“…he is a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.” That’s how the author of Acts describes the apostle Barnabas. That simple description—a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith—stuck in my mind as I read the words.
Stop for a moment.
Think of your day today. This week. Your work, your crammed schedule, the family event squeezed in on Wednesday night and again over the weekend, the intense business deals you are focused on closing, and the mound of paperwork you aim to organize…. did I mention the lawn needs mowing or the gardener needs to be paid? And the employee who lost his/her sister would appreciate your ear, your empathy; not to mention the rightful human needs of your spouse?
What holds priority for you—financial, family, health? How does the Holy Spirit fit into this rat-race? I don’t have time!!
How many other pressures of earthly life weigh on your shoulders today? Perhaps caring for elderly parents, worries about teenagers, finding a good spouse, and these recent days, paying rent or mortgage, restarting your business or work, health issues…and deepening concern about the seemingly pre-organized, rapid mobilization of protestors mingled with looters and their expansion into local neighborhoods.
What if you died today?
Amid all these often overwhelming demands, if you were to die today, would those who know you best say of you, “He was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith” or “She was a good woman, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.”
God knows, literally, that we live on earth, with fallen (but not destroyed) human nature. He knows you and I are trying to do our best to keep our head above water and earn our living or achieve a mission or goal in the demanding, time-driven world of business and work.
He also knows what matters most… and what can transform every single aspect of your life and business dealings to another, a higher, level.
It begins with at least 20 -30 minutes of silent prayer. Every. Single. Day.
Make this one thing the MOST critical thing you do today.
Yeah, I know. As a Chicago-based creative director so accurately put it, “Sometimes as you enter into your room, close the door and speak to your father in heaven, you find— after struggles sitting there in the chair—that you left the door ajar.”
But which great athlete was perfect from the beginning of his/her career? How often did he NOT want to go to practice for hours, after school. AND THEN, if he made a professional ball team, for example, he has to unlearn what he did to get here and now learn new techniques that will help keep him injury-free and consistent in his professional game.
Like the athlete, it’s persistence that matters in building a new habit.
It’s showing up to the prayer time.
It’s just showing up.
There are plenty of during-the-day refreshers to add — for example, praying “Jesus, I trust in You” throughout the day, Scripture reading and reflecting, reading or listening to the Lives of the Saints, Daily Mass. Sunday Mass. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary. And, for SURE, add in weekly or bi-monthly or monthly Confession/Reconciliation.
But first, it’s just showing up to that private 20-30 minutes with Our Lord.
NOW you’re cooking with gas!
NOW God has a chance to reach you if he can’t do so any other time of the day.
NOW your daily tasks and meetings and pressures begin to be infused with grace…. it’s a beginning. See where it leads.