What is God teaching me right now?

The Daily Examen by St. IgnatiusChristine Grimmett, LAS, Academy Specialist

At any given moment, we could stop and ask ourselves “What is God teaching me right now?” Well, right now it’s patience.

As I sit here and type and attempt to stop and think about my relationship with my Heavenly Father and what He may be teaching me, I’m also stopping to put the pacifier back in my 2-month-old daughter’s mouth every ten seconds. She’s supposed to be napping in the bassinet next to me, but instead, I can see her little arms and legs flailing around, and my quiet time is interrupted by her little coos and occasional cries for me to step in and put the pacifier back in her mouth.

My husband and I recently finished up a Bible study on the Old Testament, and we were joking about how the Israelites keep whining about different things—“we’re tired of manna,” “we want a king,” etc.—and, very simply put, God puts the pacifier back in.

The people, often by their own doing, are creating problems for themselves and God fixes it, offering another chance. Just like how I fix my baby’s problem by putting the pacifier back in, although I know she’s going to spit it out ten seconds later!

The analogy is far from perfect, but it’s the over and over and over again approach that I want to focus on. To be honest, sometimes I find myself reading Bible stories of God’s people committing the same sins over again and I just shake my head. How could they be so foolish?! But what about me?

If I take an honest look at myself at the end of each day (I’m a fan of The Examen by St. Ignatius), I find that I repeat many of my shortcomings on a daily basis.

It can be disheartening as I recognize my sins, but I have to step back and instead recognize why I keep doing the same things. The question that the Israelites in the Old Testament consistently reply “no” to is God asking “Do you trust Me?”

At any given moment, the question I should be asking myself is “are you trusting Him?” If I did, maybe I wouldn’t continue to give in when I feel tempted, or even to complain about something going on in the world around me that I’m unhappy about. Instead of shaking my head at those Israelites, maybe I should look at the Old Testament and see how God repeatedly gave second chances and kept his promises. He not only “puts the pacifier back in," He also picks us up, holds us close, and teaches us how to do better. He never gets tired of that! No matter how many times I fail to trust God, He’s not phased by it at all.

Just as I find joy in watching my baby girl grow and learn each day, God delights in watching us grow closer to Him and learn to trust Him more each day.