Thursday, March 23, 2017
Living Life Well
Lord, be with me; I want to do Your will. Show me how; show me where. But You don’t need to show me why.
I trust in You.
I’ve written many times about the importance of that question: “why,” because we do so many things without asking it, or without asking it about the most important things: Why am I alive? Why here; why now? Why am I so blessed? Why did my God die for me?
I used to think it important to think on that question, so as to not just do, or just want. Things are there for a reason; there is truth. I wanted to know why, and I thought we all should be asking that.
I realize that my searching for “why” tells something about me: that I’m curious, that I have a need to understand, and that knowing “why” might strengthen my faith. Needing to know why also says something else about me: I have a great abiding trust in myself. It’s only been recently however, that I realized that question “why” also says something else about me: I am alone; I don’t really trust anyone.
I believe it is a great epiphany if you can come to trust in God. Why did Jesus do that? Why does the Church teach that? Why do people act that way? Why am I the way I am? They’re questions that eat at us, and not finding answers which satisfy us, we are unsettled. And most of us can’t even bring to mind the question that is at the root of all these others: Why does God love me?
And we think if we can’t figure that out, He must not.
I said that in some ways it is a curse to have intelligence, a curiosity that is always asking “why”. Far too few of us are using that intelligence to bring us to the correct answer to that simple question. The answer on most matters to that never-ending question of “why,” our need to know, is: It doesn’t matter, because God knows why.
It’s a great insight and a great grace, if the Holy Spirit opens our minds and our hearts to see that in a at what happens to us. We are just a speck in all of creation, in the timeline of eternity. It’d be easy to look at that immenseness and think: “Well, then I must not matter at all.” But you do.
God put you there. He created the picture of creation. He needed you there; He wanted you there. You don’t need to know why.
All you need do is trust. And as for how to live your life, that’s such a small thing too. You need to trust there also, because He showed you how to live that life; He came to earth to demonstrate, and if His example wasn’t clear enough, he said those simple words of saying how to live: Love God, and love your neighbor.
It’s what He created you to do. Now go do it well.
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The Gospel (Lk 15: 1-10) is about the lost sheep. And when it is found the shepherd says: “I have found my sheep who was lost.” But reading on, Jesus later says: “There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner …” Do you see the difference in those words? The shepherd says “I found my sheep;” Jesus says: “My sheep found me.” That’s the reason for joy in heaven. The sheep that was off, looking around on his own, seeking his own answers to “why,” and it tuned and found God, the answer to all its questions.
And there was rejoicing in heaven.
I pray you can someday reach that point, where you can hear the cheering of heaven. Stop looking for ways you want to go, for understandings you must have. Listen to the Shepherd’s voice calling you, even if it seems faint and far away. And learn to trust. RESOLVE to trust.
That is living life well.