8:13 AM
Lord, where do I see you in my life?
Getting me to St. Louis University.
Meeting Jerry Nies and Mary Jane and others there.
Marrying Mary Jane -- in our care for Ginny when she was young.
I see you in the special relationship I had with Mom, Dad, Nancy & Katie. Also in the
love of my nieces and nephews.
I see you in the healing of my relationship with Carol and in being less critical of
I see you in my choice of majors and careers and in the events that led to my
current employment at UMSL.
I've seen you at White House Retreat numerous times -- in the special bonds that
exist between me and people like Joe Ragni.
I've seen you in the Jesuits at White House.
I've seen you in my friendship with Bruce and with the small church and the
WeighDown group.
I've seen you in the healings at Holy Redeemer.
I've seen you in Rick Gwydir and in being asked to walk his RCIA journey with him.

Looking at my life, Lord, how could I not realize that you are there -- you do exist.
AND, wonder of wonders, you really do love and care for me -- you use me and
celebrate my openness to you and to living your will even though I remaind flawed
and closed in some areas. You are my biggest fan -- now that's mind blowing, isn't
it? It's as if all of creation was made so that you could help me freely grow in love
for you -- billions of years of creativity culminate in my experience of you and
growth in love for you. Yet, I am also so awestruck by the reality that this is the
relationship you have with every human who have ever lived, is currently living, and
who are yet to be born. Your love for me is unique and total and so it is, also, for
everyone else. I can't begin to fathom that kind of love, yet I know it is there and it
is always available to me. How that develops is largely up to the choices I have made
and will make. Lord, I pray for the grace to choose You in all things and in all

Call to Relationship

When I got this list of questions, it got me to thinking about my relationship with
God, because that's what it's all about. From the beginning of human time, God has
been trying to be in relationship with humans. After a good beginning, Adam and
Eve severed the relationship through unfaithfulness to that relationship which God
had initiated. God really didn't expel them - they chose to sever the relationship by
becoming self-centered instead of being God-centered. God honored their choice,
but left the door open - He remained open to them in spite of their unfaithfulness.

Through the ages, God established covenant relationships with small groups and
individuals who we often call prophets today. He kept trying to shower His love and
blessings upon an unruly and often ungrateful humanity - He kept trying to keep the
promise of a real love relationship with humanity alive. Finally, in Jesus, God came to
us and made the ultimate sacrifice - becoming one of us, living like us, feeling like us,
hurting like us, struggling like us, and finally dying for us - to redeem us. Jesus
became the bridge through which we could again approach the Father in a love
relationship - not as just His creations, but as His children.

An important part of that relationship is communication - how can one have a
relationship without communication? How can any family be healthy without honest,
open communication. That communication with God is realized in prayer. I looked
down the list that follows and asked myself, “How would I honestly answer these
questions?” I wasn't at all pleased with the answers I had to give if I were to be
honest. I have gotten rather negligent in prayer. I may be saved, but I still fall into
sin. When I accepted God's offer of salvation by surrendering my life to Him, He
didn't remove temptation; however, He did promise to be there with me to help me
if I turn to Him. Turning to Him means praying. Why is it that when I need to pray
most, I neglect it? I turn to it more when my life is approaching disaster. That's not
good, honest communication with God, and it's not living a God-centered life, either.
I have to admit that God has been more faithful to this relationship than I have.

I think I've noticed a connection in my life between sin and prayer. It is an inverse
relationship - the more I pray, the less I sin, and conversely the less I pray, the
more I sin. When I examine my sins, they seem to stem from being self-centered
rather than being God-centered. I need to reflect on these questions and seek to
reorder my priorities in life so that I am living a much more God-centered life. God
desires a dynamic relationship with each of us - one which continually grows and
deepens. He's infinitely patient, waiting to help us renew our relationship and move
forward whenever we've become lax and backslid. While He is patient, it isn't wise
to take Him for granted and assume that we have an infinite amount of time to get it
back together. Unlike God, we, in our earthly existence, are finite beings - our days
are numbered, and none of us knows how many we have. These questions are a
good beginning at assessing the quality of relationship one has with God. Check
them out for yourself.

What if, GOD couldn't take the time to bless us today because we couldn't take the
time to thank Him yesterday?

What if GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn't follow Him

What if, we never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when GOD sent
the Rain?

What if GOD didn't walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?

What if, GOD took away the Bible tomorrow because we would not read it today?

What if, GOD took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?

What if, GOD didn't send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be
prepared to pay the price for sin.

What if, the door of the church was closed because we did not open the door of our

What if, GOD stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for

What if, GOD would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him?

What if, GOD answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?

What if, GOD met our needs the way we give Him our lives?

Dear Lord, I haven't scored very well on the quiz above. I know You were aware of
that before I began taking it. Lord, I need You in my life - no, I want You in my life!
I really do, Lord, in spite of my weakness and sinfulness. Lord, I commit myself to a
life of prayer. I promise to talk to You if I sin, instead of turning away in shame. I
will endeavor to give You quality time in my life, not the leftovers. I will spend time
in Your Word and in relationship with the brothers and sisters you place in my life -
they are a powerful sign of Your blessings and Your Love. I long for the day when I
hear you say of me, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” I love you, Father,
even though I may not show it every day. I open my heart, soul, mind, and body to
Your healing Love, for I am in need of much healing. Jesus, You are the Way, the
Truth, and the Life - that I know for a certainty. Jesus, I want that Life you model.
Lord, I do believe You - I do believe in You - help my unbelief! Amen