Understanding and Choosing The Right Thing to Do
Opening Question: What is your hardest subject at school? What things are really hard to understand? Who helps you with your hard subjects?
First Reading: Wisdom 9:13,16-18
After a two hour trip by car, Joey and Crystal arrived at the desert. It was after sunset and the pink glow in the western sky began to disappear. Both kids got excited; this was their first time to really see the Milky Way.
Joey and Crystal took their flashlights and followed the path to the lookout where the telescopes were set up. The landscape was completely dark, but the sky was light-up by thousands of stars.
Both kids just stared at the sky with their mouths open. They almost tripped on the way to the telescopes. Neither of them had really seen so many stars! When shooting stars appeared, Joey nudged Crystal and exclaimed "Look! Look!"
Both children had heard the explanations of the stars, but their wonder and excitement overtook them. They felt so small compared to all the stars in the sky.
When we see something great, we feel awe, that sense of almost disbelief. We want to say: "How does that happen!?" We don't understand what we see; we just stand there amazed.
God made everything, and sometimes what he made is pretty amazing. The stars in the sky, the forests and trees, the deserts, the great oceans. We may ask: "How did he do that?!" The Holy Spirit will help us understand, not only what God created but how to live and how to act. And that is pretty amazing!
Bridging Questions: How do you or your family make important decisions? Do you talk about it? Or do your parents make them for you?
Gospel: Luke 14:25-33
Many people traveled with Jesus. So, he turned and told them, "If someone comes to me and does not make me more important than his family, that person cannot be my follower. If someone does not carry his cross, that person cannot be my follower.
"Think about building a tower for your farm. Wouldn't you sit down first and figure out if you had enough money? If someone doesn't figure out their money, he might lay the foundation, but then find he cannot finish the tower. Then, the people who saw his progress would laugh, 'Hey, he can't finish what he started!' Or, think of king who was preparing to fight against another king. Wouldn't he sit down and figure out if his ten thousand men could beat the twenty thousand men the other king was sending against him? If his men couldn't, the king would send a representative to find out the terms for peace while the other king was still far away. So, if all of you cannot make me more important than your possessions, you cannot be my follower."
Randy faced a very important decision. If he played soccer, he would have to give up Cub Scouts. He did lots of fun things in his Cub Scout Pack, but his best friends were signing up for soccer. What would he do? He could not do both.
Randy talked to his friends. "That's a hard choice," one friend said. Others tried to sway him one way or another. "Come on, we need you on the team," the coach's son told him. "But we have fun at the Pack meetings!" exclaimed his neighbor who was in his Den.
For a day or so, Randy just laid around the house depressed. He was so confused that he stopped talking to his friends. Finally, he began to talk to his mother about the advantages and struggles doing each activity. "What do you want to do, Randy," his mother said. "But remember, you can only do one thing!"
Randy thought long and hard. Suddenly, he got an idea. He began to write down all his thoughts on a piece of paper. He wrote the advantages on one side of the paper and disadvantages on the other. Soon the answer became clear.
At the dinner table that evening, Randy announced that he was staying in his Scout Pack. "I have fun in the Pack, but I can always see my friends at school," Rand said with the pride that comes with a wise decision. To Randy's parents, his decision sounded like the right one.
Sometimes our parents make important decisions for us; other times we make the decisions ourselves. What is important is we make the best decisions for ourselves. Following Jesus is the most important decision we can make. Let us pray we can make that decision well.
Closing Questions: How do you make important decisions? How can Jesus help you with those decisions? How is the decision to follow Jesus the most important one of all?