Look Up! Look Up! Look Up! Melissa Look Up! Look Up! Hurry Look Up! Just lift your head and Look Up! Look at me. Look at me Melissa. Look at Mommy! Look at my Face! Look Up!!!
This is pretty much how bath time goes with my 2-year-old every time. I shampoo her hair and when she knows the rinsing is coming she looks down to try to shield her face and cries louder and louder, probably to be heard over my pleas, until she reaches full-out hysteria… and we’re done. I’ve tried reasoning and explaining, but my normally brilliant 2 yr old, just can’t seem to get the message.
If she would only listen to me, and trust me, and obey me, then the water would pour nicely down the back of her head and hair washing would be a non-event. Bath time would be considerably more enjoyable all around and I would simply have a shiny happy toddler.
If she would only LISTEN to me, and TRUST me, and OBEY me… God our Father has been saying the same darn thing to His children for thousands of years! Over and over and over we fall back into relying on our own ways and means. Old habits die-hard I guess. And we suffer for it!
Listening is critical to our prayer life. We are told to “pray always” and “be persistent in prayer” but at times it can feel like we aren’t effecting any good or getting any answers. Perhaps because, like little Melissa, we are overcome by our own fears and prejudices and aren’t able to quiet ourselves enough to listen. Sometimes it’s pain and suffering holding us captive or excuses of busy lives. For any number of reasons we might ask but not truly make the time to Listen to what God has to say. HE will ALWAYS come into our prayerful silence.
“Be still and Know that I am God” (Ps 46:11)
In the quiet stillness of our minds and souls at rest we will feel conviction in our hearts, we will know truth in our minds, we will feel moved by a gentle stirring or holy fire. Our souls will hear Love and Truth and recognize it every time if we are listening. For this we were created and no less.
And if we hear from God we must Trust in His almighty providence as ruler in body, mind and soul. To do anything less is cheating ourselves of the fullness of LIFE in Him.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Mt 22:37)
Through prayer or otherwise, we must then do the work of obeying the Lords’ commands. God wants nothing less than our acceptance, our fiat and our total surrender to His holy will. Often we have to put aside our own agendas and ideas of how things should be because as mere humans we can not calculate the effect of grace in any given situation. It is through our obedience that Grace can be at work. God knows exactly how to calculate the effect of grace in our human situations and he sends it in abundance. We have to trust him on that!
Our trust and obedience will bring peace. Imagine if Melissa would have just listened and really heard what I was saying to her. What if she simply said, “ok Mommy” and then tipped her head up and not insisted on doing it her own way?
In my infinite wisdom as a parent, (ahem…) I’m sure that my advice would have worked out for the best for my child whom I love. And how much more perfect is the advice of God our Father?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Mt 7:11)
God, as our loving parent, sees all and knows all, and he’s not just interested in what’s best for us, rather He sees and wants perfection for us! So many things would be easier, better, more enjoyable if we would remember in those moments of panic and fear and indecision and temptation, to just look up. If we had the courage, despite the voice of this world that tends to drown out all else, to wholeheartedly Trust in the Lord, we would be happier.
Plain and simple
God gives us every grace we need in the moment that we need it. Always, unconditionally. We have legions of angels and saints as intercessors, especially our Lady who loves us better than our own earthly mothers. We have no excuse to live without trusting our Heavenly Parents. We aren’t 2 after all.
Lord, help us to Listen prayerfully, trust in you always and obey without reservation and may we ever remember to “Look Up”! Amen