Sunday, May 21, 2017
wrong all my life
St Basil talks to us today in A Year with the Church Fathers. He tells us many things that we need to remember as Christians.
And he demonstrates the great lesson I learned today. You see... I found out today that I was wrong about what I wanted most in life. Crazy, huh? Here's how it happened.
From the time that I first started seriously following Jesus, I've wanted to do His will. This was around my high school age, through college, and very poignantly after I graduated from college and was trying to figure out what to do with my life. Whenever anyone asked, I would tell them that what I wanted more than anything was "to do His will." Sounds right, right? But I was wrong.
See, Thomas Aquinas was asked that question, too. And Thomas was much smarter than I am. So when Jesus asked Thomas what he wanted more than anything, he gave the correct answer. "Non nisi te, Domine." That means, "Nothing but you, Lord."
It's a subtle difference. You can see how I ALMOST got it right. But coming so close, I got it so wrong. Because.... if I want more than anything to do His will, then I'm constantly, from one moment to the next, trying very hard to figure out what that will is. To the point, at times, of hand wringing and self doubting. "Am I doing His will now? What about now?" And of course, when I sin, it throws me into deep unhappiness, because I know I wasn't doing His will during my sin.
But when you make that subtle but enormous change, from wanting to do His will, to wanting HIM... well, it makes all the difference. Because He's here. I have Him. I want what I can't lose. Where can I run from His presence? If I go to the depths of hell, He is there. I can't get away from Him if He is what I want. And I can FIND Him in all of my doings. I can find Him in the face of the poor when I help them. I can find them in the faces of everyone I see throughout each day, and I can love Him in those faces. Everywhere I go, I find Him.
So no more hand wringing. No more desperately trying to figure out "Is this His will? What about that?" I seek Him in all things, and find Him there. Does that mean it doesn't matter what I do? Of course not. But it means He's here with me, and that's what's most important. He will help me do what He wants. But that's not what's most important. HE is most important. And He is here.
Our hearts are restless until they rest in Him. And we can rest in Him in every moment, as we seek Him above all things.
God, thank You for showing me how subtly and profoundly wrong I was.