This is the time of year for high school graduations, and it’s got me thinking about my own high school years. Some of my fondest memories are the nights I would come home after an evening out with my friends. My mother always waited up for me, and my return home had a lovely sense of ritual to it. I would come in, join my mother on the couch, and she would ask to hear every detail of my night out. Sometimes my stories were filled with joy, other times heartache and teenage drama. More often than not they were probably pretty boring. It never made any difference to my mom. She listened with total focus and rapt attention. How wonderful it felt to know that she cared not only about me but about every facet of my life.
I can’t help but compare this memory to a doctor I used to see years ago when I lived in Boston. She would breeze into the examining room and spend as little time with me as she possibly could. She was a nice woman, but it was obvious she was overbooked and had other patients waiting. I didn’t doubt her skills as a physician, but I never really felt like she cared about me or what I had to say. It got to the point where I felt guilty asking her questions about my health…believing she had more important or sicker patients to deal with than me.
Which of these two examples matches more closely with your image of God? When you approach God in prayer, do you do so with comfort and confidence or with a sheepish sense of apology? “I don’t mean to bother you, but…”
It’s easy to believe that God is too busy to hear us. How many billion people live on this planet? Why would God care about the details of one little soul? The answer is simple.
Because God created your soul and you belong to Him.
Our relationship with God is one of constant invitation. Like my mom sitting on that couch, God is always waiting, eager to hear from us, no matter what we have to say. He’s strong enough to bear it all: our complaints, our doubts, our fears, our anger, our sorrows, our joys, our moments of transformation. Nothing is too dark or too trivial or too overwhelming for God’s loving ears.
There are many different ways to pray, but one that I love the most is just talking to God. It brings home for me the fact that God is not a remote power, too busy or lofty to hear from us. God is present and close, and wanting an intimate relationship with each and every one of us.
“To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me.
God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me
even more than my most intimate friend.
I take a moment and greet my loving God.”
(From “Sacred Space” at http://www.sacredspace.ie)
My prayer for you today is that you will truly believe that God cares for you and is waiting to hear from you.