For some time now, I’ve been wrestling with this problem: how do I serve the Lord more fully with the talents given me? There are so many ways I could. The possibilities burn in my heart and roll around in my guts, mainly because I know these blessings were given in order to be used for furthering the Kingdom. And yet there are so many obstacles. And so I asked Him:
How do you want me to serve you, Lord?
“Dark Prayers.” Photo by Stuck in Customs on Flickr.
You’ve given me the ability to teach in a classroom setting. If it is Your will, I’d love to become a catechist or a missionary one day, and share my faith with others. But I’m afraid I don’t know enough, I’m afraid I don’t have the maturity with which to defend the faith against those who would attack it. And how do I do make time for this?
You’ve given me the gift of music. I would love to play music for You in Your church on a full-time basis one day, perhaps, if You so desire. But how do I do this without sacrificing time for my family?
You’ve given me the ability to write and I would one day love to work as a full-time writer for a publication that spreads the faith to others, if You but will it. But I’m afraid of applying and leaving the comfort of the status quo. How do I provide for my family on what I understand to be a lower wage?
You’ve given me the ability to create music and audio and I would one day love to do so for a broadcast medium on a regular basis. But how do I start?
I love you and wish to serve you but I have no idea why You aren’t giving me any insight onto how to do all these grand things for You.
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Today, after Mass, at the adoration chapel, on my knees in prayer, I felt the Lord telling me one thing:
“Serve me where you are.”
And the rest of this came tumbling out of my fingers at a frightening pace:
“You want to share your faith with a classroom? I gave you 120 students over 2 years in a Catholic college, and how did you do? Not very well. So I took that away from you and now I give you one student whom I am asking you to teach to read and write in English. He’s already Catholic but doesn’t understand the faith too well. How are you doing with him? Serve me by serving him.
“Besides, you don’t need to be in a classroom to share your faith. All you need to do is use that mouth I’ve given you, and fear not what others have to say. Speak up instead of cowering in fear. ‘…But do it with gentleness and reverence.’ (1 Peter 3:15-16) Serve as my missionary to the people you meet daily: fellow commuters, officemates, your own family.
“You want to play music full-time for me? You’re asking me for something you already have. I’ve given you the daily morning Mass at your parish to minister to. There are no obstacles there. The organ works, the song books have beautiful songs, your brothers and sisters in Christ love to sing. So… why were you not at your post last week? How do you expect me to give you more when you cannot even be faithful in a little? (Matthew 25:29) If you will serve me, then I don’t want wishy-washy volunteers who disappear when they’re lazy or can’t wake up for the 7 AM Mass. I want full-time dedicated workers who will make it a point to be at their post.
“You want to write for publications? Is this really for me, or for the chance to see your own name in print? If you want to write, you already have this blog which I have blessed you with. I’ve made this blog possible by asking a friend to donate the server space and bandwidth, and what have you done with it? I see you’ve turned it around from what it once was — an altar to all that was worldly— and are now doing your best to serve me through it. You don’t have to be employed by a publication to write about me. Serve me where you already are!
“You want to make music and audio that can promote the faith and speak of me? What are you waiting for? A record contract, an external green signal to tell you when to create? You have the tools and the knowledge. Use them. Now. Serve me with what you already have.
“The problem you have is you seek grand gestures. You want to build great things for me and while that is well and good, I’m afraid you’re way too proud to be of use to me at this point. I seek no burnt offerings but … ‘the lowly (humble) and afflicted (contrite) man who trembles at my word.’ (Isaiah 66:1-2)
“How have you been a servant to your wife? Do you love her and support her in all she does, despite your differences? Do you serve your mother-in-law with humility? Do you serve my church with faithfulness? Do you serve your workplace with honesty and excellence? There are so many ways to serve me fully in your daily life.
“Serve me where you already are. With what you have. There is no need to look elsewhere.”