Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

“I will make you a light”

I am sitting in Panera Bread, sipping a mug of hazelnut coffee, and something about this experience begs me to write. I am sitting, musing over my mug of coffee, and no inspiration comes. It has been over a month since I have last written, and I realize so much about this blog, and my life,  has changed. So I decide to quickly update the “About” section. Then, still feeling this deep desire to write but with no inspiration, I turn to today’s readings.  It seems like cheating to admit that, when starved for inspiration, I turn to Scripture…but then again, isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

Today’s first reading comes from Isaiah.  Unfortunately, I do not have an Isaiah commentary here with me in Panera, so I mute the scholarly voice in me that begs to put this passage in context and I focus in on what is before me. I read the passage over, and over again. What strikes me is this: “Though I thought I had toiled in vain,and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God.”

Who among us has not ever felt that we had toiled in vain? We work desperately hard on a project, but something is missing and the project fails.  We set out goals, try to achieve them, and still are not satisfied. We feel that we have uselessly spent our strength.  We forget that we aren’t the ones in charge, we are not the “Master Builders,” as Archbishop Oscar Romero wrote. We are the workers.

I read this morning in a  Living Faith reflection that God forms each of us as a “secret weapon” of sorts. We are all tested, molded, shaped;  our experiences happen so that we may better serve God.  I know that in the midst of a struggle, I tend to forget that I am put here on earth to serve God.  It is all too easy to focus on myself: I often become frustrated because my plans don’t work out. After all, I am a hard worker. Shouldn’t things happen the way I want them to?

“I will make you a light to the nations,” says the Lord.   Today, my prayer is that I can let go of myself, let go of my own plans, and let God be the Master Builder.

Bob Rice

Catholic speaker, musician, author, teacher

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