After school yesterday I was meeting with a high school student and she was really stumping me with some questions.
"What moment in your life did you know God really exists?"
"How do I prove God exists to someone who doesn't believe in love?"
"What can I do to trust God more?"
I wanted to say I had all the right answers, that I could spit out logical and factual reasons for the existence of God and that with one sentence I could convince anyone to believe in Him. But that just didn't seem to be the case as I stumbled around my words. What I ended up realizing is that I don't have that answer, because if there was one thing that we could say to convince someone in the existence of God, then that would defeat the purpose of Faith. Faith - belief that is not based on proof. I believe in God because I know He has changed my life. I know that as I have come to know Him more and invite Him into my life, I have never experienced such great joy and peace. It doesn't mean that I don't face problems, but now I realize I do not face them on my own and that my problems are not what defines my life; my life is defined by being a beloved child of God. I also know that all of the people that I look up to and admire have a love for God and radiate with love as they strive to follow His will. So do I have the perfect answer, no, but in my heart there is no doubt of the existence and love of God. For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5:7
"Our hearts our restless, until they rest in you." Famous and true words by St. Augustine . We all long for something and as we continued talking over our coffee (aka smoothie in my case) we discovered that God has placed moments of peace and grace in each of our lives, but then in other moments it is easy to feel far from God and question our trust in Him. So our next question was "How do we learn to trust God more?" Now I really wasn't sure to this answer, but the simplest answer seemed to be to get to know Christ. How can we trust someone we don't know? So over the next few weeks we plan to read through and pray with the Holy Gospel and encounter Christ in a personal way.
But we also wanted something that we could start right now and this is what we invite you to join in with us. We are starting gratitude journals where at the end of each day we will write down five to ten things that God has blessed us with that day. Allowing us to see how much He provides for us each day and guides us along the way. Of course there will be really hard parts to each day, and what do we do with those? Well her idea was that we write those down also, giving our problems to God, and then reflect on how He could possibly use them to bring good into our lives. This doesn't mean that God caused the bad to happen, it just means that we believe God is greater than sorrow and even in the worst situations, He can bring hope.
An example of this was my two and a half hour commute home on public transportation. I could have really let this irritate me, but I thought back to our conversation and realized that God could turn this traffic jam into extra time for me to pray for those around me.
We hope, that through this nightly reflection, the love of God will be made clearer in our lives as well as in anyone who wishes to join us on this journey to know The Lord deeper. We hope that God will reveal His love to each of us if we only ask. "Dear Lord, please make your love for me known and felt in my life."