Face it, we will never be declared a Saint while we can hear it. Even if our ambitions are not that high, there is always that innate desire to want to be the best version of ourselves, whatever we define that to be. Step one, step two, step twelve, the way we walk constantly evolves too.
Even though i’m playing some version of hopscotch in life, Jesus kinda rolls with it. He uses me where I am at: family, desires, dislikes, quirks, relationship. (side note: he isn’t a category by himself, competing with the rest, he is kinda the bigger picture)
He wasn’t always quite so evident. You have to look back sometimes to remember where you are going. At 15, I imagined myself giving a speech on a stage (think TED talk scenario), as timid as I was, it wasn’t a scary thought. But, it was too wild a dream I wasn’t even sure I wanted. Like a child, I wanted to impress God with my magical skills.
Seven years passed by and there was no change. I remained pretty mediocre. I had no place, no reason to be in church, but I had no reason to leave. I thought it might be friends that made me stay but dragging oneself out of bed for Mass because you feel you should is a pretty personal decision.
After US exchange, World Youth Day and my first job, I’m left wondering what God wants to do with me. So I read this by St Therese of Liseux:
Every soul was free to answer our Lord’s invitation by doing a little for him, or by doing a lot for him… “My God, I choose the whole lot. no point in becoming a Saint by halves. I’m not afraid of suffering for your sake; the only thing I’m afraid of is clinging to my own will. Take it, I want the whole lot. Everything whatsoever that is your will for me.”
Okay, deal, just tell me what you want, you got it.
So one day I was wondering if I were a Saint, what would I be the Saint of? What will I be holding as a statue?
A small flower came to mind. Sadly, the flower wasn’t quite so inspirational, it was dying. I hate seeing flowers die, I find it a complete waste to see flowers die in what was once a glorious bouquet. It’s actually painful. Don’t be mean God, you want me to hold the very thing that pains me? Then in mysterious paradoxical fashion, I figured that was the point.
St Therese (fav Saint fyi) was known as the little flower, similarly I felt like an unspectacular flower. And flowers themselves don’t have too much direct utility, a good flower is a pretty flower. They just look pretty (although I would think the prettier, the more fertilisation, the more fruitful but let’s not get into that science for now). My job description as a designer was pretty much the same thing, powerpoint slides? brochure? banner? “make it pretty!”
The beauty of a flower though is not a result of a flower’s effort. The beauty of a flower is the consequence of a gardener’s love. Essentially, all I am called to do as a flower is to best showcase the love of God.
Let’s get to the dying bit. Real flowers die. As much as we want to photograph it’s beauty to prolong it’s primary duty of looking pretty, it has to die at some point and return to the soil, hopefully in the process of doing so, fertilize someone else’s soil.
So that’s it. My grand plan for life. And I’m going to be a little greedy here and echo Therese, “I want the whole lot!”. All in.