We humans spend a good deal of time with questions that hover at the edges of our consciousness – they soak up our energy and sap our strength. Why doesn’t God answer when we talk to him? Why does God let so much suffering take place? Does God hear us? Does God really exist? Each of us will find the answers we so desperately want only after we make the decision to spend an apppointed time with God each day. Fidelity to this God Time brings us hope to buoy us up through the pain we and love enough to heal ourselves and others.Find the time today to read Matthew 8:1-22, Exodus 15:11-13, and Psalm 24, then reflect and listen . . . this God Time will begin the restoration you seek. This God Time will bring you miracles . . .
Three miracles for three ordinary and marginalized people: a leper, the servant of a Roman centurion, a fisherman’s mother-in-law. As always, when I read about these events, I imagine the amazement and joy which must have affected not only the one who is healed, but the family, friends and neighbors as well. Miracles take place before our eyes constantly . . . yet we are so rushed that we often do not see them.
This part of Matthew’s story is full of miracles, intermingled with times when Jesus retreats to rest. This is significant to me . . . that even the Christ understands his limits and his boundaries. The human in him knows what his work is . . . and what it is not. And he presents us with a confounding verse: Let the dead bury the dead.
What does this mean?I am not at home where the scripture commentaries I rely on line the shelf beside by God chair– the comfortable recliner in the corner of my bedroom where I spend so much time reflecting with God; at work now I only have two places to look quickly during this rushed day of short classes and highly-strung girls; but both explanations lead to the same idea. The search for God and our coming to understand how God works in our lives over-rides any other duty we think we must complete, any other pleasure we want to satisfy. Our relationship with God, our spiritual well-being, our daily communication with God takes precedence over all else.
What does this mean to us?
When we construct our calendar we must fill several slots in our daily schedule with the words GOD TIME. No telephone, no distraction. Just God.
Finding GOD TIME can be problematic; but then that makes the adventure all the more fun. I have said many rosaries in waiting rooms, waiting cars, grocery store lines, and power-outages. I have said a thousand little Thank you, Jesus prayers as I prepare dinner, prepare lessons, prepare to go to bed, prepare to get up. I have turned off televisions, shut books, told friends I was busy, put aside work and play when I have felt the need to call God one more time this week, this day, this month. The point is this: our direct line to God functions best when it functions constantly. We even see the master himself juxtapose demanding work with deep prayer and re-charging time.
Today’s morning Psalm is number 24, the morning reading Exodus 15:11-13. These readings remind us that to be a disciple means that we must follow the master, and that we must be willing to be disciplined by that master. How will we know what he is saying if we have not made the most important appointment of our day . . . every day?
When I find myself hassled, anxious, worried or upset . . . it is much easier to calm the tummy and stop the spinning if I can just say to myself . . . I don’t have time to worry now. I will save this until ‘God time’. He will know what to do. And sure enough . . . when I ask the question . . . the answer arrives. It may be a response I do not like; but the response will be genuine and in my best interest. It will be another miracle delivered and received . . . a miracle found in the same place Jesus found his answers to his greatest questions . . . in GOD TIME.
January 15, 2009