Last night, as I was tucking in my three year old, and singing (if I can generously call it that) Ba-Ba-Black Sheep to her like I do every night, I was interrupted by her. She was very upset all of a sudden, and I had to stop singing to hear what was going on. ”We forgot to pray tonight! We forgot to pray tonight!” Here I was, not being particularly patient, trying to put my kid to bed so that I coud just go eat some cookies and milk and veg out downstairs a bit. But my haste, my lack of patience, and my desire to just shut off my brain pushed me to forget probably the most important 8 minutes with my family of every day…
Us adults think we’re so smart. We’ve got it all figured out, and we’ve got our busy lives with our busy schedules, and our grand plans. And quite often,those grand plans get in God’s way – even if our goal is to teach our faith in Christ to other people.
A few year’s back, the theme at our Diocesan Youth Convention was superheroes. And Friday night of the convention traditionally offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation and a short service before that to help prepare us. This particular year, it seemed like there was a committee meeting to plan the service, and 6 people had ideas – and all of the ideas were taken & used. There was music being played. There were teens reading questions and statements to help us examine our consciences. There was a superman cut-out on stage that was slowly being transformed into Jesus. There were pictures on the big screens we were told to pay attention to. Oh, and did I mention we were supposed to be preparing for Confession? I was so distracted, I didn’t know what to look at or think about – and I’m pretty decent at focusing when I want to.
So, between that music, the reading, the pictures, the words being blared at us… God was blocked. I’m sure that all best intentions were present in all of those actions. I’m sure a good amount of thought & work went into each of the different components. I’m sure everyone on the committee thought each of the components were great – but at some point, it was forgotten to sit back, pray and see what God had in mind for that. Because I am also sure that what God had in mind was unintentionally pushed to the side – just as I pushed God to the side last night before my three year old daughter called me out on it.
In our lives, God gives us lots and lots of opportunities to share our faith. We’ve just learned really well as a culture how to push those opportunities to the side, not be noticed as different, and how to compartmentalize.
I know this is being hammered over our heads (both on this site and everywhere else) but this thing called Lent starts tomorrow. How about we wear our Ashes with pride tomorrow? How about we ask people what they’re doing for Lent – and we ready ourselves to not only share what we’re doing for Lent but also why we’re doing it? (And if anyone tries to remind you about Jesus telling people to go into their inner room to pray, remind them that Jesus said we are the light of the world – which does no good if hidden under a bushel. You’re not sharing your faith to be “in your face” to anyone – you’re sharing your faith because that’s what our faith demands of you._
God is going to give us all sorts of chances to witness to him in our daily life – we just have to be ready to notice them, and to get the heck out of God’s way, and let God do the talking.
My goal for this Lent? Drop some of those inhibitions – and let God work through me. Be the instrument I was created for. I’ll definitely need your prayers for this one…