“Going The Distance”

by Deacon Stephen Bowling

One of the best truths I ever learned in all my many years in the corporate world was the primacy of the concept of “following through” . . . “going the distance” as it were.

No matter how clever you were, no matter how good (or even necessary!) that your idea or program was, unless you could see it all the way to completion and then to have it be sustained thereafter, there was pretty much no reason to waste yours and everyone else’s time. The creative process was pretty much valued only to the extent that it could be operationalized. Like the song from the 1997 Disney Movie “Hercules” (which both my daughters still love to this day), “Going the Distance” was what truly mattered and, yes, it still makes so much sense, even today.

This mantra was (and still is for the most part) pretty much everywhere in the business world . . . and yet it seems, no matter where you might go there, actually “going the distance” is all-too-often a rare event. Unless what you are doing is a simple and quick thing, requiring little change or time, making something serious happen is almost like pushing that metaphorical boulder up the mountain.

Unless we can just “do it now,” it often doesn’t seem to get done, and I think this is something that humanity struggles with more today than ever before in this “instantaneous-oriented” society in which we live.

And yes, this tendency is also oh-so preeminent in Christian family life as well.

Nothing needs us to “go the distance” more than our precious relationships – with both God and each other – but actually doing this so oftentimes is just plain TOUGH. Fortunately, Christ recognized this inclination in us long ago (it really is nothing new) and gave us something precious as an antidote for it . . . the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

That “spiritual salve of healing” is always here for us; it is here to sustain us when we ourselves seem unsustainable. When weakness overcomes us, when all those many stresses on our relationships seem too much to bear, God’s grace and strength in the Sacrament is there. I truly believe that the reason we humans find it so difficult to “go the distance” on so many worthwhile things, is because we all-too-often forget to seek out God’s strength.

Family relationships can indeed be messy . . . but we must never forget those beautiful words spoken to our Blessed Mother by the angel Gabriel in Luke’s Gospel . . .

“Nothing is impossible with God.”



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