18 September, 2009

"Hello? God? This is Amberly calling..."

God calls us to answer our baptismal call. For me, this is anything but easy.

How am I supposed to be mature, holy, concerned with the common good, sharing my gifts and an extension of God’s blessings all in the same day? I can barely remember to brush my teeth and grab the baby’s bottle before I leave the house in the morning!

And then it occurred to me…

- I maturely spoke kind words to the loan specialist about the loan coupon booklet that neverarrived and reversing the subsequent late fee.

- I shared holiness and patience with my son by singing along to his Bible songs CD during an unusually long traffic delay that postponed his suppertime bottle.

- I responded to the common good by taking the time to e-mail back a flustered friend withwords of affirmation and to follow up on a state health provision that could negativelyimpact thousands of marriages.

- I shared my gift for healthy cooking by making a balanced meal for my husband and sistereven though the last thing my stomach could tolerate was cooking beef.

- I was a conduit of God’s blessings as my exhausted husband sighed and opened our nightly devotional and I said quietly, “I’ll read tonight”.

Upon this reflection, I’ve deduced that the key to answering my baptismal call is being aware of my baptismal call in my everyday life. Specific and intentional responses to our baptismal call are important as well, but I believe that most importantly, God wants us to be thinking of our call within the context of how we live our everyday lives.

And the best way to awareness? A direct line with God by way of a practical, but regular prayer life.

For me, this means prayer time from daycare to work and devotional time with my husband before bed.

If you have trouble carving out time for prayer in your life, here is a method to consider. Presented in this form by author Trudelle Thomas, the Ignatian Examen is a daily practice of spiritual reflection that has been used by Christians for centuries. In essence, it consists of 2 questions.

- What am I most grateful for today?

- What am I least grateful for today?

Sometimes formal prayer can be daunting. These two questions can bring you a greater awareness of God’s presence in your day. These questions can take other forms if you prefer:

- When did I give and receive the most love today?

- When did I give and receive the least love today?

- When did I feel the most alive today?

- When did I feel the most life draining out of me today?

Just remember, however you get there, a direct line of communication with God is the key to answering your baptismal call.

Now, stop reading and go listen.

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