“Mind blown” with the prerequisite hand motions exploding from your head is something you have probably seen or even done. We know what it means; a light bulb moment. Something we thought we knew is found out to be wrong. A truth we’ve long held sacred is discovered to be false. The reality of knowing that Han Solo really did shoot first or something just as earth-shattering.
Forgive my Star Wars geek-out but you understand what I am saying. Throughout our lives we will learn something new or gain a new insight into long held truths and often this will happen when we least expect it.
Such a thing happened to me just today. My mind was blown – a light arrived at just the right time.
I have been ever so slowly reading Fr. Jacques Phillipes, The Way of Trust and Love, A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux
In the chapter on “Trusting More and More” he goes on for several pages about the simple truths of prayer – we are called to be faithful to it, change for us happens only over time, there are ups and downs, God is always present even when we don’t ‘feel’ him, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. Stuff I already knew (or thought I knew).
Then this very morning I read from St. Therese herself:
“I understand and I know from experience that “the kingdom of God is within us.”….I have never heard him speak, but I feel that he is in me, that at every moment he is guiding me, inspiring me with what I should say or do. Just when I need it, I discover lights that I had not seen before. It is not usually during my prayer that they are most abundant, but rather amidst my daily occupations.”
Fr. Phillipe then reflects, “This means that even if our prayer is a bit arid, we must never be discouraged. God deposits treasures secretly in our hearts for the time when we will need them. That’s logical. We don’t need great lights in prayer, we need them in making decisions and acting. In prayer it is enough for us to stay humbly in God’s presence.”
MIND BLOWN! OF COURSE, HE IS RIGHT! Why was I waiting for lights when the Light of the World is always there!
Oh, you have no idea how much time have I wasted in prayer, sitting frustrated and saddened with the cold shoulder I felt God was giving me. I would sit there, waiting for some great light, some amazing insight! And feel, hear, get nothing.
Now, of course, time in prayer is never wasted but too often I felt as if God wasn’t even listening to me, wasn’t even there and I left my prayer time feeling abandoned, neglected and painfully lonely.
On the other side, I cannot tell you the number of times I have been able to say just the right thing, at the right time to the person, the child, the friend in front of me that I had not expected to say or even knew I knew.
Now, I am no mystic but when I read this passage, I remembered a few of these moments and felt as if God was whispering, “See, I always see you there praying. I’ve been there all the time. As you pray, I plant the seeds I knew you would someday need.”
The truth I learned today, in a deeper way, is this – be faithful to prayer, each and every day; no matter the silence, the dryness or the loneliness. Pray, even just a bit, every day and know God is there pulling some weeds, planting some seeds and doing what He does best – waiting for a moment to surprise us. The light will come exactly when He wants it to, not when we think it should. He is after all, the light of the world!