Listening and Trusting in God

A five year old boy ran onto the sandy beach, plopped down, and began to build a sand castle. His parents told him to move further up the beach, but he stood his ground and worked diligently piling sand to make the walls, digging a moat, and decorating his masterpiece. All the while, the tide slowly crept up on him. Soon waves began to fill the moat with water. He thought this was great, and then realized that the waves were beginning to damage his castle. He called his family to quickly come and help protect his work of art. They piled the sand in front of the castle, but the waves eroded the barrier. Soon the tide had overtaken the young boy’s masterpiece until there was no evidence of its existence. The little boy sat down in the water on the spot that was his work area as the waves continued to lap upon him and began to cry. His father picked him up, embraced him, and comforted him.

We are perhaps all too often like the little boy in our lives as adults. We work so diligently but sometimes outside forces prevent, or at least delay, the completion of our dreams. We may set sight on our goals, but fail to see factors that affect our efforts. Sometimes that which prevents completion of our task are our own weaknesses or our inability to invest ourselves as completely as we should.

These shortcomings often prevent us from listening to the advice of others or trusting what they say. We must remember, as did many couples in scripture, such as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel, Zacharias and Elizabeth, and Joachim and Anna, that our Heavenly Father is present to embrace us, comfort us, and provide for us. Today, we receive His embrace and comfort as He willingly provides us with the opportunity to experience His love through the Sacraments of the Church. For example, the Sacrament of Confession allows us to examine ourselves and listen to His guidance and the Eucharist invites us to union with God. In all instances, we have the choice to sit down in the sand and bemoan our difficulties or adjust our lives and allow the grace of the Holy Spirit to touch us, guide us, and teach us deepening our understanding and strengthening our faith. This day, this week, this month, what will we do? Will we sit in the sand or listen to His word?