Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Talking to God

Yesterday, I sat God down for a talk. I told Him how disappointed I was that things he'd promised earlier in this month had yet to materialize and didn't seem to be appearing anywhere on the horizon. I told him that I was fine with being his employee, but he hadn't brought me any work in weeks and I was quite frustrated with all the waiting he seemed to expect me to do. Didn't he understand that I had overdue bills to pay?

His calm reply was simple and quite typical of how such things usually go. "Little Heart (that's His name for me), will you listen? The time has not yet come for me to answer, but know that when I do it will benefit you. Be content to serve me and to pray."

It was not, needless to say, the answer I wanted. I wanted a date, a definitive answer, a certain knowing that things would be handled and exactly when that would happen. I wanted security. I was left with a demand for trust.

It was time for Mass to begin, and I made my way to my seat quite unsatisfied with our exchange and feeling nothing had really been accomplished.  The Gospel was about the moment when St. Joseph is confronted with a pregnant fiancee and must make a decision as to what he will do. He knows the child isn't his, but he knows his fiancee well enough to know that she's not likely to have been involved in some affair. There must have been something going on that would incite her to do what was assuredly required for her to be in that condition.  He decides to divorce her quietly, to take the blame on himself, to make it look as if he is abandoning her after getting her pregnant.

He lays down that night after having made this decision and is visited in his dream by an angel, told not to be afraid but to take Mary as his wife and be assured the child she was carrying was God's own son. It's an incredible thing to hear. He's left with an even bigger decision to make: to trust in the dream of to pursue the course of action he'd already mapped out.  He decides to trust in the dream. He has no proof that this is an authentic vision. He has no proof that he isn't being played for a fool. He must take a giant leap of faith and pray that God catches him on the other side.

He leaps, and the rest is history.  The priest's homily spoke straight to me. It was as if God himself touched the man's tongue and gave him the words to say. He basically said that while it would be nice if God would spell out his plans for us in black and white, let us know in advance what he's about to do.  However, he leaves it somewhat open to interpretation.  There's a vagueness to his promises that requires leaps of faith.  We must act in the manner we believe He is calling us to act without the benefit of certainty that we are acting rightly. Doing so tests our faith, our patience, our hope and it is these tests which produce the spiritual growth needed in our lives.

I recognized that as much as I grumbled and complained, it was in taking leaps of faith for God that I had grown the most. It was not when I was being hand held down a path of certain destination, but when I was being forced to travel an unfamiliar road outside my comfort zones, that I reached a deeper understanding of the way that God works.   Leaps of faith don't always land us in a comfortable place. Quite often they do the opposite and force us to leave behind the comfortable for the unknown. Yet it is in the unknown that we truly find ourselves and what we are capable of doing.

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