Since the last blog, God has continued the work on my heart. He has allowed me to love in big ways. I feel an increasing love for people that I am expecting to stop growing at any moment, but it just keeps going. And because of this growing desire to love others and to be loved, I have a growing desire to know how God is going to use me to do this.
Vocations have been on my heart lately. It started a couple weeks ago when I began to feel that I needed to go somewhere with my prayer. God was pushing me in a certain direction. I wasn’t paying attention to where, but I could feel the pull on my heart. I am sure some of you know what I am talking about. God is saying something but you are just too busy to stand still and focus. However, it has been persistent and I am listening now.
For the past couple weeks I have been thinking long and hard about what I am doing with my life and how I am a part of God’s plan for this Earth. Just like in the last blog, I had to face some fears again; very similar but another deeper layer in the onion. I was afraid of not only failure to fully love people, but also a fear that I would be forgotten about, that what God wanted of me was not big enough (pretty prideful, huh?).
It was weird, I was driving home from Richmond after spending some time with my brother, Mark, when I began to realize these issues. I heard his story the previous night and saw an awesome sense of peace and joy flowing from him. I felt myself longing for that same thing. To know what I am supposed to be used for. I’m sick of hanging out and messing around. I want to get down to business and fulfill my calling! I want to know what God wants me to do! Is that too much to ask for?
Well….I probably shouldn’t make demands of God because he actually answers those sometimes. I am realizing that, before he can tell me, I need to open up a couple of areas. I found, on that drive, that I still hadn’t let go of all of my expectations for my life (children, wife, money, friendships, national hero… etc.). I was still attached to these things because I was afraid that I might not feel that my life was worthwhile if it was in God’s hands. I had dreams and if I gave them up, I might not have a very interesting life. But at the same time, I was sick of just walking through life without a good sense of direction.
I ended up crying because of these thoughts and after about a half hour of admitting some of these things out loud to God, I, once again, entered further into my relationship with Him. I submitted even more of my life to Him. This scenario has happened dozens of times in my life. I get attached to a certain idea or expectation and I just won’t let go. God swoops in and decides it’s time to shine the light on them. I fight over it and think I have a pretty good grip on the ball until I realize that God isn’t trying to pry my fingers open, he is standing there with outstretched arms and is simply asking for it. And how do you refuse that?
When I did give it over, the consolation was immediate. A peaceful wave swept over me and I began to laugh at the goodness of God and how much better it is to just trust! In Deus Caritas Est, by Pope Benny 16, right in the beginning there is a line that says, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”
That is right on. And this is just one of those events that has offered new horizons and a new direction for me to explore in prayer and in my life. Pray for me in this discernment.