DON’T WORRY. I’m not here to stand on a pedestal and talk down to you non-believers about your one-way ticket to hell and the many other perils that await, should you choose to turn away from God.
I am the last person who would ever be in a position to do that.
Instead, I just wanna talk about talking to God. We’ve all done it—some more than others, often unintentionally—and if I’ve learned anything in my many attempts to converse with the Father, it’s that there’s really no right way.
I was raised Catholic and still consider myself a Catholic today, even with the steady decline in hitting up Sunday mass.
I believe Jesus is the Son of God and Mary is His mother. I go to church every Ash Wednesday, Easter and Christmas. And I pray to the patron saint of whatever my current issue might be.
But in attending Catholic grade school and high school, it was easy for those thoughts and actions to become routine, ultimately losing a lot of their (very significant) meaning.
By college, mass was nothing but an afterthought. I’d attend with my parents anytime I visited home for a weekend, but considered myself “too busy” to keep it up on campus.
A few years ago, I began questioning what I gained by going to mass. Not in a “What can God do for me?” sense, but “Is this more fulfilling than spending quality time with my family and friends?”
To be totally honest, it wasn’t. And I still don’t think it is.
I find myself most grateful and closest to God in the simplest of moments—walking the dogs on a gorgeous day, or relaxing (literally doing nothing) on the couch with Drew. Riding shotgun on a road trip to a part of the world I’ve never seen. Laughing over dinner with my best friends.
It’s times like those when I take a beat to reflect on how *blessed I am.
I have to stop, even for a half-second, and thank God for my family and friends. My mom and dad, Teddy, the guys and gals who have loved me in diapers, plaid skirts and sweatpants. For Drew and Maggie and Charlie. For my amazing job and the roof over our heads. For this gorgeous earth and its many wonders—especially the seasons! And for placing me right here in Nebraska where I can experience all four to the fullest.
But it wasn’t until last Lent, when I read Matthew Kelly’s Rediscover Jesus, that I realized I can and should talk to God in the crappy moments, too.
When I run out of patience or become frustrated with a situation. When negative thoughts work their way into the center of my brain. When I doubt myself. Even when I just don’t feel like doing something. All perfect opportunities to take a step back and think about God.
What conversation could we have about this very moment? I explain what’s on my mind and pray for his response.
Because here’s the thing, you guys: It’s never just about you. It’s never a matter of what you want or what you feel. There are always other people involved. And nobody knows every side of every story better than the One who sees everything. So why wouldn’t you talk to Him about it?
Do me this tiny favor. The next time you find yourself thinking too hard about something, whether it’s bills or an email from a friend or what you’ll make for dinner that night, stop. Take a deep breath—without rolling your eyes!—and say hey to God. Tell Him what’s going on, how you’re feeling and what would make things better.
You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish just by sorting through those thoughts.
So do I still go to mass? Yes. Do I get anything out of it? Absolutely—but only when I want to. If I go in thinking it’s a waste of an hour, it’s going to be. It’s the same way with prayer.
If you talk at God in the hopes he’ll pull some Blessings lever and solve all of your problems, you’re not gonna get anything out of the conversation.
Instead, try talking with God. Good things are bound to happen.
Title Credit: Amanda Perez
*If you subconsciously read this with a hashtag please leave my blog and never come back.