“What does the LORD, your God, ask of you but to fear the LORD, your God, and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. . .” Dt 10:12
Have you ever received a contract or agreement form that read like a novel? Did you invest time in reading every word? It seems most of us at some point fail to give these wordy scrolls their due attention. Because, if we feel we have a general understanding of what is required of us our immediate response is to simply sign on the dotted line. Yes, I am guilty of it as well. But in the end, we know that if something were ever to go wrong and the contract gave explicit instructions or warnings against it, then the responsibility would fall solely on us. That is a gamble we decide to take the moment our pen meets paper.
“Follow his ways exactly…” Dt 10:12 – In just the same way we now encounter this scripture verse that seems to be written with specific instructions. Here we are given, as in any contract, an invitation. And I say this because in the end there is no contract that can be officially binding until you first give your consent, aka “signature”. Have you ever taken the time to read the words contained in this contract? While it’s not a contract per se, the Word of God is a guide that requires our consent, “signature”, which we give during our Baptism. And what is the purpose? If we take time to read every word contained in verse, it becomes fairly clear that the purpose of this heavenly contract is to lead us to a place of total union with God through His son Jesus Christ.
And the instructions are simple. . . follow him. This is the easiest and at the same time the most difficult commitment we will ever encounter in our lifetime and yet it is the most fundamental and essential covenant we will ever be called to enter into. And the only way we can fulfill our commitment and obtain this great union is by praying for grace. Because without grace, it is impossible. Prayer then is undeniably the one most important means by which we arrive at the source and summit of this great union we call perfect love. The covenant God desired to make with man before the beginning of time and the one contract that in its grandeur reveals in a profound way the intricacies of love that are worth taking time to read and understand with all ones heart, soul, and mind.
And the greatest part of it all is that the more time we spend on reading the fine print of this covenantal invitation the less we lose our patients at its lengthiness and the more we begin to fall in love with the one who reveals it to us. And thus, the more we will desire to freely commit to such a radical call.