THE GIFT OF REMEMBERING
“It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard." - Acts 4:20
The beauty of the Easter season is the emphasis on remembering the “why” of our faith. We are indeed an Easter people, and proclaiming the Resurrection is meant to be our M.O. year-round. Yet, I know in my own life, my enthusiasm for sharing the Good News tends to taper off, the humdrum of the day-to-day kicks in, and I begin to lose touch with my sense of mission. I’ve worked in youth ministry for about 8 years and even though evangelization is part of my job description, I can get lost in the uninspiring tasks that consume a majority of my hours: emailing, attendance records, Virtus and fingerprinting records, etc. Often, my lack of discipline in showing up to prayer each day, letting myself simply be with God, remembering all He has done for me, causes me to lose sight of God’s goodness and the “why” of my work.
These past few weeks, we’ve been holding interviews with all our teens who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, asking them why they want to be Confirmed, to share about their faith journey and how their relationship with God has grown. Hearing their stories has been reminding me of my own experiences of God, of my need to relish in those experiences, and of why I got involved in ministry in the first place: because “it is impossible for [me] not to speak about what [I] have seen and heard."
Those experiences, those touchstones in our faith lives, they’re always there. All we have to do is take time to remember them, relish in them with God. And even when life becomes turbulent, there’s this deep anchor in our souls that keeps us from drifting – this holdfast that assures us of a good that is greater than whatever trial we’re facing.
I do not always feel an effervescent joy, nor walk around with a perpetual smile on my face. In fact, often I feel pain, anxiety, stress, and doubt, but I can remember the prayers God has answered, the love He has poured into my life, and the very real encounters with God that I have had, and find consolation in them, even when everything else in my life may feel like it’s going nowhere or falling apart. And when I remember God’s goodness, no storm can shake my inmost calm. How can I keep from singing?
What experiences of God have I had that are “impossible for me to not speak (or sing) about”?
How might I carve out time to simply be with God and relish in the memory of those experiences?
Are there people or communities with whom I can share stories of faith, and be reminded of the good God is doing in my life and in the lives of others?
A song to help focus your prayer and reflection that I would suggest is: “How Can I Keep From Singing” by Audrey Assad.