Many people in our society today are looking for “quick fixes” instead of healing.
Someone may schedule an appointment with his doctor because of a stomach ailment. The doctor will usually examine the patient to make sure that no physical disease is causing the problem. The doctor will probably prescribe a pill to relieve the pain.
The patient is usually happy that no serious disease was discovered. He is also happy that the pain is gone. The doctor treated the symptom, but not the cause of the stomach problem.
What other things were going on in that person’s life? Family, personal, emotional, spiritual or sexual problems?
Unless the patient gets in touch with the real causes, the symptoms will continue to surface. On the other hand, healings take time. It also takes openness of God.
God does not expect us to clean up our act before we can worthily approach God and receive love, grace and forgiveness. If we are suffering from grief because of the loss of a loved one, God wants to bring healing into our lives.
If we are alcoholic or chemically dependent, God wants to help us stand on our own two feet. If we are bipolar or manic-depressive, God wants to bring healing and balance into our lives.
If we have sexual addictions and constantly use pornography or prostitutes, God wants to free us to be ourselves. If we have a gambling addiction and have wasted thousands of dollars that should have been used for family purposes, God wants to help us get out of our prison. If we are in an unfaithful relationship with someone who is not our spouse, God will teach us true love.
Perhaps we do not have major issues like these to deal with but our lives feel empty. God can fill the emptiness of that dark hole. God will work in partnership with us for healing and change. It will require some work on our part. However, the work and effort will come after receiving God’s love and forgiveness.
God does not reward us with His love because of our work.
In the book “The Song of the Birds,” an entry entitled “Change the World by Changing Me,” states, “The Sufi Bayazid says this about himself: ‘I was a revolutionary when I was young and all my prayer to God was ‘Lord, give me the energy to change the world.’
“As I approached middle age and realized that half my life was gone without my changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to ‘Lord, give me the grace to change all those who meet me. Just my family and friends, and I shall be satisfied.’
“Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, my one prayer is. ‘Lord, give me the grace to change myself.’ If I had prayer for this right from the start, I should not have wasted my life.'”
When are we going to start on the road to conversion?
“Not to decide is to decide.” (Harvey Cox) Sometimes we are waiting for something to happen before we get moving. George Sheehan once said, “There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down – until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.”
But Greg Anderson tells us “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
Open yourself to conversion. Be willing to change.