By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
I am just coming down from the high of having celebrated my 50th birthday. It was a weeklong celebration of the gift of life, the gift of family and friends and, above all, the gift of love. This year, as I thought of how I wanted to celebrate, one idea came to mind during prayer. I would begin counting down the days from 50 days before and look for little love notes from God; like a scavenger hunt. I know He shows me His love every day, but I do not always notice. So, my desire was to open my eyes to His gifts, to open my heart to His love.
I thought it was a pretty clever idea… 50 till 50, and I started with zeal. I jotted the number of days left (50, 49, 48…) as I journaled each day, but about halfway through, I started to miss. I had forgotten how difficult it is to establish a new habit, and I hadn’t realized how long 50 days truly is! During those 50 days, life still happened, and challenges came. Illnesses, travel, deadlines, all these kept rocking my boat. During those times all the extras get stripped away and we hold on to the basics. We hope to at least find time to sleep, eat and shower. So then, how do we pray?
Just like our physical care routine changes, our spiritual care routine changes too. These are times when we need to hold on tight to God and let Jesus take the wheel. Trusting that He is allowing everything that happens to us, and that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28), we surrender our preferences, and rely on Him alone. St. Peter Julian Eymard says, “Continue to be like a little child in a boat which God is navigating. Leave the care of the future to the Good Lord; yours is to be ready to fulfill His Holy Will.”
I did have a wonderful birthday celebration, but my routine was once again disrupted. I will look around after the storm to see which areas need reinforcement and be ready for when the winds shift again. But, as I sat in my back porch today sipping my afternoon coffee, I noticed a gift, the comforting rhythm of an ordinary day. So, in the end, like always, God is more faithful than me. He keeps sending me love notes even when I don’t see.