Waiting in Joyful Hope…….Well, most of the time……
What does it take to surrender? None of this comes naturally to me. Every fraction of an act of surrender and trust in God takes an act of the will. Every once in awhile, I get a tiny glimpse that perhaps it is becoming second nature for me, but always it is short-lived and I must surrender again and again and again.
My first response to any problem or question is almost always a well thought-out framework for how to solve it or fix it. I have always believed that there was nothing I could not do, given a timeline and a few resources. But this is not always the case when God is in charge. Sometimes He has other plans or does not wish to give me the resources I want to solve the problem.
So what then is surrender? Where do trust and surrender end and plain ol’ stupidity or laziness begin?
I often think of the story of the man who refused help when floods threatened to wash him and his home away. First came the man to the door telling him to evacuate and his response was, No thank you. The Lord will provide! And then, as the waters began to rise and he found himself standing in knee deep water, a row boat came by offering assistance to get him to dry ground, and again he said, Thank you, no. The Lord will provide! Then finally, up on his roof, as his house was about to wash away, a helicopter came to rescue him and again he refused help, saying The Lord will provide.
When he arrived at the pearly gates, after drowning in the flood, he asked St Peter why God let him die? And St Peter’s response was, Are you kidding me?? He sent you three men, a boat and a helicopter!
I think the moral of this story is that we must cooperate with Grace. It is so much easier when the need and response is instantaneous, but when it is drawn out over a period of time, I think it becomes harder to discern which is the life raft and which is my own agenda. Am I cooperating with the Holy Spirit or am I being lazy? Oh boy, can I relate to Martha. I want to be Mary, but I always end up more like Martha, making things happen and working until the work is done. Who knew that being Mary was so difficult?
God has given me so many gifts, one of the best gifts being my vocation to the religious life and my acceptance into the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Oh, I long to join them! I beg our Beloved Jesus to remove the obstacles to my entry every day. But the process has seemed sooooo slow.
Every day, I give Him my life, my work and my heart. I give Him my family and my friends and everything that us important to us. Every day I tell Him that I know His timing is perfect, and there must be some reason why I am still here, waiting in joyful hope. But some days, I wonder.
I wonder if God wants me to do more? I mean, is it enough that the word is out there that I need help, that eventually someone or some circumstance will arise to help me remove the obstacles to my entering religious life? Should I do something? Ooooo….right as I typed that last sentence, I heard in my heart, Mary’s words, Do whatever He tells you to do. Wow.
That Mother of ours is always listening….always helping…always on my side, helping me to find my way ever closer to the foot of the Cross. I’m going to have to stop this typing for a little while. Time to listen . . .