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. Our cell phones make 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 its 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 complains, “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15-16)
After experiencing a reconversion of my faith in my mid 30’s, a certain “wow” factor seemed to pervade everything. God seemed so present to me 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. 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 father 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 and bring his presence to the people and circumstances in our lives.
In today’s Liturgy of the Hours, Cyril of Jerusalem says, “The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console. The Spirit comes to enlighten the mind first of the one who receives him, and then, through him, the minds of others as well.”
In the midst of life’s daily cares, how do you retain the “wow” of your faith in God?