Key verse for today: John 12:37, "Jesus had done many miraculous signs before the people, but they didn't believe in him."
I had a crisis of faith in high school. As a student of the Bible, I was confused as to why God seemed to speak to all of these people long ago but remained silent in the present. While I was participating in a guided meditation in the chapel at Camp Egan, I began to pray in earnest to God. Well, it was more about testing God which I realize that Jesus says not to do!
|The last Saturn V launch in 1973|
As I started off, I figured that God would play into the suspense and not rush it. When I started getting close to zero, I began to get a little nervous. I was thinking, "Come on, God, say something!"
I reached zero without hearing anything except the continued voice of the person in charge of the guided meditation.
I thought to myself, "Well, is that it for God?"
And then I heard the silence. I don't know if the meditation was over or not but I no longer heard it.
I began to hear the evening sounds of the camp outside the chapel: the trickle of the creek running through camp, the frogs and the crickets and the cicadas beginning to call to one another, the bird song. All of these sounds seem to be magnified and a great feeling of peace washed over me. It was as if God was saying, "I've been talking to you all along, you just haven't been listening."
This taught me a couple of things. One is that God doesn't speak on demand. The other is that God's presence is often more subtle than we think and we may need to spend some time looking for it.
As human beings, sometimes we have trouble believing in God. We often may think, "well, if Jesus were here in the flesh, it would be easy to believe." But today's Gospel lesson shows us that this is not necessarily the case. Faith does not always come easy. If it did, I suppose it would be proof not faith.
When's the last time you've spent in prayer just listening?
Breath prayer: Holy God, give me ears to hear.
|Cicadas can sound divine|