“And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we seek your face.”
Distractions, they are all over the place. One after another, there is always something vying for our attention. We pile ourselves up with busy activities, busy jobs and busy churches. There is no time for building community, sharing bread or bike rides. We have brought the world’s ways into the church.
Lately, I have been struggling with my decision about where my next stop may be. While I understand that humans are fallible, I have attended and been part of some vibrant churches where God’s work gets done. I have been led by the notion that our next stop on the divine train may be to a parish rich in God and poor in finances. I am longing to be where God wants me to be…
As our faces turn outward to the things occurring in these days, God asks us to turn inward. Our hearts are so double-minded, unwilling to be in a monogamous relationship with our God. Our time and attention is mindful of everything else but Him, and as I have explained to the kids,
one hour of a church service or mass does not make you a Christian
As my focus has drifted more and more towards God in these days, I have started to reevaluate some of the things in my life, taking them through God’s strainer if you will, draining the excess.
We can live on so much less. We can give of ourselves so much more.
How will my kids ever learn the lessons of the gospel if I don’t teach it to them? And not just learn it, but live it, breathe it, exist inside of it. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick.
Our faith is an action not a thought.
And so God is asking for our return in ALL things. God is asking us to take this time to evaluate our lives in His light. When the spotlight shines on us, is God finding a measured disciple or a person simply parading as a Christian? Remember, God looks at our heart, which only beats with truth.
Today, take some time to do an examination of conscience and really examine your life from the inside. Are you loving God or yourself? Are you putting restrictions on your love? Are you doing the things that God has asked of you? Do you even know what He wants you to do?
Trim the excess, the fat, the unnecessary first- these things are an easy step to move closer to Him. Clear the space around you so your mind can focus on the scripture passages, a meditation or a prayer. Sit with that. Direct your whole attention towards God- mind, body and soul. Connect with Him like you’ve never done before. Ask Him what He wants you to do.
God has given us the precious gift of time in these last few weeks, what will you do with it?
Even in the fire I praise you. I was made to love you, to serve you and to know you and I have failed. Help me to follow you with my whole heart, to reverently fear you, and to seek your face. Deal with me in your kindness and great mercy. Deliver me in accord with your wonders , and bring glory to your name.
(Prayer of Azariah, Daniel 3, when Azariah stood up in the midst of the fire and prayed aloud. The full prayer can be found and prayed aloud in Daniel 3:26-45 and I encourage you to do that today)