"Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord." – Jer. 17:7

I really mess things up once in a while. It seems like just to keep me (and everyone else around me) on my toes, I make a major mistake - at work, with my family, friends, or even with complete strangers. I'm often grateful for the patience other extend me.

When I review those mistakes, sometimes my mind leads me to think, "If I had only known [insert unlikely convincing fact here], I would have chosen differently." If I'm honest with myself, however, I recognize it as an attempt to justify me not listening well. I realize most times that my stubbornness and/or self-righteousness likely got in the way of listening. I acted on what I knew was the "right" thing to do. Instead of asking God and trusting the guidance of the spirit God has given me, I react. And even when it's well-intended, my actions and reactions may cause deep hurts.

Today's readings remind me to slow down and follow God's guidance from within. Like the rich man's brothers in the Gospel, I can delude myself to think that if some outside event or message had been given to me, for sure I would have chosen differently. And yet, I didn't listen to all the messages I had.

In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius offers practical advice on how to make a decision, when we are at a point to make a decision. One of the methods he suggests is that we imagine ourselves at the end of our life and ask ourselves: what would I have wanted to have chosen in this moment? This is where the Spirit of God speaks to me. I don't always listen so well but God never stops reaching out to me. Thank God.

May I ask God to help me make decisions today that we can both rejoice in tomorrow.

Vivian Valencia

Photo Credit: Michelangelo The Creation of Adam