Summer 2009

God-given promptings

The Hidden God

     Most of us have heard the story of the man who got caught in his house during a terrible flood.  When the water was up to his door step, a boat bearing kind neighbors came to rescue him. He declined the offer saying, “No thank you. God will rescue me.”  The next day, the water reached the upstairs balcony.  Another boat came his way with the same offer.  Again, he refused the proposal explaining that God would indeed rescue him. Late the following day, while sitting on the chimney, he saw a helicopter hovering over him.  Again, he was not interested in taking advantage of such an offer, and made it clear that God would rescue him.

     Finally, the man died and went to heaven.  He was not happy, of course, and found himself complaining to St. Peter, saying: “I expected you to come and rescue me.  Where were you?”  St. Peter explained that God had sent two boats and one helicopter to rescue him. He had turned them down.   At least now he was experiencing an early heaven, if nothing else.

     Reading this made-up story prompted me to reflect on how often, in a hidden way, God is with us during the day, even in ways that do not seem to be in our favor. This includes the involvement with other people. Without our being aware of it, God often works for our good through others and through different circumstances.  Often, the ways of God are not only unique but hidden. Each night, as darkness sets in to soothe our tired bodies and spirits, it behooves us, if only for a short time, to reflect on what may have been the gift of God that day.

     It follows that if God works in my life this way, then the same is true of other people. This means that, at times, we ourselves may be used as an instrument of God from which another person will benefit.  We may be asked to listen, to comfort, to understand, to say the encouraging word and to walk the extra mile.  In addition, there will be times when we do not know that God is using us.  Upon recall, we may not even remember what we said that was strengthening, or what may have been inspiring for the other person.  It behooves us then, to stay in touch with our inner voice and the movements of our hearts, both of which deeply desire to open a way for God who so wants to be with us.

Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D

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