I changed my tagline today on my blog, you may have noticed. I am still “Catholic and a Mom”, as my previous one stated, but yesterday, I had a question pop into my head; kind of a summons to collect my overall message in life. “What would you tell someone who struggles to believe in God?” Somehow, my brain went from what the heck to make for dinner, to proving the existence of God. My husband would tease me that reports suggest that is the sign of a brilliant person; to be scatter-brained, unfinished, etc.
I had sort of a vision of myself in the middle of a group of people who were in a heated discussion. I think the general atmosphere of the vision came from flipping around on XM satellite radio between the Catholic Channel, Joel Osteen, Fox News Headlines, and Laugh USA (I think I could be a comedian some day) during the three hours of driving I do in the afternoon…school, ballet, home, school, band, ballet, home. Listening to inspirational talks, harsh reality, and the funny way people view their circumstances in everyday situations pretty much describes my brain input in the afternoons. I suppose I got the “vision” trying to make sense of it all, and trying to listen to the softly buzzing hum of God’s inspirations in my heart.
“How do you know there is a God?” asked one of the foggy faces in my vision, sitting around a table, some empty coffee cups and used napkins littering the surface. “How do I know? Well, I know my mom. Do you know my mom? You don’t? Well, how about if I introduce you?” I continue, “If I talk about my mom, our conversations, and arrange for you to meet her but you never do get to actually see her face, will you tell me that she doesn’t exist? No. You won’t. Why not? Because I know her. I have a relationship with her. You can doubt her existence in your own relationship with her, but you cannot doubt mine because it belongs to me. It is my relationship.”
Well, that’s God. Do you doubt Him? Then I ask, have you been introduced to HIM? If you want to be introduced to someone, ask yourself why? A celebrity? A politician? A leader? Why? What can you glean from them? What knowledge, understanding, influence, acknowledgement are you feeling you will get from an encounter with that person? Now I ask you to think the same for God. Only this is bigger than all of that; yes even bigger than my mom (if you know her then you know why that’s funny and becoming part of my monologue for my show) But a relationship is where God exists. Don’t tell me you don’t believe in my mom (to continue the example, not just because she rocks), and don’t tell me you don’t believe in God until you have tried to get to know Him. Talk to Him, ask him stuff, listen listen and listen some more in a quiet place for Him. If you have trouble listening, picture yourself in line for the greatest concert tickets of your life or something else that you would move everything in your life around to do. Start there. Only you don’t have to have an introduction from a VIP, or a back stage pass, or a ticket or an appointment or even a special place. You just have to have an open heart.
Ok, so now in my vision, no one at the table is listening, because I always talk too much, but if I still have any audience at all I say this; and I say it to you, and to myself on a weekly basis: What if you knew, that in the end, everything really is going to be ok?”
“Well Meg, how do you know that? There are people dying every day of horrible things. There are people suffering with disease, homelessness, wars, earthquakes…” YES; there are because THIS, my friends, is a battleground of good and evil. But have you ever been through something awful that eventually worked out (Guess who helped you with that)? I would challenge you if you say “No, Meg. Nothing in my life has ever worked out.” I would ask you if you have legs that walk, eyes that see, food in your mouth…ever been hugged? Wow. You are WAY ahead of some people. How about dirty dishes in your sink? Hey! You had a meal! Great! What about laundry? I tease my family and say “piles of laundry means we aren’t naked! (yet?) All blessings to be counted, and gratitude is a great beginning.
But when we don’t feel grateful or things are really awful, and it happens, God really cares about everything you are experiencing. He allows us to have free will, and that means loving us enough to let us find our way back to Him. We love our children enough to really let them go off and drive a car, or go to college, or find their own path in life right? Things may happen in the battle for our good in this life along the way. But in my experience, almost everything negative thing we experience turns out differently than we anticipate, for the better, and if not, perhaps we are missing the big picture. Even suffering has it’s meaning, it’s time, and place; and I know for me, much of my own suffering has not been lost. I learned from it; it taught me to keep fighting, to try harder, to love stronger and longer, to keep track of my blessings, and to stay close to my God, who gave me what grace I needed to endure. And when that all ends, I know that I know, that He will be there to embrace us; His mercy will overwhelm you with love; He will forgive you; tell you that you didn’t have to earn His love, because He loved you before you were born and every minute after, no matter how you messed up, and He forgives you if you seek His forgiveness. And in the end, it really will all be ok.
Suggested Prayer: Lord, you knew me before I was knitted in my mother’s womb. You made me to love you. You created me out of love for you, called me to you, and seek me still. Help me know where to begin today in finding You, hearing Your voice, and doing Your will. Fill me with a desire to seek you in everyone I meet. Help me give someone else the encouragement they need to seek you out. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.