Thursday, May 22, 2008

You Gotta Have Faith

Advance notice – I’m not a theologian. And I don’t play one on TV, although I do watch a lot of them. This is just me thinking…

One measure of “faith” could be how readily we’re able to see God at work in your lives. It’s challenging to recognize it as things are happening, and may be only slightly less challenging after the fact. As an example, for years I had prayed for the return of my faith, even while I wasn’t sure there was value in the prayer itself. My prayers (and those of others) were answered beyond my wildest expectations. Yet it took almost two years to have the a-ha moment where I connected the incredible gift with the prayers. Arghhhhhh!

To have the grace to anticipate, depend on, and surrender to God’s hand in your life before the fact may indicate the faith of a future saint. Suffice it to say that I (and probably most of us) have what seems like an insurmountable way to go.

While I’ve become a little more faithful in some areas, it seems they’re pretty insignificant. At least now on some small annoyances (i.e., needing to copy a file from an uncooperative computer before leaving for work) my frustration may be overcome by a sense that “there’s a reason for this.” Invariably something will happen so that the task that seemed so urgent and tested my patience will be easily accomplished at the “right” time later that day.

What’s helped me get even this far is a prayer formally called the Suscipe composed by St. Ignatius Loyola. I call it the “surrender” prayer and try to say it multiple times daily, especially in quiet moments and those where it appears I’m trying to get in God’s way. I encourage you to consider praying it too. You’ll hear answers if you listen.

Last December amid many professional challenges that seemed overwhelming for my skills and strengths, I heard a message while exercising that was incredibly clear: “They aren’t your talents; they’re mine. Quit doubting them.” It was very true, as the specific challenges were resolved more beneficially than I could ever have imagined or purposely directed.

So now my prayer is that God will grace me with faith in the reassurance that there are talents so much greater than mine that are there to guide me, if only I will follow.



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