I asked him a simple question expecting a simple answer. . .
“When do you talk with Jesus?”
He stood in front of me and said . . .
“Well, the first thing I do is get up. And then I go to the bathroom. And then I eat breakfast. Then I get dressed, brush my teeth, pack my lunch. Then I go to school . . .”
Interrupting the 16 year-old boy-wonder, I said . . .
“You didn’t answer my question. I asked you when you talk with Jesus.”
He looked at me, spread his arms wide, thrust his head out toward me, and dropped his jaw as far as it would go without unhinging. His body language communicated better than words. I translated . . .
“Mom! Like, I talk to Jesus ALL the time! That’s what I just said! Are you deaf?”
(Why no, my dear teenage son. I am not deaf. You are. Well, in one ear anyway. I just prefer direct answers to my direct questions.)
Instead of blurting my inner thoughts, I asked politely using my reflective listening skills . . .
“Are you saying you talk to Jesus ALL the time, no matter what you’re doing?”
In his most delightful, sassy, teenage tone, his mono-syllabic response oozed out of his mouth in what certainly sounded like three syllables to me . . .
(Translation: “D—uu—UH, Mom!”)
That’s all I said.
What a concept. Whatever we’re doing in the present moment is an opportunity to relate with the Divine and an opportunity for God to work His perfect will in us, even if our moments seem dull, mundane or painful.
The Jesuit Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) wrote that “self-abandonment to divine providence” and “the sacrament of the present moment” are the key practices of cooperation with God whose divine will is “the wholeness, the good and the true in all things.” God uses all things, whatever they may be, to shape us into the likeness of Jesus in the very center of our being (Romans 8:28). How could anything be better for us?
Everything that happens to us, absolutely everything we do, is used by (even when not caused by) our loving God for our ultimate good, whether we’re consciously aware or not. Everything is an opportunity for relating with God and others—for growing in love.
Life lived in cooperation with the awareness of this one truth that God is good and always works for our good gives life full meaning, purpose, and joy—the kind of life God wants for us—the kind of life Jesus died to give us.
So, this new year, let’s have one resolution—to surrender all to God—to fall completely into the arms of our wholly-loving Father, knowing He is with us always, working His perfect will in us—in all—all for good.
How might our lives and our world change for the better in 2015 if everything we think, feel, and do become acts of allegiance to and love for God, no matter how small or mundane?
What if we always pray and never give up, just like Jesus told us (Luke 18:1), seeking only that God’s will be done and not our own, if our own conflicts with His?
What if we became more mindful in every moment, with every breath, that absolutely everything can become a God-gift?
What if we hold lightly in our hearts and hands every gift we’ve ever been given, ready always to give as the Giver desires?
I do believe there would be peace on earth, goodwill toward all. The New Year might not always be happy, but it would always be joy-FULL.
De Caussade, Jean-Pierre. The Sacrament of the Present Moment. Translated by Kitty Muggeridge. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1982.