I came across so many things to thank God for today. Gratitude is something I sometimes forget in times of excitement, frustration, or annoyance. I experienced a little bit of all of those feelings today (and everyday for that matter!), but was left reminded that God planned each and every step of my day. I’m reading a book called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. The book is chalked full of actions and steps that I can take to glorify God with my abilities He has blessed me with. Soon, I will finish the book and share a few of my favorite parts. Until then, check it out for yourself.
A lovely friend of mine shared a video related to this same idea.
What can you and I do right now to glorify God? If we choose Christ and follow Him, we will trade our actions and live out our intentions. One of my favorite blog posts came from my Spiritual Director at St. Mary’s Church. We are called to a life lived with intention. For me, it is this step that usually gets forgotten or pushed aside.
First, we know our identity as a son or daughter of the King. We are children of God. You are loved by Him. When you know that you are His child, you know your identity.
Second, we must know our purpose in life. The video has a common theme of “trader.” I think it goes right in line with a few themes I live by:
- From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “God…in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength.”
- According to the Gospel: “I came so that you might have life and have it more abundantly” -John 10:10
We were prepackaged with gifts according to His plan. Now is the time to use your gifts.
Third, we must live intentionally. Once we know who we are and why we exist, we must then choose to live in a way that conforms to this purpose. We must choose the narrow path.
To carry your cross is a life lived with intention.
To follow after Jesus is a life of meaning.
To choose to give your life away to God and others is a life or purpose.
This brings me to a wonderful and favorite prayer of mine. I first prayed it with St. Mary’s Youth Retreat Team in college. It is a subtle reminder of who we are and what we do. Enjoy the prayer from Archbishop Oscar Romero, A Future Not Our Own.
It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
My joy is found in the liberation that “I cannot do everything.” The joy truly enables me to do something and do it very well. That is my step along the way. My choice to live life with intention. My opportunity to glorify God with the gifts He has given me. And remembering to express gratitude for my life each and every day.