The Spawn and Pray Method
For years, the majority of students who are confirmed in high school graduate, fly off to jobs, college, and military service. We wait for their return. It never happens. Our hearts break.
We Catholics are not like frogs or fish. We don’t spawn millions of children only to hope a few survive in their faith to grow to maturity. The ideal from the New Testament is that one begets two and together they beget four and those four beget eight. On and on this goes until the uttermost parts of the earth are filled with people who walk in the joy of the gospel.
What is Needed?
You can’t love God if you have no relationship to Him. You can love the idea of God. When we were baptized as infants, it wiped away original sin and opened us up to the possibility of a close, personal relationship with God. The crime, the great crime, is that we are not led into that relationship. It could be that no one of deep belief ever taught you. It could also be that somewhere in your life a great tragedy occurred and you pushed God and belief into that place held for children’s fairy tales, with magic princesses and dragons.
One may forget an ideal, a philosophy, and one may forget the content of a college class. But one never forgets an intense affair, or a great teacher. One may forget details of a deep love affair. One never forgets the pangs of loss or longing, or the joy that came from being with someone who cared that you existed.
The author of the letter to the Hebrews tells us,
“And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
In our current the words “faith” and “believe” have come to mean to that I agree that something is true. It focuses on the brain. Faith used to mean trust. The trust you have when you loan someone money (or the lack of trust you have when you think you’ll never see those dollars again!) The trust you have when you say “I Do!” to another human soul. The trust you have when you say that you believe in gravity. It’s more than mental.
Let’s take as an example an old wooden chair that I loved. As I grew older and thicker the weight the chair bore grew greater and the glue grew weaker. One day the chair cried, “Enough!” and broke under my weight. I tried repairing it but my skills were lacking. The chair wouldn’t hold me.
One of my sons is good with his hands. He came, took the chair, and worked on it. He presented it to me and said, “Try it now, Dad.” I said, “Great! Thanks!”
At what point did I trust my son? Was when I said I believed it was fixed or was it when I actually placed my fat rear end into that chair? Trust leads to action.
When you read in the Scriptures the words “believe” or “faith”, I want you to substitute a form of the word “trust”. Take a moment and try it with the words from Hebrews that were given above.
The One Needful Thing
And so here is the one needful thing. Do you trust God to want a relationship with you? Will you suspend your doubt and pain and allow Him to truly love on you and allow yourself to grow to know Him? He already knows you and all the things you’ve said and done. He believes in you (or you wouldn’t exist!)
You are here at this site because you desire to be a disciple or to help make disciples. Is yours a growing relationship with God based upon trust?