Even if your life is hectic, God is always present. But do you allow yourself to receive the encouragement He wants to give you?
Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed
– 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
There is a lot of chaos over here. Yes, yes, I know that our God is a God of order, and that all things are aligned to good, but in within the walls of my house, there is a lot of screaming and yelling and confusion and other things that do not readily fall under “order”.
But sometimes…oh! Sometimes there is such beauty in the crazy. Sometimes there’s the baby, running after her brother, screaming his name jubilantly and exactly like a crazy old lady: “Juju! Juju!” Sometimes there’s the Irish twins, out in front yard, rolling down the hill, and laughing like lunatics, ecstatic in each other’s existence.
Oftentimes there’s Masses where I don’t even hear the Consecration, because I’m out with some wild child or another. Oddly enough, it’s always those times that I’m the most grateful for receiving Our Lord, with an “Amen” sincere enough to shake the heavens.
On the way to Mass this Sunday, all of us loaded up in the van and were ready for “last chance Mass” (thank you, God, for giving us a parish with a late Sunday Mass!). There was a lot of irritation and angry feelings and a general lack of community spirit. There was fussing and fighting. There may have even been swear words – I can’t say for certain. Well, I could, but I don’t want to.
Then, on the radio came a song, a song everyone knew. So what had been, a moment before, a group of sullen children and angry adults, suddenly became a rock band with air guitar, shouted lyrics, and crazy car seat dancing. Even the baby got into it, her little head banging to the beat and her feet kicking happily. We pulled into the parish parking lot a happier family, thanks to an Offspring song.
Morale parlayed into good behavior just long enough for me to hear the reading from Thessalonians, which floored me with its implications. God, the creator of the entire universe, not only pays attention to us, but actively encourages us as we go about our day.
This is how I need to look at life. I need to remember that God our Father gives us everlasting encouragement. Everlasting. He doesn’t just encourage us in our darkest hours, He’s also there in the chaos of the common. He’s there in the middle of the early morning madness as you try to get you and your family out the door. He’s there during the afternoon witching hour, when your kids have all become madmen and you’re convinced bedtime will never come. He’s there when you’re trying to clear up some confusion with the cable bill, and the dog won’t stop barking for you to navigate your way through the menu options. He’s there, and He wants to encourage your heart.
So let Him. Pause for a moment in the hunt for the toddler’s missing left shoe and look for the encouragement God has to give you. Watch for it during the staff meeting that has lasted 40 minutes too long already. When you find yourself caught up in the everyday annoyances and irritation, ask our Father for the grace to see the beauty in the midst of the mundane. Be honest with Him, and say you could use a bit of encouragement. It may be as simple as a fortuitously timed song on the radio, arranged by your heavenly Father, for the express purposes of strengthening and encouraging you.