When I was young, there were some mornings when I was greeted by my grandmother’s joyful tone of, “Good Morning, Glory!” I’ve always liked morning glory flowers, with their viney nature and bell-shaped flowers. These flowers always remind me of my grandmother. My husband, however, has a different perspective. He comes from an agricultural background and in the agricultural industry, morning glory flowers are considered weeds. They choke out crops and get tangled in combines. Nonetheless, I maintain my fondness for morning glory flowers.
Shortly before my husband and I were to be married, my mother died. She was a staunch Catholic, so I held onto my Catholic faith, as I did those morning glory flowers, as a reminder of someone special. Since I was baptized as a Catholic (sprinkled as an infant), I naturally wanted our children to be baptized into the Catholic faith. So the traditions of baptisms, first communions, and reciting prayers continued in our household too. As a Catholic, I grew up with the same Christian belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, but my view of faith soon became a religious activity.
In Isaiah Chapter 58:5 God speaks through Isaiah about this: “You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind…Do you really think this will please the Lord?”
He warned the people of Israel and Judah about traditions getting in the way of having a true fellowship with God. But people do not always see traditions or religious activities as warning signals. Over time, traditions can become “viney” in nature and can begin to choke out the real meaning of faith. Holding onto my Catholic faith meant holding onto my mother. I was putting my faith in her memory and in her faith, and not my own. I was holding onto my mother, while my relationship with my Heavenly Father was slipping away. I began to put my religion and traditions ahead of my relationship and trust in God.
It’s easy to get caught up in this weedy world.
I know. It happened to me.
It happens to me…
Every moment of every day!
Is there a tradition or a habit that is beginning to consume your life a little too much? Perhaps maybe a person or a hobby? If you’re not careful, it can be difficult to discern flowers from weeds.
But God reminds me that I am more than who I think I am, and He will do anything for me.
And He will do the same for you.
When you rely on a relationship with Jesus, you pass on something far greater than a tradition. You do not have to reason with religion with Jesus, because he wants your heart. I am so grateful that I understand that now. And you can too!
“God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. Won’t he do even more for you?” (Luke 12:28)
Jesus says that you are more precious than flowers, and he is calling out to you, “Good Morning, Glory!” So trust in Jesus, and what he will do for you…
Every Moment Of Every Day.
-Em O. Ed
Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful that Christ came into my life at an early age. I am grateful for my parents and their Catholic faith. I don’t discount the good that my Catholic upbringing provided me, but somewhere along the way, this beautiful flower became a weed.
So here I am. This is it. Here is my testimony in short:
I no longer put a religion before a relationship with Jesus.
I no longer memorize prayers before revealing my heart to God.
I no longer try to please people before I please my “Papa”.
I no longer reason with traditions before relying on the Word.
On Sunday morning, December 24th, 2017, on Christmas Eve, I was baptized again. This time it was not based on tradition or religion. This time it was my decision. On Sunday, I heard God say to me, “Good Morning, Glory,” and I knew I had grown back into the beautiful flower God created me to be.