November 1, 2020
When doing student report cards, there was a comment the teacher could choose that read: inattentive and easily distracted. Could that comment describe your spiritual life? We can become so consumed with myriad distractions and preoccupations and lose our connection to what is really significant and important.
We can become dull. This happens in our human relationships, too. We can easily take the love of others for granted, whether it be a parent, spouse, friend, or a child. We assume and presume that their love will always be there and do very little to cultivate, rejuvenate, and deepen it. Presumption can become a great sin.
We do the same thing with God and our spiritual lives. We presume that God will be merciful. Because we believe that in the end God is going to forgive us anyway, then why put a lot of effort into things now? What’s the point? It’s far easier to find a comfortable spot, curl up and take a nap! There is no immediate urgency to staying awake and attentive, so we think, and we simply fly by the seat of our pants.
Assuming and presuming too much about our relationships, especially our relationship with God, can lead to neglect and abuse. It can even lead to a sense of entitlement, where we actually believe that something is due us without much effort on our part.
Folks who are distracted and preoccupied can find their relationships, especially the primary ones, drifting away. You can actually be married to someone for many years and wake up one morning realizing that you really do not know them or truly recognize them. We have to desire God in order to recognize God. We have to open our hearts, minds, and souls to His Presence so that we can be rejuvenated and refreshed. But we cannot do this if we are distracted or napping. We have to be awake and alert! As a young child eagerly watches for and anticipates that arrival of their parent home, so too we must watch for God’s presence.
If the anticipation of God’s arrival does not excite us and rouse us, then we need to ask why. The wise person keeps vigilant watch, knowing that in the end they will not be disappointed.