Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve


I love to drive. Each year, our family takes two or three major road trips. These are highlights of my year, even if occasionally the kids don’t travel as easily as I wish they would. Although our destinations are often places we’ve been before, it takes weeks of preparations to be ready to go.

For each trip, we typically need to add a few more items to our travel supplies. Winter clothes, a cargo box, or even just a few nicknacks find their way to our house in cardboard boxes on the backs of delivery vans. It’s always my assumption that each subsequent trip will require fewer new supplies, but I’m still waiting for that theory to prove itself out.

It doesn’t take us long to pack. In fact, we’re pretty good now at bringing the right mix of clothing, packed to perfection in our travel bags. What takes the most time is thinking through the trip and ensuring that we have the right supplies. Of course, there’s always the need to add appropriately sized kids clothing to the mix, and that can be a cycle of orders and returns, ensuring a good fit.

Weeks of preparation give way to a smooth trip on which we have everything that we need. I anticipate each passenger’s needs and do my best to meet them. It makes even long road trips enjoyable experiences.

Each of us are on a journey that requires equal, if not more, preparation. The path to sainthood is both a path and the work of a lifetime. But in January, I’m not spending much time planning our vacation in November. The allure of putting off our spiritual preparations is strong.

Our desire to procrastinate is itself a paradox. If we put off our spiritual preparations, we may be too late. At the same time, if we do the small work today of cultivating a rich spiritual life, our journey to sainthood would be much more enjoyable. A life well lived in accordance with God’s Law is much sweeter than a life mired in sin and darkness.

Advent is four weeks behind us and Lent is still six weeks ahead of us. These two seasons remind us to prepare, but the work happens every day. We have to overcome the resistance that tells us that we have time. If we’ve learned anything in our world of uncertainty, time is anything but assured.