Have you ever had a “God moment”? One of those moments that you felt that the Divine reached down and said “I just want you to know I see you, I hear you, I am with you?”
As part of a weekly prayer group, after attending a Light of the World Retreat (a kerygmatic parish renewal retreat), four friends and I have met each week for the past four years (it will be five this Lent!) to pray, study and grow together in our faith lives. We have followed the same format each week, which begins with a prayer of thanksgiving. We then share a “God moment”, move to our reading or study for the week and then conclude with prayers of petition. Some weeks the God moments are bigger and more obvious, other weeks it might be something less dramatic but that touched us in a personal way and reminded us of God’s presence in our lives. It is a gift to hear those moments in each other’s lives each week. It reminds us that God is with us, in big and small ways every day.
This week my God moments caught my attention immediately. They were reminders that I am not on this journey alone, trying to figure it out without some guidance and inspiration. I seem to forget that, a lot! I am grateful that God will use daily moments to remind me to take it easy, pause and ask when I need the help.
Monday, after talking about the value of Rest in my last blog, promising myself I would take time to be still and listen, I was frazzled again. I was worrying about something and was also not giving myself enough time to do what I wanted to get done in the house, get gas in the car and get to my cousin’s veterinary clinic for Butters check up (one of my two cats was recently diagnosed as diabetic and needs insulin twice a day). I got to the gas station and a new clerk was learning the cash register. She made an error which meant my purchase had to be cancelled and re-entered to correct it. I felt myself trying to be patient but looking at the clock I knew I had not given myself enough time. The two attendants had to call the manager for assistance, something wasn’t working right for them on the cancel process. The manager said she had to go outside and pump gas to fix it. Another delay. Finally, “come on guys” just blurted out of my mouth and I knew I failed the patience test. The issue was corrected, I got gas in the car, got on the highway and I called to indicate I would be late. Of course it was fine but I was upset with myself for not getting it all done perfectly and on time.
The appointment for Butters was fine and I had a delightful visit with my cousins. On the drive home I saw my phone light up. I glanced down thinking it was a response to a text I sent after the appointment and noticed it was the Hallow app playing.
I don’t usually play music in my car or listen to the radio. I did a couple of days prior, listening to classical music on the car radio to relax on a drive, but I did not have the Hallow app on. I also did not have the particular “course” that started playing on. I had been listening to Night Prayer at home the day before.
What lit up on my phone? This is the God moment – the phone started playing Stress Management by Reform Wellness, a short 8-session program on Hallow.
I laughed out loud, put it on the car audio to play and said “Thanks God, I appreciate it and am glad you have a sense of humor!” The recording was actually very good, just what I needed to hear. I plan to listen to it again, especially when I feel myself getting upset about something insignificant!
So was it a coincidence? Does God reach down and select the app to play on my phone? Seriously, I don’t know or care. What I do know is that in that moment I needed to take a deep breath, hand it over to God, and trust that everything is ok. In that moment, and through the stress management hints the program shared with me, I felt the Divine saying “relax, breathe, let me handle it”. That is a “God moment”.
On Tuesday I was checking Facebook after work and noticed a post by the Franciscan Sisters of Joliet.
The post was: “Come away by yourself and rest awhile…” Mark 6:31
I loved seeing this on Facebook that afternoon after sharing my blog post on Rest last weekend. It was an affirmation of what I wrote about and a reminder to listen myself. The Joliet Franciscan Sisters are a special community to me. My aunt was a Franciscan sister and my cousin who is still living in Joliet, founder of The Upper Room Crisis Line, has been a faithful member of the Congregation for 72+ years! It was another God moment; a reminder to rest, listen to my own wisdom, trust God a little bit more and through the post, was also a special family connection.
As you move through your week, look for those moments. When you look you will find them. Some days they are big blatant reminders, like lightening strikes, to pay attention and know that we are not alone in the world. Other days they are like a soft breeze, gentle whispers, as if to say “I just wanted to catch your attention”.
The Spirit is always with us, some days we are sleeping and miss it. Other days we are alert and notice. It certainly is more comforting and reassuring to be aware and feel Divine Presence throughout each day. Be on the lookout this week. I’d love to hear what you notice.
Photo posted on Joliet Franciscan Sisters Facebook page on January 14, 2023 (@ Sisters of St Francis)