In my thirties, I had a huge conversion.*
And as a new convert full of zeal for God and desiring to give myself to Him wholeheartedly, I made the beginner mistake of overloading myself with spiritual practices. It was exhausting because If I didn’t keep every devotional plate spinning every day, I felt like a failure.
So, I would grimly add any missed prayers to the next day’s load. I went on like that, rushing through devotions day after day, until finally the Holy Spirit provided a moment of life-changing grace.
It happened on a summer road-trip to visit my parents–a long ride from New York to Rhode Island. The traffic on I-95 in Connecticut was unusually heavy and chaotic, so it was hard to focus on both driving and praying at the same time, and I was becoming frustrated and stressed.
In a small but powerful God-moment, I suddenly gave up the struggle and decided to drive “in an attitude of prayer.” Everything changed.
For miles and miles, I drove in a simple and relaxed awareness of being in my love for God and in his love for me, by just practicing an awareness of his presence, without any demands whatsoever.
The miles flew softly by; I felt safe and serene; the love of God was everywhere around me, feather-light and refreshing.
And all these years down the road, that lesson in simplicity still resonates. (And it takes my masses, rosaries, and other occasional devotions to a more blessed place than before.)
So, I’d like to encourage you to develop your talents in a similar attitude of prayer.
Explore the gifts you’ve been given, knowing the following:
- first, that God is truly and fully present in all of his creation, but especially in his children;
- second, that when you look at your talents, you’ll discover glimpses of him in his handiwork; and
- third, that he considers all of his work beautiful, so you can, too.
He loves it when you appreciate his design, so there is nothing vain about embracing and exploring the works of God within you, especially if you can do so with simplicity, curiosity, and affection for the One who made them.
I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!
My very self you know.
All glory to God! Amen.
* I’ve spoken widely about my conversion and written about it, in my book, “True Radiance.”
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