by Martha Shepherd.
Decide for God. This is the word of Medjugorje. It recurs again and again in Our Lady’s messages; the priests there echo it again and again.
Decide for God.
Usually this seems to mean something very clear and simple. Make time to pray. Get rid of the clutter. Turn off the TV. Put away the magazine. Pray! Decide for God. I came home convicted, intending to do just that.
But I live in a poustinia house; I have been praying all along. And my whole life is basically a decision for God. This word, as it opened up for me, turned out to be more about an internal shift.
I began to understand more clearly one Thursday evening after I had returned home. I had intended to spend some time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. But a friend of ours who is recovering from sexual abuse called and asked if she could come over after her support group to "decompress." I said, "Yes, of course."
Then I got off the phone and complained to God. "How am I supposed to pray more if you keep sending people?"
Suddenly into my mind came a line of Scripture. Could you not watch one hour with me (Mark 14:37)? And I saw: to sit with this woman, before her agony, was to watch one hour with Jesus in Gethsemane. It was, if I did it deciding for God, not just out of compassion or because this is a prayer-listening house and listening is what we do here.
To decide for God is to choose to do the will of the Father, not my will. It is to choose to orient my decisions between various good and necessary things all day long, not by my will but by God’s.
"I think the windows need to be washed. I’m planning to do it today. But it’s your business, Lord. If you have something else in mind for me to do, I’ll live with dirty windows."
To decide for God is to truly, all day long, work for the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of self.
It requires prayer in depth. It requires listening to the Spirit. Most of all, it requires surrender and trust in the nearness of God, trust that he will reveal himself within those constant, everyday decisions as he did that Thursday evening.
It is no wonder that this is the message of Medjugorje. To decide for God in this deep way is to live in peace, to be really free.
to be continued
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