In the midst of the cares of daily life, how do we retain the fervor of our faith in God?
If you ask someone how they are doing, they will likely tell you how busy they are. And it’s true. Most of us are on the go all of the time. Both parents working demanding jobs, getting kids off to school, attending children sporting events, preparing meals, volunteering for various activities – all contribute to a feverish pace that can crowd out our focus on God’s place in our lives. Information technology now makes us available 24/7 to bosses, customers, family and friends.
While we may believe that our modern life has become more hectic than prior ages, the erosion of our focus on God is a condition Christians have faced from the very beginning. In the Book of Revelation we read of Jesus criticizing the Church of Ephesus for forsaking their first love of God. He chides them for how far they have fallen and tells them to “repent and do the things you did at first.” (Rev. 2:5)
To the Church of Laodicea, he says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. Because you are lukewarm…I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15-16)
My wife and I were blessed to have reconversion experiences during the height of the Catholic charismatic renewal in the 1970’s. These were exciting spiritual times for millions of Christians who were experiencing the release of the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives in the U. S. and around the world. There was a certain “wow factor” that seemed to pervade everything.
God seemed so present to us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Prayers at mass took on new life. Words seemed to leap off the page of scripture with new insight and meaning. We looked for ways to join with others who had similar experiences of renewal, and engage in ministries of outreach to share Jesus’ good news with others. We would pray with anyone for any need at any time.
Recently, I got out the Bible I had begun reading back then and was surprised at all the handwritten notes I had made in the margins recording various insights at the time. I also found a couple of letters from two of our daughters that I had stashed away. Each of them had commented on the impact they saw that the Lord was having on their mother and me and our family.
Forty years later, I wonder if my zeal and enthusiasm has waned a bit. Yet, I know that God has not changed. Nor has the need changed for us to be his presence in the world today to the people and circumstances in our lives.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1) I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God.” (Psalm 139:14, 17)
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)