Litter Box Theology, Advent Style

12/20/2015

Do you listen closely enough?

I do. But way too infrequently.

Thankfully, I was listening today. While tending to cat box duty.

EWTN Radio broadcasts The Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible New Testament on Sundays after Daily Mass. Today, the broadcast coincided with time for cleaning the litter boxes.

I heard the end of St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians and the beginning of St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, through Chapter 3.

The end of Chapter 3 is Paul’s instructions for wives, husbands, children, and fathers. You know… the passage that always causes so much controversy because Paul tells wives to be subject to their husbands.

But that’s not what struck me today.

And not how I heard God talking to me.

Immediately following his instructions for families, Paul continues.

Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:22-24

Here’s what slammed me up against the proverbial wall, what slapped me in my proverbial face:

Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord…

 

What was I doing? Scooping cat poop. Washing the floor and sloshing pee from under one of the boxes because Little Kitten has difficulty hitting the mark these days, poor thing.

It’s not her fault. She’s a cat.

But… all of that… irrelevant.

… do from the heart, as for the Lord…

So I did.

He and I carried on a little more conversation, about my place in life, my place in time, what I was doing at this very moment, what I was doing with my life.

It all happened in a flash.

But it was so real.

Two things:

  1. Do you take time to listen for the Lord to speak to you, no matter what you are doing, no matter what your circumstances?
  2. Do you do whatever you do, from the heart?

I’m not perfect. I’m no holy roller.

That’s why I talk (i.e., whine) to Him so often.

And why I try to listen.

And not only listen.

Hear.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention is to post regularly and to comment on the Daily Liturgy. I’ve fallen short of that lofty goal. However, I have begun posting video reflections (and other stuff) on YouTube. Click here to take a gander: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating. And for still not posting daily.

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Morning from Hell Becomes Morning of Hope

12/02/2015

Wet, snowy weather north of Chicago this morning. 23 miles from home, my car stalled while driving on a busy highway and would not restart. Fortunately, the car had enough forward momentum to roll to a stop safely on the shoulder.

I was driving between appointments. Tried to start the car. No dice. Called our Roadside Assistance provider, then sent a text to my next client to warn her I’d be late.

Roadside was having trouble finding a towing service with an available truck due to the weather. While still on the phone with them, another client called. I couldn’t answer. I kept trying to start the car.

Finally, arrangements were made for a jump-start and possible tow. Not excited about any of it and how it was impacting my day.

By now, my 7:30 appointment was canceled and my expectations for the day were deteriorating.

I probably tried to start the car a dozen times. I was pretty sure the battery no longer had sufficient ‘juice’ to start the engine, but I kept turning the key, hoping against hope.

No luck. No success.

I looked at the snow accumulating on my mirrors and rear window. It was already 7:45. The truck would arrive in 45 minutes. The day was turning into a disaster. In desperation, staring at my snowy side view mirror, I said “please God, will you let the car start?”

I grasped the key. One more time, I gave it a turn.

The dashboard lit up immediately, the tachometer dial spun, and I heard that familiar roar of the engine.

Coincidence? Maybe. Answered prayer? Maybe.

I think yes.

I’ve got to tell you, as soon as that car started, my eyes watered.

Nobody was approaching from behind. I threw it into Drive and took off. I was still on hold with the young lady from Roadside Assistance…

23 miles later, my car is safely in the garage. It’s not ‘better,’ we still have issues, but that car has 290,838 miles on it. It’s served me well.

As I shoveled the small amounts of snow clinging to the driveway and sidewalk, I thought about having to cancel my 7:30 appointment. I marveled that the rest of my appointments for the day canceled and I was able to drive directly to the home office. I arrived safely and was granted a new lease on the day.

Thinking about all that and what was in store next, I was overcome again with emotion when I heard a voice — loud and clear — give me instructions for my mission for the rest of today.

It’s 10:00 in the morning and the daily lessons are already overwhelming.

First, don’t EVER doubt the power of prayer.

Ever.

“Ask and ye shall receive.”

I don’t think God is sitting around fielding auto repair questions. And I don’t think I necessarily deserved His one minor, but very-huge-to-me favor.

And it would be so easy to brush off the event, attribute it to coincidence, and go about my day. But without even asking, He told me how to repay Him.

So when you humbly ask for God’s favor, remember also to ask how to return the favor.

Then listen for His answer.

(I don’t think I made a conscious effort to do that, but it became clear as things occurred. I’m thankful that I happened — just happened — to be listening!)

One other thing. I read a couple things this morning about Advent being the season of Hope. Never, ever stop praying. And asking. And hoping. Even if you don’t get exactly what you asked for.

And think about what small thing you can do to bring joy to someone else’s heart, to make their day just a little more pleasant, maybe to offer them a ray of hope.

Messages can be received anywhere. Be sure you’re listening.

 

Home, sweet home. Where's the coffee?

Home, sweet home. Where’s the coffee?


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