I’m sure you’ve had those kinds of days, as I have, full of unexpected annoyances. I won’t bore you with details, but I will say that they were not pastoral issues; let’s be clear: people are not annoyances.
But one day this week (well, more than one, really), I found myself engaged in Wild Goose Chases that left me feeling out of sorts and flustered. When those days occur – and I can’t imagine that they don’t happen to all of us – I’ve learned to do all I can to take a step back in the midst of them to ask where God is present, and how I have prayed through the situations at hand.
I have learned to do this because, invariably, if I describe the day to my spiritual director at our next meeting, she’s going to ask me where I sensed God’s presence and how I prayed through the situations at hand! So I might as well come prepared with an answer.
If you’re anything like me, you find it easy, on days like that, to feel overwhelmed and stuck in the (unpleasant) moments. But if you can take a step back – even a baby step – and look at where God may be present in the midst of it all, it can garner you some remarkably helpful perspective that will help you deal with whatever has befallen you at the time.
For instance, though I found one thing piling on another earlier this week, I also found a few graces that might otherwise have been overlooked – good things that cannot and should not be taken for granted.
When we live each moment, intentionally, in the presence of God, it becomes easier to step back and find even small areas where his fingerprints are all over the situation. In so doing, we receive comfort, and find our faith strengthened for whatever may happen next!
“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him” (1 Chronicles 16.11, NLT).