Stop flirting with Jesus

Many of us might have heard the words “I have a date night with Jesus tonight.” I myself have used this phrasing to talk about setting aside some special time to pray. But, I have a bone to pick with this saying and the mindset that might accompany it..

Now, to begin, special time for special people, I think its very important. BUT, dating someone is very different from committing to someone. When you first start dating, you aren’t sure about where your relationship with the other person is going to go, what your future together is going to look like. You are a bit starry-eyed and don’t make the most prudent decisions. The first part of falling in love is all emotion and, by necessity, not a real commitment.

And this is where my dislike for ‘dates with Jesus’ comes in. God deserves more than uncertain dates and fleeting hormones. He deserves lasting love, just like you desire. Serious couples date to strengthen their relationship and to take time to appreciate each other more. They do not go on dates to replace a real relationship and the commitment to support each other in everyday struggles. And that is what I fear: that people will JUST go on dates with Jesus, that they will contain Him there in that hour or two, instead of allowing Him to enter into the whole of their lives. The God of the universe cannot be contained in an hour once or twice month, when our entire lives are about a soul constantly reaching and touching Infinite Love. He wants to pervade every part of our life. When you try and put a limit on God, you are only limiting yourself. You are limiting the heights to which you can reach, the people you can help, the journeys you could take. You are limiting the peace, love, joy, and graces that could fill your soul when you have a relationship with God. Honestly, i can’t even begin to enumerate what amazing things will happen when you really let God in.

Don’t just date Jesus. Go on dates with Him, but don’t just date. Have a full and real relationship with Him.

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My stand-off with Saint Anthony

Saint Anthony and I have a tenuous relationship. All my Catholic friends invoke his help whenever they loose something. I, on the other hand, invoke my mother who then invokes Saint Anthony. You see, I can rarely find anything when I alone cry out to the heavens, late for a meeting, missing my earbuds. I then go about my day, not able to listen to music, grumbling and saying some not so nice things about Saint Anthony under my breath. And then I listen to other people praise him to high heaven. Hmph

My family has a years-long relationship with him. Five out of the eight of us wear contacts. And when you have that many people, and some of those people are maybe a little too young to be wearing contact responsibly, you loose contacts. But even the more mature of us are guilty of loosing them from time to time. Contacts go down the drain, in the hair, and worst of all, on the ground. One time my little bother lost his contact on wood chips in a parking lot. WOOD CHIPS. It is an almost impossible feat to find a contact that was dropped some feet behind you on wood chips, with all its textures and crevices. Wearing contacts is not for the faint of heart, and you desperately need help when you loose them, since you are now reduced to one good eye,. And Saint Anthony, without fail, will be invoked as my entire family gets on their hands and knees and looks for the precious contact. And almost without fail, after an hour of begging and searching, with achy knees and strained eyes, we will find it.
Or, we find it three years later. Hmph

And this is why I am convinced St Anthony doesn’t help me very often. I do not have the patience to wait for something to be found. I want it now. I want Saint Anthony to work like the charm he is supposed to be. You pray to him and its instantaneous, right? That’s what I need. Its a do or die situation when I loose something, and he has left me high and dry on more than one occasion.

Or maybe I am leaving myself high and dry. Usually when I loose something it is merely an inconvenience. As I search and even go about my day without whatever it is, I get the chance to learn patience and acceptance, in preparation for the bigger things I might have to loose later. I can learn how to persevere (this one is a particularly hard one for me, I usually can’t even finish a tv show) and to not take blessings, or help, for granted.

So, Saint Anthony, I lift up this honest prayer to you: help me find my patience. And those tweezers I lost.

Amen