Monday of Week 16 in Ordinary Time
…we should like to see a sign from you
Sign: an object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else.
So often when I am making a decision, big or small, I pray for God to give me a sign so that I make the right choice. I want to SEE an affirmation that what I want to do is the right thing to do. Oftentimes when I receive a sign (especially when the sign is pointing in the direction I didn’t want to go) I will ask for a second and even a third sign, ‘just to be sure’. That’s a little embarrassing to admit — I’m not the only one, am I?
I usually am praying for another sign when I need to move into action – and I use the ‘waiting on another sign’ as an excuse to not act. I am comfortable, familiar, with where I am and not wanting to move. Not wanting to take something else on, especially something that I am not sure I will be good at – or something that involves more time than I want to ‘give up’. Or involves working with people that I don’t particularly enjoy.
Why do we people of faith continue to ask for signs when we are really QUESTIONING God? When we want/need to SEE a sign to CONFIRM GOD. This need/want actually contradicts the faith we claim to have – believing HE IS who He says He is without seeing proof. In saying that, I do know a number of times my faith has been strong after an event of sorts and I have prayed, “Lord, I know this must be a good thing that has happened, even though it doesn’t feel good and isn’t bringing me happiness, so if it be your will to grace me with a sign of assurance, you know I would love that.” And I have been graced. More than once. A few times, the affirming sign God has given me still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it, and I feel enveloped in His love.
So, what is the difference? I believe it is the manner in which we come to God with our request/question. I think of Mary’s reply, “how can this be since I do not know man?”, versus Zechariah, who replied with, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” Mary asked how it could happen, Zechariah basically asked how can I know that you are telling the truth. Mary trusted but wondered — she didn’t question God in her confusion. Zechariah questioned and wanted proof, a sign.
The next time I find myself praying for a sign, I hope I will be coming from a place of wonder, and not a place of questioning God Almighty. After all, He’s already given us the only sign we’ll ever need. He sent His only begotten son….
(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)
Prayer: Father in Heaven, how profound You are, how profound your ways are! The oceans and all that inhabit the oceans, the skies and all that inhabit the skies, the land and all that inhabit the land – except for mankind – bow at the sound of your name and move when and how you tell them to, without question. Without questioning You. Lord, we desire to do the same.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Lord of all, for the free will you’ve given us and for all the signs you shower on us like perfect rainfall so that we can feel your love and take in your presence. Thank you for allowing us to have faith.