How willing are we to give up the things of this world for God?
St. Francis of Assisi, who’s feast is celebrated on October 4th, was more than willing to do exactly that. He came from a wealthy, noble family but in an instant gave up all his earthly possessions, gave them to the poor and served God fully. He lived a life of humility, sleeping on the floor, not having shoes, living off what people would give him to eat.
How willing would we be to give up our earthly possessions to serve God? How distracted are we by these material things? In todays society it’s all about what you own. So many times in conversation people focus on talking about what they have, what brands they’re wearing, what new car they bought, their new piece of technology etc. I understand these are all necessary things needed to live, but when they become the center of your life you’re no longer living for God, as we’re supposed to, but you’re living for the world and for what the world can offer you instead of what God can offer you. St. Francis didn’t have any of these things but lived a fulfilled life because he was close to God. He didn’t have the distraction of wanting the latest and greatest.
How many times do we then fall into the trap of competing with others? We see our friends using the latest iPhone so then we need to be using it too. We place pressure on ourselves that if we don’t have what others have then we won’t be accepted. This is not true. Society may look at you funny if you still have an iPhone 6 but God won’t. God will not look down at you if you don’t have what society expects you to have. And I want to be clear, I’m not saying it’s wrong to have the latest iPhone. It becomes a problem when your world revolves around your material goods instead of God.
So I encourage us all to look to St. Francis. Look at his humility and willingness to serve our Lord. St. Francis is my patron saint and I was lucky enough to visit Assisi several years ago. To walk where he walked, to see where he lived and preached was a beautiful experience. I hope and pray that I could emulate just a fraction of his traits in my life.