At work (St. Aidan) I am re-organizing our Music Ministry library, up-dating our data base, cleaning, tuning and repairing instruments, practicing new pieces for interest at mass, and doing some hopeful long-range planning for a (somewhat) distant future for ensemble music at mass—just wanting to be ready and prepared for when we are safe to sing together again. Feeling a bit worn and a bit lacking in inspiration today, I decided to reprint an old article to which, I know that I, myself, need pay more attention. What does all this busy-ness have to do with the Scripture for today (this Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time)?
Last week we heard Jesus say to Peter: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” At times we are all just like Peter; we doubt when God seems far from us and when we see no way clear in trouble—like our current pandemic. And like the “foreign” (Caananite) woman in the Gospel, we must persist in our faith and in our trust in God. This is always easier said than done, especially when we are burdened by trouble, injustice, economic worry, sin and hardship!
I found this guideline (originally sent by a friend) to be a comfort when I re-read it, reminding me to trust God in all things. It speaks of “letting go and letting God.” I know I am worrying about the economic situation, about justice and illness in our world, and what a new normal might mean for us. I know that sometimes I keep busy trying to not focus and think about the upheaval and up-ending of our world (I bet you do that, too). Isaiah tells us today that God says: “Observe what is right, do what is just…” and God promises that His house will be a house of prayer for all peoples. In the Gospel we hear from Jesus that by our faith we will be saved. Let go, and let God.
I thought it would be worth it to have a re-fresher of these guidelines: good advice in the midst of all that is happening right now, so here they are… in the meantime, Keep Singing in your hearts!
THE TEN GUIDELINES OF GOD (Reprint)
1. QUIT WORRYING: Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?
2. PUT IT ON THE LIST: Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all... God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.
3. TRUST ME: Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids, with the finances, with your emotional roller coaster? MY list! I want to help you. All you have to do is ask!
4. LEAVE IT ALONE: Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.
5. TALK TO ME: I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there is one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.
6. HAVE FAITH: I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me; you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?
7. SHARE: You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none, and with those who worship me differently.
8. BE PATIENT: I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.
9. BE KIND: Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you to be different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences.
10. LOVE YOURSELF: As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only—to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors, but also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me.
Don't ever forget...