I always wanted to be a therapist. I underwent years of school and countless hours in internships for the privilege of being able to sit across from a stranger and listen to their deepest fears, scariest experiences, and most vulnerable stories. It’s an honor. Truly.
I had to make massive internal changes and begin many journeys on paths that were not clearly defined. I had to take a leap of literal and figurative faith if I wanted a glimpse at the life I felt that God was calling me to live. It was (and is) scary. At the time, I did not believe that I was ready to take on the physical, psychological, and spiritual tension that growth requires.
We all have been graced with our own experiences of God. Our Faith is supported by our perception of God’s movement in our lives. Christ comes to us, beautifully individualized to each person, as a friend who perfectly knows us. The church provides us with a crucial foundation in the exploration of our relationship with God. But, in the end, we receive from God our daily promptings to modify ourselves to better align ourselves with the divine. With all of that said, this reflection is built upon my perception of how God is woven throughout my daily life and how He motivates each of us to reach continually toward Him. As you continue to read, remember that.
The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; (Acts 17: 24-28, NRSVCE)
Our two-thousand-year-old tradition teaches that God is divine and constant. And yet, God is also molding challenges for us throughout our lives. God is unchanging while calling us to change - to grow. Am I the only one who needs to prayerfully discern what it means to be constant and how to be open to change?
It is challenging to “harden not our hearts.” The goal is to stay open to the promptings of God, both when he wants us to “hold the line” and when he wants us to modify ourselves for Him. Staying open to change is hard. And, possibly more importantly, what if I don’t want to? We must fight any urge to prefer our ways to God’s ways (Isaiah 55: 8-9).
Let’s break it down, shall we?
God is omnipresent. He is always there. “Lord, the Giver of Life,” who has existed since the beginning and will exist long after we are gone from this world. Constant.
In direct contrast, the world is ever-changing. As humans, we, too, are continually changing. I also believe that our relationship with the divine changes. I have grown through prayer, reflection (like this post), and the reception of grace in the sacraments, just to name a few. One way of examining this within yourselves would be to consider your relationship with God and how it looked like even one year ago before the pandemic. How much did it change when the parishes were closed? Did it change when you weren’t allowed to leave your home? It did for me. In these moments, we can either use them as vehicles of change in our lives and change with it. Or, nothing changes, and we don’t close any distance between ourselves and God. I’m not spiritually the same person before and after I went through my Confirmation. And definitely not the same as when I went through my First Communion. The growth has occurred on a personal level and in my relationship with God. My relationship with the divine has evolved. It has changed because I have invested in it. Christ has not changed. He remained constant.
I’m always looking for my calling, what I’m supposed to do with my life, or even what comes next. I look to a constant Being for the answer. Psalm 61:2 says, “When my heart is faint, lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (NRSVCE). Despite the constant changing of the world, no matter the season of life, I know that there is a higher rock than anything I could imagine. A safe place to find my center, gather everything I need, and move forward - my alpha and omega.
If I never moved forward, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be where I needed to be. I wouldn’t be living in a brand new city. If I wasn’t willing to grow toward God, then I would not be in a relationship with the love of my life. If I didn’t commit to a school and built upon my God-given gifts and talents, I wouldn’t be working my dream job. Does it always work out like this? Absolutely not. There were plenty of times where I failed to trust in the Lord and couldn’t move forward. I had to invest in and trust the Rock, which would protect, provide, and enable me as I moved forward. It goes without saying that it’s hard to listen, trust and throw yourself into change. Trust must be the center of each of our relationships, especially our relationship with the one true God. If you are on the brink of one of the biggest seasons of change you’ll ever encounter in your life, I ask you to Trust. It’s scary. And, it’s okay to be scared. Change is scary. It is Constant.