One of the pitfalls of social media besides the freedom to spew negativity with little to no consequences is the temptation to measure yourself against the photographs of “friends.”
It is human nature I guess. You see an image of these “friends” and you compare. We do not know the story behind, before, or after that photo, and only when we are at our best, we hope that the narrative is as positive as the image. Yet the danger remains. We measure ourselves against, and we can if we are not careful, begin to question or, even worse, doubt our own life satisfaction and worth.
Supporting this emotion is the societal pressure to succeed measured by the size of our homes, bank accounts, clothing attire, among others. The message is to not be satisfied, rather, to be driven to achieve more, and to be more.
My reflection and prayer recently is rooted in dwelling in God’s love. When I feel the need to meet certain goals, or achieve certain success, I am reminded of the inner call to simply be with God. In prayer and in service: find God, and dwell in God’s love.
We can make great plans, and we can shoot for the stars. These are inner vocations, but we must check that they are of the heart, not of the ego.
We, as St. Mother Teresa said, are “the dwelling place of the living God.” She demands that because of this, and because of God’s love, that we should “spend the rest of our life radiating God’s love.”
I was reminded of this last night as my daughter, who was battling a cold (as was her dad and mom), fell asleep in my arms. It has been a while since this occurred, and I was struck by her angelic beauty.
The peacefulness radiated from her with every breath, and she occasionally woke with a smile as she found comfort in this encounter. I was reminded in these hours of embrace that this was a result of trusting God.
While my wife and I hoped to be parents, we were both surprised when we found out that she was pregnant almost three years ago. It was beyond us, a miracle, that was the result of a loving God, and a loving union between two souls.
As a result of this love comes God in the form of a child. God dwells in her, and God dwells in me. I am in awe at the freedom and in the surrender that despite our plans, God moves and creates.
It is easy to say that I trust God, and it is somewhat easy to say that I dwell in God’s love. To live it each moment is another story. It is more challenging as the world sends a different message.
Once we can relieve ourselves of the pressures and the expectations, and can simply love. Then God enters in and creates something more wonderful and amazing than we could ever imagine. As he did in my daughter. As he did in me many years ago. And he did in you.
God continues to live in all of us. Perhaps we just need to get out of God’s way, and to allow God to be our God, and to simply search for this Holy Spirit in all that we do and in all that we are as God’s children.
Seek God today. Call a family member or friend, encounter a person in need, take time to listen to the God in your heart and the God across your table in the form of your family and friends. Dwell in God’s love and find comfort.