I work at a busy doctor’s office with the medical software. I can talk with my boss differently than any other coworker; I can incorporate our faith into our conversation. It’s very different than how I would talk to most other coworkers. I certainly can’t even speak with some family members like this. Don’t misunderstand – I don’t hide my faith, but I do reserve deeper conversation for those with whom it will be well received.
A little while back, I was annoyed at a few things on my plate at work and my boss could see it in my eyes. She asked me if I prayed about it, work things, and I shrugged and said I didn’t waste any prayers at work. Work didn’t come home with me and I didn’t worry about it in the long run. She politely nodded as if to say, ‘that’s good,’ but I saw the, ‘yeah right, Caroline,’ look in her eyes.
Something stung when I heard myself use the phrase ‘waste prayers’ and I knew God was giving me that Fatherly glare. I couldn’t avert my proverbial eyes, feeling the look God was probably giving me. Okay, I thought, I’ll pray! I said a quick prayer for an item we’d been tackling for months. It was small priority, a little bug in the system that only one doctor complained about sometimes. It had been worsening, so I prayed. Because I know our tech isn’t the least religious, I assumed he wouldn’t be receptive to the Spirit and I prayed the answer would present to him in very obvious and physical form. It did. Another (more computer savvy) doctor happened to be there when it was discussed and knew the answer. (He’d been dealing with it to.) What were the chances? Only God.
The bigger question is why didn’t I feel okay praying about it sooner? Shame on me, right? I’d been ‘saving’ my prayers for what I thought were prayer-worthy things: health, family, finances, bigger life worries, but I forgot to realize God’s… well, I forgot to realize God. His plate doesn’t get full. He can handle anything. He’s not annoyed by the little things – no matter how little – and He loves hearing from His children.
I can relate, but I can’t say I’m nearly as patient with my kids. I’ve said that I love ‘stupid’ questions because I’m more than likely able to answer them. I don’t mind my kids having little problems, because I can likely handle them far better than the bigger ones. If God can handle the big problems, why can’t I buck up to ask about the little ones?
I realized something that both shocked and shamed me that day: I was putting God in a box. I took Him out for God-things and looked the other way for things I deemed not God-worthy. While many things are certainly unworthy of our Heavenly Father, when it comes to the worries of His children, none are too small. He is willing and ready to hear all of our worries.
God isn’t just for Mass or other church events, like youth group, Religious Ed classes, volunteer activities, or seasonal events. God isn’t just for outreach programs or retreats. God isn’t limited to your religious life at all. He wants all of your life because He wants all of you.
Take Him to work, even if you’re praying quietly in your head because you just can’t quite pray aloud where you are. Take Him to your kid’s sporting events because, let’s face it, we could all use prayers there! (I’m not talking team performance, but parental stressors and physical injuries; I work at a doctor’s office!) Take God with you to the grocery store, because if you live in New England like me, you know you need prayers when the French Toast Alert is in the red! Take God with you in traffic, at the bank, during testing, when you’re tackling a work issue, when you can’t make a decision for something, anytime!
The most faithful people I know speak to God as they speak to a friend. They don’t reserve prayer for ‘special occasions’ or church times like Mass. They are completely comfortable speaking to Him in everyday matters at anytime, anywhere. They don’t limit their Creator to places they think He should belong; they don’t put God in a box. I thought I was the same, but it looks like I could use some work. I’m so glad He’s not done with me yet.
He wants all of me, and He wants all of you too. Every part of us is for God because God formed every part of us. He built the very personalities inside us and He loves every part of who we are. We just need to realize that and know that He wants to be part of our choices, our paths, our lives. Every aspect of us is important to Him who made every part of us (Ps 139:13-16.) The Creator of the universe is far too big to put in a box, so let’s start looking up and seeing Him more every day. When we allow God to be part of all of our lives, we allow bigger things to happen all the time.