Dear Believers in the Messiah,
When I was in the seminary, one of our retired priests used to say, “Ninety percent of life is just showing up.” I admit the truth of his words the longer I am in the Church and struggle to become a person of prayer. Showing up is a gift to God. God can work with us only when our hearts become ready and willing, when our lives are given freely.
Matthew 21:28-32 gives us a story about our own stubborn ways and our own willingness to show up. Two sons are asked to work. One says yes and then no. The other says no then yes. This very human response is revealed in each one of us. The two sons are examples of reactions we all have within our human attitudes and hearts.
It is always interesting to me how in so many human circumstances, we tend not to ask someone to do something whom we know will not show up to accomplish the task. We usually ask the person who is already incredibly busy and generous because we know the project will get done. The not so generous person can often get away with remaining distant and sometimes lazy and not involved.
God welcomes all people; sometimes it just takes time for us who are more selfish and stubborn to find our way toward God’s generous and inviting life. We have untold opportunities to accept the invitation toward God’s mercy and fidelity.
I remember when I first starting writing for publication. One of my writing mentors told me two things to remember when working with editors of magazines. He said, “Never say no to an invitation no matter how pressured you are with other work and always get the work accomplished before the deadline.” He told me that if I do those two things, editors would continue to ask me to write for that particular magazine. I have followed his advice and have published many articles in a number of magazines since 2002.
I may not be so successful in other areas of my life about showing up and allowing God to work within me, especially when I find the task tedious and not in my expertise. However, I know that God is not finished with me or with any of us quite yet. We are all invited into the Kingdom of God, no matter how stubborn or selfish, no matter how we are awakened to the gift, no matter how we are taken by the love that is being offered us.
Here are some things to consider this week: I say yes to God and then don’t follow through when… I say no to God when… What brings me to change my mind is… I remember when I felt so discouraged about showing up in prayer because… Then God changed my mind through…
Blessings to you,