Several years ago, I had the chance to visit the Grand Tetons with my family. I asked “how come no one ever told me about this place?” I had never heard of this mountain range before, and it was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. It would be on my “top ten things to see before you die list.” Make the trip!
It seems like the last few days have been very chaotic. Things are just crazy, whether it be things going on in my family, the Church, our country. Will it ever end? As I was sitting at my desk yesterday, an email came in inviting me to a day of prayer. The title of the mini retreat was “Be still and know that I am God,” and within ten minutes, I had signed up.
The presenter began his first talk by asking the question, “who could have perceived the hostility we face today?” It seems we face it at every turn, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that God knows what He’s doing. He’s in control, and He’s faced similar hostility before.
In his reflection on Psalm 46, where the theme of the retreat came from, the presenter spoke of the power and majesty of the words of this psalm. The first lines, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, (v2-3)” immediately spoke to me.
Instead of going crazy and getting upset about things I have no control over, I need to turn it over to God and trust that He’s doing something, even though I may not perceive it.
Fr. Paul said that what’s often missing in us is the stillness of God. He asked us if we had ever thought about whether we were being called to a place of stillness. For some, this is where God speaks most clearly.
In order to have intimacy with God, there must be a constant returning to Him, over and over. It doesn’t matter what sin has come back into your life and alienated yourself from God, return back. Fr. Paul said a contemporary translation of this psalm uses the words, “Let go and let God” to remind us that He is in control. The extent we can let go will determine the extent He will be exalted. Pray in faith.
The next time I’m stressed out and overwhelmed, I’m going to close my eyes and visualize myself standing in front of the Grand Tetons on a beautiful spring day. No matter what is happening around me, I will be reminded that sometimes, I just need to be still, and know that He is in control. “The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge”(v.12).
On a different note, if you want to check out something really cool, click the Vatican’s newest page:
It will open up to a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel. Amazing! Be sure to notice that up in the right hand corner of the Last Judgement, you can see an area that was left unrestored in the 1990’s.