Monday, April 6, 2015

What Is the Best Reason I Know to Have a Personal Relationship with God? I Am

Watch Out for Me!

While sick, I’ve been Kevin’s main living contact with the outside world, our family, friends, neighbors, and church this week.  I don’t necessarily consider this to be the best way to go through Holy Week, or any other week, for that matter.  

There are many reasons why Christ emphasized the importance of community as well as having a personal relationship with God.  I happen to be a prime example of some (rather several) of those reasons.

I have been known, on occasion, to get attitudinal, even snotty with my husband when he says he doesn't want to do morning prayer, the daily readings, or the Rosary with me.  Doesn't he understand how important these elements of faith formation and daily prayer are?  Probably not, if my reaction to his negative response is snippy or if I have no patience for him when I return from church activities.  

We Will Try Again

From the first moment I came in the door one day, I was being really critical of Kevin, grumpy, and ungrateful.  After a few minutes of being like this, I caught myself, and I decided to go back out the front door and start the whole evening over.  Unfortunately, when making my grand exit, I failed to unlock the doorknob or grab my key.

I stood there a second, basking in the irony, then I knocked on the door.
Kevin yelled, "Now what?!"  I quietly explained I wanted to start the evening over again and do things better this time, but I'd locked myself out.

He couldn't help but laugh and let me back in. That's one of the milder examples we were able to laugh about sooner than later, but I know I will never be as good at giving unconditional love, unrestricted compassion, or limitless forgiveness as God is.  My thoughts, suggestions, actions, and reactions are most often tinged with some measure of bias, self-centeredness, pride, or arrogance.  I’ve got a long ways to go before most of my words and actions are truly the kindest, most loving they could be in any given situation.    
Early on in our friendship and dating relationship, I worried Kevin would never be convinced of the beauty of a relationship with God because I was and always will be far from perfect.  I can only give him a small glimpse of God’s love.  The only way Kevin would see the light is to experience God himself.  If he looked to me for inspiration, guidance, and unfailing love rather than to God, then he and I would both end up in a heap of trouble.    

The Gospel According to You
Have you heard or read the classic poem with the above title?  (If not, you can read it here.)  Yikes! That really scares me!  I mess up all the time!  Though I have been a nanny, I can't at all relate to Mary Poppins' "practically perfect in every way." I rarely make it through an hour without saying or doing something that I probably could and should have done more lovingly. I want much better for my loved ones than what I am able to give consistently, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’d rather people I care about had loved ones who are much gentler, kinder, empathetic, and holier than I am even at my best. Though, I really am trying.  

When Kevin was looking to me as his main example of a person of faith, it freaked me out.  I was his top priority, so he thought he should be mine.  This began some of our earliest and, at times, most heated debates about faith, religion, and priorities.  I wanted then and now for God to come first before everyone and everything else in my life.  By the way, that's part of my definition of "a spiritual diva," which is how I'm known in certain circles.      

I knew Kevin would (and does) need a direct relationship with the Lord in order to return to the Catholic faith in which he was raised.  Being close friends, then later dating me, was only going to make it more apparent that, though genuinely striving to discern and do God’s Will, I’m always falling short of the mark. 

And that, in essence, is why I am the best reason I know for having a personal relationship with God.

Questions to Consider: Who or what is my measure of genuine love, kindness, generosity, charity, and selflessness?  Am I inspired or discouraged by what I am observing from my role model?  Are my thoughts and actions pointing to God as being the infinite Source of Love, Truth, Beauty, peace, and wisdom or are they calling more attention to me? 

My Prayer: Lord, please help me keep focused on You, Your will, the graces and gifts You offer, and Your endless supply of love.  If I spend too much time looking at all I lack, I get discouraged and tend to go inward.  When I ponder Your many blessings and all of the miracles You have already worked in my life, then I am encouraged to move forward with the confidence that You will lead me and continue to bring about transformations I could never bring about on my own.  Amen.
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