“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”-
St. Catherine of Sienna
Act of Contrition
How do I say that I am sorry to you? For the things I have thought. For the words I have said (and didn’t say). For my lack of trust in you. For my doubt. For veering off into places I shouldn’t of. For not following YOUR star, (the one you made just for me). For trying to figure out your plan. For getting ahead of your timing. For wanting my timing always to be now…
For my ego. For my unwillingness to stay still. For my lack of patience in my vocation. For it all God, I am truly sorry. For these things and so many more…
Keep me focused on the ordinary, for that’s where you are.
I was not paying attention. Miles seemed long. Dreams became unicorns.
I did not trust in the power of the supernatural.
Stars are not supernatural in and of themselves. How did the magi know that the star that they were following was different? They were paying attention. They knew what they were looking for.
I pondered this in my daily study. Why was I so drawn to the star they followed? I have heard this story a million times. A million -and -one times I have followed this star. But I skipped over the sign and went straight to Bethlehem. So is the story of so many of our lives…
But today, I thought about that star. Do I know what I’m looking for? Am I paying attention to God in ordinary, everyday events?
This series, Defining 365, is a product of that star. More accurately, it was the child born during Advent. Even more accurate of an account than that, it was a product of an epiphany I had. I was paying attention.
It was Day 9 of Advent when he called me a paralytic.
he said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” Luke 5:24
He said to the man that was paralyzed. Arise, take your mat… and Go Home.
I am living Paris is worth a mass. I hadn’t even heard that saying before Advent. I thought it beautiful at the time, but later found it tragic. Sacrificing for the greater good. Compromising. Politics. Influenced by the outside. Bloody Wars. Pain of failure. Want of adoration. Sacrifice for the wrong reasons. Sacrificing yourself.
I reflected on God’s accusation.
I am the paralytic?
Yes, you are the paralytic
He was right. I was paralyzed by fear. I was in a season where I had taken on the world. In this season, there was no godly return- internal or external. Piled up with extras, career extras, kid extras, projects for the sake of projects. I had followed God’s lead. I was confused.
When the road ended I was bloody. I did many things that should have brought me great personal satisfaction. I held on to others that I knew would not. The weight in my arms was weighing down my soul. At the end, I was left with the weight. I was left with nothing.
Can you leave them now? He said
The year was meant to show me that anything worldly would not produce satisfaction of the soul. That the things that the world defined as successes produced a weight of nothingness. I had everything to show for it, but there was nothing for me to see.
Are we done yet?
Yes, Lord. I am done.
A friend told me during that time that God was clearing my plate in order to do the things that he had placed in my heart so long ago- writing and speaking.
You have a story to tell, she said. So tell it
Arise, take up your mat, and Go home.
So I did.
Bloody battles are worth your star
It is the supernatural in the ordinary and not the other way around.
Paris may have been worth a mass, but you and I are worth more. In our quest for God, in our wanting, the need to shed blood may be necessary. Notice I said “may.” For those of us that don’t wrestle with God there may be no blood. But for the rest of the world there is.
Where is your star? Is your attention turned towards finding God?
God put blood in my veins. And instead I sacrificed myself for Paris. And sacrifice that is not genuine is no sacrifice at all. It is in fact an impostor.