All my life as a faithful Christian I have prayed to know and love God more. We’ve heard the songs, “I want to know you. I want to see your face.” This is probably one of the most common personal prayers that Christians pray, and rightly so. God has proven His amazing love for us. We should strive to love Him back as perfectly as we can.
Saints have always inspired me because of their great love for God. They make me want to love Christ more. I’ve tried to mimic them. I’ve lived the “fake it ’til you make it” faith life for a long time now. I want the same closeness for myself, but to be honest, I have never thought I could be holy like the people I look up to.
I feel like I have a long way to go to become a Saint, it’s as if Saints are a different breed of Christians who happen to look the same. It’s like watching a superhero movie and knowing that I will never deal out justice in spandex and a utility belt. I know holiness should not be out of reach, but it sure feels that way.
A question was posed to us a few days ago during our study of the book “The Return of the Prodigal Son.” It caused me to take a hard look at my faith and prayer life.
“How am I letting myself be loved by God?”
I have tried to have a relationship with God in my faith. Being here at Covecrest, I’ve had a lot of time to devote to my spiritual life, and I am realizing how weak that relationship is. I know all about God’s love for me. I’ve read the scriptures and catechism. I’ve heard countless sermons and talks and sang every song about His great love for me, but have I ever stopped to let Him love me?
I think I spend so much time trying to love Him, failing miserably most of the time, that I miss out on the love God longs to poor out on me.
I try to live my life in a way that proves my love for God through my actions. I try, and try, and try, but I think I have missed the point for a long time.
God is not a taskmaster. At the end of my life, I don’t think God will pull out a clip board and rate my efforts. “God is love.” That’s it!
He is my Father. What earthly father expects their baby to prove how much love they have. It is always the father who seeks to prove his love for the child. Like the Prodigal Son, God doesn’t care where I’ve been or what I’ve done. I have returned to Him and He just wants to hold me. If I am busy proving my love for Him, I will never experience His embrace. Holiness comes not from my love of God, but from me accepting and remaining in God’s love.
This does not mean I am going to quit doing good or striving to love more. I am just undergoing a change of heart. All the good that I do, and love that I have is really just God’s love overflowing through me. The better I understand that, the closer I’ll be to the spandex and utility belt.