Thursday, March 24, 2016

When Do You Feel God's Pleasure?

Several weeks ago we watched a family movie about a group of British runners who ran in the 1924 Olympics.  One of the runners was a Christian Missionary from Scotland.  He had spent most of his life in the missions  in China.  However,  he returned to Scotland for several years.  During that time he began to run races and quickly moved to a position where he was chosen for the Olympic team.  His sister wondered if he was becoming too distracted from his missionary work.  To this he replied, "God made me for a purpose but he also made me fast;  when I run, I feel God's pleasure".

During the Olympics the young missionary, Liddell, was placed in a qualifying race that ran on Sunday.  He refused to run the race thus losing the ability to run his best distance: the 100 meters.  He was given the chance to run in a longer distance with a race on a different day.  Though this was a difficult decision he felt that to run a race on the Sabath (Sunday) would no longer honor or please Our Lord.  In choosing to honor God, it seemed God took pleasure in helping him.  One of the Americans is reported to have given Liddell a paper before the race.  On it was written, "He that honors Me, I will honor" (1Samuel 2:30). Liddell went on to win the gold in the 400M.  It was a moving story to see, one that began a discussion in our own family.  At the dinner table, I asked my daughter when she felt God's pleasure?  After some thought she replied, when I take pictures.  All in the room nodded their heads.  Indeed, the Lord had given Alina a gift to see beauty all around her and capture it.  For a child who spent a good bit of her childhood in difficult situations living in an orphanage, it is a particularly special gift Our Lord gave her.  Suffering has not dulled her eye to see the magnificance around her.  Alina spends a good deal of time walking places as I do not drive.  She always carries a camera.  She loves to share all the beauty she sees: the first flowers of spring, a new robin returning,  the flower garden she passes each day as she makes her way to the post office.  A selection of some of her photos is included in this post.

In thinking about Alina, I also began to reflect on when I feel God's pleasure.  Unlike, Liddell, I was not made fast.  Instead, I was given a genetic condition that affects joints, among other things, and renders ones body very weak.  So weak in fact, that one has to ask for help for basic things.  One might think this not a special gift but over time I have come to see it was a beautiful gift.  In this way, I feel God's pleasure in my weakness. 

As we are on the final days of our Divine Mercy Novena of Prayer and Fasting, it seemed a perfect time to think about when we each feel God's pleasure in each of us.  Through fasting we can see more clearly Our Lord working in our lives.  We can see His gifts with more clarity.  In recognizing His gifts, it gives us pause to see if we are using them and likewise if we have properly thanked God for such treasures he bestowed in each of us. 

We began our journey last Thursday with our nine day Year of Mercy Novena of Prayer and Fasting that we might say on Good Friday, "Thy will be done".  We are almost there.  Do not give up.  

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
"Take, Oh Take Me as I Am"

1 comment: