Learning Not to Look for Answers
Today’s Gospel reading contains a familiar and one of the most quoted verses, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:14).
I’ve heard someone interpret this passage as the reasons why God wants to be part of our lives. I always thought that meant that God would be active in my life. He would send signs and signals for me to find and interpret. When I thought I missed the signs, I prayed that he would make the signs clearer and louder (as if they can be in neon lights). I prayed for it but often it didn’t happen. I can go about my day and nothing remarkable may occur. I won’t get great insights into what I should do with my life or what decisions I should make.
I honestly got annoyed and frustrated, wondering what I can do to get some attention. I would look for meaning in whatever sign I would pick up.
But, as I reflected on what I thought was missing, I started to think that what I was doing instead, was to overlook God’s real presence in my life. In looking for the grand gestures, I forgot that, sometimes, I just needed to have faith that God is with me. That I don’t always need someone to give advice or the answers all time. Just someone who will be by my side. God’s love is enough.
This Lent, I am trying something new. I won’t be creating a list of things to do (or not do). I’ll try not to look for answers or signs on what do to. Instead, I want to just sit still and be with God. Maybe in the quiet moments, I’ll hear him more clearly. But, even if I don’t, that’s ok. Because loving God and being loved by him are sufficient and all I need.