Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Spiritual Growth

Thirty-nine years ago God knit me in my mother’s womb.

When I was eight, I met God in reconciliation and then in the Eucharist.

When I was sixteen, I met God at my confirmation.

When I was twenty-six, I met God as I prayed for relief from my abusive spouse.

When I was thirty, I met God as I sang in the Easter Tridum.

When I was thirty-one, I met God at my wedding.

When I was 35 I met God at chrp.

When I was 35 I stopped meeting God. This time, I stayed. See, all my life I kept meeting God for the first time over and over. He however, has been with me from before I was born. At 35 I stayed and I began to know my father and thus began my spiritual journey.

Each journey is different for everyone. But, no matter the journey, the destination is the same.

We all know how much I hate walking with God. Don’t get me wrong, I could not ask for better company. However, I don’t like walking because it hurts. As I walk it hurts. And, those closest to me know how I tend to become over emotional and take things personally (that’s just one of the many perks of being born under the sign of cancer!). I will complain how the walk is hurting me. But, God doesn’t mind me complaining, He says…

“…Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly.” Romans 5:3-7 So, see I’m not complaining, I’m building endurance and character!

So, five years ago, I met God, I met my Dad and since then, He has shown His mercy, His love, and His redemptive grace. Do I falter? Every. Single. Day. But, in my journey here’s what I have learned.

a) I hate walking.

b) That God loves me and that scripture can answer any question (what’s for dinner? Five loaves and two fishes (Matt: 14-18); what do I do for clothes? Even Solomon was not clothed in all their splendor (talking of the lilies of the field) Matt 6:28-31

c) And, even more serious questions...Where are you? Behind and before I encircle you (Ps: 139) Who am I? I have called you by name and you are MINE (Isaiah 43:1) What if I have doubts? Come, put your hand in my side. (John 20:26)

In my spiritual journey, I have been given friends. Friends who have lifted me on my matt and lowered me down from the roof.

I have friends who have walked with me in the valley of the shadow of death (Ps: 23) I have friends who help me carry my cross when it gets too heavy for me. I have been given the greatest friend, God. As He is in each of you.

Do I turn to Him first when I want to complain or talk? Sometimes, but not as much as I should. It’s called spiritual growth, not spiritual completion. I’m working on it.

I learn on a daily basis. Even yesterday, I learned something. When I say the Hail Mary I ask for something “pray for us sinners NOW and at the hour of our death”. Now. Mary is praying for me NOW. When we say the Our Father, we say “give us THIS day” Not tomorrow, not next week, give us THIS day. And He does. He gives us what is sufficient to get through THIS day. (thanks KIM).

He also says "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:25-27, 34

I’m working on the worry thing and I still hate walking. In fact, I’m in the middle of a walk right now. I hate walking so much my best friend Carol gave me this bracelet that says “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” to remind me that walking is okay and that I still need to grow.

No matter what the walk brings, for each of us, I can tell you one thing I’ve learned… “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:38-39

Until next time,

Enjoy your family, have some tea, and spend time with God



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