July 5, 2019

It’s All Good / Patti Lamb

Even when you’re offline, God takes care of everything else

Patti LambRecently, I encountered a cluster of life’s curve balls, and I needed my sister. I found myself in a pickle when I noticed that my phone was dead, even though it showed 25 percent battery life when I glanced at it five minutes prior.

My husband and kids were gone with their phones, and we no longer have a home phone line. Oh, and did I mention that one of the kids took our only functioning charger?

I wasn’t quite sure how to work through this conundrum.

I desperately wanted to talk with my sister and hear her wise counsel and calming presence.

I plopped down on the kitchen chair, folded my hands, and I did something that I should do instinctually. I went straight to God. I had no WiFi and no battery life. The good news is that I didn’t need that to reach God. It turns out that we all have a direct line when we talk to him from our hearts.

That afternoon, I poured my heart out to God—all offline.

While I didn’t receive the instant gratification of my sister’s reassurance, I received an even greater gift—the reminder that I can seek solace in human solutions and earthly crutches to my heart’s content, but that doesn’t compare with going directly to the source.

The source, of course, is God, our Father. The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

He called the oceans and the mountains and the planets into being—from nothingness. In his omniscience and majesty, he created everything that has ever existed—including you and me.

Our Creator loves us beyond human comprehension, and he’s the source of truth and peace.

The human part of me, however, repeatedly leans on my own, faulty understanding.

In that especially weak moment, when I was home alone, I questioned whether the Maker of the Universe could hear me.

“Are you there?” I whispered.

I prefer an instant response, even in the form of “yes” or “no.” This world of instant gratification has clearly gotten the best of me.

Maybe that’s why I lean on my family and my friends—because I can’t hear God.

Still, that afternoon, it felt wonderful to reconnect with the ultimate counselor, whom I repeatedly overlook in my quest for immediate answers and swift justice. I didn’t hear any words, but I felt better knowing my concerns were in the right hands.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s thoughts on this matter are a great reminder.

He once said, “The Lord hears us more readily than we expect; It is our listening to God that needs to be improved.”

In this unjust world, I must rely more on my personal conversation and communion with God rather than that of human beings. I keep seeking answers on this mortal plane, but that’s not the true source of the answers.

Of course, we are called to listen to one another and support each other. We are at our best when we’re serving and lifting our brothers and sisters.

But my meltdown that day, when I had no phone service, served as the nudge I needed to recognize that God is the one I should seek first. He’s our most important contact, and he’s available 24/7 for us.

Later that week, a friend shared a daily devotional that summarized my realization: “My relationship with God is my number one focus; I know that if I take care of that, God will take care of everything else.”

(Patti Lamb, a member of St. Susanna Parish in Plainfield, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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