God is Waiting For You

rainbow blog

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.

My Summer Goal… To Just Be

Summer Goals
With summer vacation about to begin, bringing a sense of endless promise and boundless time, my husband and I have been talking a lot about goals. “What do you want to accomplish this summer?” I asked him.  “What are your top three goals for the summer?” he countered.  We’re even imposing these goals on our boys.  What activities should they pursue this summer? How will that help them achieve long-term success? What is one major personal goal they can accomplish before school starts up again in the fall?

Goals are good and important and can lead to certain kinds of growth.  But this constant focus on “doing” has its pitfalls.  We live in a world that places an enormous amount of emphasis on accomplishments and achievements. We present ourselves to the world as living resumes, saying: “This is what I do” as opposed to “This is who I am.” Our lives need to be efficient and productive at all times.  We devote ourselves to the gods of progress and success.  This approach to life can easily backfire and end up blocking true and meaningful growth. We miss out on opportunities to build relationships, to grow in our closeness with God, to experience the sacred in the everyday moment.

In a world filled with the demands of so much DOING, perhaps summer, with its warm, gentle breezes and long, hazy days of sunshine, should be a time for just BEING.

  • BEING wise enough to know when we need to rest and restore ourselves.  This is not a luxury or a guilty pleasure but a vital necessity!  It’s not laziness, but a time of being spiritually alive and tuned in to the ways in which God is moving in our lives.
  • BEING open to an intimate and deepening relationship with our Creator.  A constant pursuit of doing makes it difficult to hear God and respond to His stirrings in our souls.
  • BEING available to experience the sacred in the most ordinary present moment. Pay attention to what we might be missing. The thing that will have the most impact on us today, is most likely not on our daily “to do” lists.
  • BEING aware of friendships or relationships that need nurturing.  Practice the art of doing “nothing” with our spouses, kids, or friends.  Take time for idle conversation and see what’s revealed in the process.  Talk, but more importantly, listen.
  • BEING able to sit in the silence and let ourselves be filled up by the presence of God.
  • BEING humble enough to realize that God’s plans for us are so much more important than our own personal goals for success.
  • BEING creative in our approach to spirituality as we strive to deepen our relationship with God.  Try something new this summer.  Attend a spiritual retreat or workshop. Keep a journal of thoughts on “being.”  Discover a new way of praying.

Let’s put our resumes of accomplishment away for a few months.  Or better yet, let’s rewrite them altogether.  What we “do” should be an outpouring of who we “are” and who God wants us to be.  Who we are is the essence of our souls and the foundation of our lives.  Don’t we deserve time to nurture and cultivate that part of ourselves?  It shouldn’t be pushed to the back burner to be replaced by lists of things we want to do and accomplish.  Our connection to the Divine should dictate our “to do” list.

Spend your summer BEING a child of God.