Jonah and the whale. A story about running from God. God is calling each one of us to a plan that He has. Do you hear God calling you? As I thought about this, I thought “No, I really haven’t heard God call”. It’s confusing to me. I think I’m doing what God wants me to do; and then it all ends up in a big mess. I just don’t get it. I thought He loved me and wanted the best for me. My life has been one big disaster! I run from one project to another trying to put fires out. I get so dizzy trying to remember what to do next and where! Maybe I should just give up! I mean really, am I making any difference in my world? There is so much hatred and evil. So much killing.
Then I listened to a homily by Bishop Barron. He says God calls us always through our conscience. You know, that still quiet “voice” inside that tells us what is right from wrong. We often say, “I don’t hear God.” I just don’t know what He wants me to do or where to go. But how often do we take the time to be quiet, really quiet and let God “talk” to us? I’m with you, not nearly enough. My life, and maybe yours, is filled to the gills from the time I get up until I go to bed. How much time do I spend praying and “listening” to God? I keep telling myself I’ll do more tomorrow. And truth be told, tomorrow doesn’t come.
My resolution for 2024 was to pray more, worry less, and give more to God to handle. He does a much better job at it than do I. One month in, not too bad. But I still need to find the niche to be quiet! I think sometimes that the devil likes it if I’m too busy. Hmmm. Something to ponder. God wants all of me. Not just the surplus I am willing to give Him. He wants the first and the best not the leftovers. How am I going to do this? Pray some more and see where God leads me. “What do you want of me Lord? Where do you want me to serve you? Where can I sing your praises? I am your song!” There is nothing more beautiful than the name of Jesus! Nothing calms my spirit more. It is the best, no THE best prayer! JESUS. This helps to calm my spirit. It helps me to hear Him, Jesus “talk” to me. Come Jesus come!
In a world of so much turbulence, craziness, unlove, unrest, darkness, what do we need? More of the very best love for all of us! Jesus. I really believe that if each one of us would take the extra time to pray, on top of what we already do, we would see a change. I really believe that is what God is calling, no challenging us to do. Take extra time to pray! A rosary, time after Mass, time in adoration, time in chapel, time in a chair in our living room. St Paul tells us to “pray unceasingly”. What does that tell me? To pray ALL the time. Offer up my work, whatever it is. The daily grind of 8-5. Washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, dusting, watching the grandchildren, helping the neighbor, taking out the garbage. Whatever we do, do it for God. With a joyful spirit! As it’s been said, who likes a grumpy Christian? SMILE ☺. If nothing else, people will notice and wonder what you are up to. And that opens the door for conversation about God and evangelization.
And that takes us back to Jonah. So if God were to tell you to go and preach repentance to a community that you are not familiar with, say Galveston, Texas. What would you do? Take the next flight to Antarctica? That’s similar to what Jonah did. He said, I think I’ll go the opposite way. God kind of has a way of getting us where we need to be/where He wants us to be. God’s timing is perfect! Even if we don’t agree.
So my challenge to you is to step out in faith and pray more. Give God 10 more minutes each day and see just how much closer you can get to God. I’d love to hear your stories.
As a wonderful Deacon (in his 5 th day) said; May the peace of Christ always disturb your life!
John Lyons, Kathy Otermat