The very first talk on a Lutheran Via de Cristo weekend is called “Ideal.” The premise of the talk is that everyone has an ideal in life; a goal they are aiming toward. It’s this goal that gives life meaning.
Now, we can have a good ideal (living to serve others) or a bad one (the one who dies with the most expensive “toys” wins). We can have a realistic ideal (owning our own home or business) or an unrealistic ideal (becoming the queen of England). We can devote ourselves to a false ideal (such as a political party or candidate) and be devastated when it proves to be disappointing. The big problem is we often fool ourselves and fail to recognize and admit what our ideal really is. For example, I may tell myself I am working 60 hours a week in order to support my family (a laudable goal) when what I actually desire is just more money to spend on luxuries, or the admiration of others.
The talk ends with some practical advice I’m going to share with you. Examine your checkbook and your calendar. Look hard at how you are spending your money and your time. Remember, we all find the money and the time to do the things we really want to do. So, does your stewardship of these things reveal an ideal worthy of a disciple of Christ? Or does it show you something else? What is your true ideal?