas: attending Church, receiving Holy Communion, Confession, daily prayer, fasting, Scripture reading, devotional reading, giving of your time, giving of your money, etc. Set attainable goals each week in all areas and then strive to complete them.
Keep in mind that even when we set “attainable” goals, we may not attain them each week…that’s okay…things come up…things happen…just don’t quit…set your sights on the target for the next week and begin heading in that direction!! As you do this, week after week, you will find the questions of “Who are you?” and “Where do you want to get to?” slowly fading away because you will be on the right path and you will know the answers to those questions!!! And keep in mind that old adage: If you aim at nothing you will surely hit it!!
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14).
May our Lord help each of us to know who we are and where we want to get to!! Have a wonderful week in our Lord Jesus Christ!!
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