Sunday, December 12, 2010

Given Everything You Need....

Thursday night, after a significant amount of moaning, I had a friend remind me that "you have everything you need every day."

I used to know this fact.  I used to reflect on it all the time--ESPECIALLY when things in life were not going my way.  It was in that time about six months ago (when I was really desperate for love from God) that He would surprise me in incredible ways--things that took care of my heart that I couldn't have even fathomed for myself.  The blessings were showered and in abundance.

Fast forward to six months, where I'm more "stable" and life's circumstances have changed.  My job makes me tired and I have to work very hard in my first year in this new grade level.  I'm dating a guy who loves differently than me, and who has a completely different schedule than my own.  Unlike this summer, where I was able to spend a lot of time reflecting about myself and praying, I don't have that free time during the school year.  So, I don't pray because I'm talking myself out of it!

But, "I have everything I need right now."  What does that mean?  Again.  Even though I thought I already knew this.  What does it mean that I can be happy in my job that feels so demanding?  In front of this guy who it might not end up working out with? (whatever that means....because a lot of things work, even if the expected outcome doesn't happen) How do I have all the prayer time that I need when I feel so strapped for time?

Little by little, God is re-educating me through my circumstances about what this means.  First, He gave me a book from Fr. Rick called "Prayer for Beginners" by Peter Kreeft.  In the fifth chapter, it gives a method for prayer that is SO SIMPLE, you can do it any minute of the day.  You STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN to God in that present moment.  For a minute, thirty seconds, but you just rest in Him.  Inevitably for me, I usually remember what's at the heart of that situation when I stop, look and listen.  For example, on Friday, in the middle of a semi-stressful field trip with fourth graders, I stopped (right there in the middle of the statehouse!) and was practicing the presence of God.  Suddenly, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, I saw my students as these Infinite beings hungry for knowledge and love.  It made more sense to be attentive to their endless questions and excitement because through ME they will understand how God comes through reality. I just have to say "yes" to being present to my kiddos!

One of the most beautiful lines in that chapter by Peter Kreeft is, "A good way to act out our acceptance [of Christ dying for us] would be to stop reading this book and pray for at least one minute.  Will you give God one minute?...Are you finished?  Don't read another word until you are. Now, ask God to help you do that again and again for the rest of your life." pg. 36-37

I can't help but get chills thinking about all the times my personal relationship with God can grow in these little one minute "breaks." (which, by the way, are not breaks at all because it's the ONLY time I can truly see reality for what it is....)
I know this post is getting a little long, but I wanted to also share the Scripture for Mass on Friday as well---proving that God was really trying to push home this "you have everything you need" business on to me that day.  The first reading was from Isaiah 48: 17-19

"Thus says the Lord, your redeemer
the Holy One of Israel:
I, the Lord, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.
If you would hearken to my commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea..."

If I still wasn't listening, here was the Psalm response:

"Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life." (Psalm One)

The Lord teaches me the ways that are good and leads me on the way I should go.  I truly do have everything I need THIS day and always.