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008 Will Replace Me

Remember Goldfinger? I think it was the third James Bond film. Anyway, the evil villain Auric Goldfinger had 007 in his power, and devised an awful torture method, using a laser. Just as Bond was about to be cut in half, he played his final cards, trying to convince Goldfinger that this was a battle he couldn’t win just by eliminating this present agent. “Remember Goldfinger” – something like this, I think he said – “If I don’t call in, in a few hours …” “What? What will happen?” [007: cry of pain, gasp ...] “Remember, if I don’t succeed … M will send … 008 will replace me …” Looking very slightly rattled, Goldfinger turned off the laser.

The Holy Spirit operates in just this way. If you or I don’t manage to succeed in doing exactly what he has in mind for us – perhaps through no fault of our own – he will find someone else, or yet another person, until the work is done. The work – saving the human race from destruction – is what matters, not the people who do it, or whatever part of it may be allotted to them.

The important thing is to do everything and anything we can, in doing that work which we are privileged to be called to, and to remember that any part of anything we do, if it is his, is good, and will remain; that which is inferior or imperfect is merely our own, and nothing really matters what happens to that (it is so easy for us to regard our pet projects and productions as our babies, thinking that if we value them, then they must be valuable to everyone and everything else; they may be, but only if they serve God’s truth).

We must strive to be faithful to the truth, to our calling. That is what matters more than our seeming-success, since the truth will succeed anyway, in God’s good time.