Daily Reflection
March 30th, 1999
Lori Spanbauer
Campus Ministry
Isaiah 49:1-6
John 13:21-33, 36-38

During spring break I went on a silent retreat.  All I knew was that I needed it.  I needed some solitude and I needed to listen.  When we are busy and surround ourselves with noise, it is very difficult to listen.  Try it. Try having a conversation with someone when you are constantly on the run, or seated, but in a room with a very loud buzz of many voices. Can you really listen?  Especially if the conversation is very important?  Can one really give 100 percent to listening to the person speaking?  I knew that I had been moving too fast and was surrounded by too much noise to hear the voice of God.  It is easy in the frantic, task-driven “day-to-day” for us to lose our “centers”, our souls, our sense of who we are and what is really important.  The tragedy for me was that I was finding myself caught up and unable, and probably somewhat unwilling, to hear.  Betrayal number one.

Isaiah 49 says, “I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength…” During my prayer time on another afternoon, I was struck with how hard it is to fathom that we are honored by God.  I think the love of God is a hard thing to get a hold of.  If we could conceive of it, if we could catch a small glimpse into the love God has for us, how changed our lives would be!  I know that if I could really comprehend (and then accept!) that I was honored and that God was, indeed, my strength, my life would be radically different.  How, then, would I and all humans treat ourselves?  How much more respect would we have for our bodies?  Our gifts?  How much better would we tolerate our shortcomings, imperfections, and inability “to do it all”?  How much would we slow down and not be consumed by the “day-to-day”?  How much less worry, anxiety and perfectionism would exist?  And how would we treat each other, knowing we are all honored by God?  I don’t always allow myself to live in the honor of God or allow God to be my strength.  Betrayal number two.

During a hike in the foothills on one of my last days of retreat, I was praying frantically about my life, worrying about the future, demanding some direction.  All of a sudden an old song popped into my head that I hadn’t heard in years.  Part of the lyrics to that song are, “…and all I ever have to be is what you’ve made me.  Any more or less would be a step out of your plan.  As you daily recreate me help me always keep in mind that I only have to do what I can find…” I seemed to instantly realize that I’m only called to live fully what God has given me today, and as we all have heard, God will take care of tomorrow.  I hadn’t been letting him.  Betrayal number three.

The good news is that our God is a God who welcomes prodigals; that Christ is one, I believe, who looked at Judas with love, though he was about to betray; and that though we might not be able to go where Christ is going now, we will be able to follow afterward despite our betrayals and denials.  We will be able to follow after he has paid the price for our denials and betrayals, and after the reality of that love has sunken in a little more.

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