I was as a late bloomer on purpose.
It was another one of the deals I made with God when I was a young boy.
I was on a first-name basis with God for as long as I can remember. There was never a time I never knew and believed in Him. The central message of love made perfect sense to me then and even more so now. Much like little Anna in, “Mister God, this is Anna” who said, “I know to love Mister God and to love people and cats and dogs and spiders and flowers and trees…with all of me.”
My relationship with Him was sweet and tender and loving from the outset. I was aware that not everyone has such a relationship with God. I knew that it was available to everyone, but that only a few people get the point and choose it.
So, on some level, I felt…dare I say, chosen.
Not in an egotistical way, or somehow superior to anyone, but my best guess at a word would be, “blessed.”
I had a front-row seat to the most beautiful love story. My Dad and Mom loved each other unconditionally for 60 years of marriage. I never heard my Dad or Mom raise their voices to each other. They were best friends and childhood sweethearts that showed love and respect for each other that can only be from God.
My deals with God were made with an innocent heart. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with making a deal with God that I too would fall in love with my sweetheart one day. My side of the deal was to be the best person I could be. Of course, I failed. A lot. But that wasn’t the point. It was that my heart was mostly in the right place. I lived this choice, not as a chore or a harder choice, it was a choice that made me feel good inside.
In the article, Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith by David Van Biema, letters she had written for nearly 50 years revealed a woman who felt distinctly distant from God for over 40 years. But, she continued to serve God despite not feeling His presence.
For some time, I felt betrayed by God for not allowing me to find the same love as I saw my parents have for each other. Many of the other arrangements and agreements we made, also never materialised. But not once have I not felt the closeness of God. I have never experienced a minute of the anguish Mother Teresa went through for over 40 years.
How blessed I am.
God never betrayed me. He has never betrayed anyone.
I’m blessed for the parents I was born to, the home I was raised in, my family, my friends, my education, my career, my living conditions, my lifestyle, everything. My life.
In December 1979, Mother Teresa, the “Saint of the Gutters,” went to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Dressed in her signature blue and white sari and sandals. In her acceptance speech, she delivered the kind of message the world had come to expect from her.
Her opening remark was,
“It is not enough for us to say, ‘I love God, but I do not love my neighbour,’”
and her final remarks are significant as we approach the upcoming Christmas season. She reminded the world,
“That radiating joy is real. Christ is in our hearts, Christ is in the poor we meet, Christ is in the smile we give and in the smile that we receive.”
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
Originally published at https://www.leapfirst.co.za on December 4, 2020.