My thoughts and reflections on my Catholic Faith, Fulton Sheen, the problem of suffering, and books

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Lord, save me!": St. Peter, Trust, and my Job-Hunt. O, and Gratitude (52-61).

I have loved St. Peter since I was a small child. His impetuosity--wanting to walk on the water to Jesus--his avowal that he would not deny Our Lord, his tears after he did deny Him (I felt so sorry for him!)--all these attracted my six- or seven- year-old self to Peter.

We have a new priest at our parish, Fr. Noah Morey. He's young, he's a Christendom alumnus (which instantly won him brownie points in my book); and he is rock-solid in the confessional.

So it struck a chord the other week when Fr. Noah made the connection between my worries and frustrations about my job-hunt, and how St. Peter started to sink precisely because he took his eyes off Jesus. Peter got distracted by the worries--the waves around him, the water under his feet, the storm crashing around him--and looked at the waves and the storm, taking his eyes off Jesus.

Peter had to trust Jesus a lot in this scene.

First, when he said: "Lord, if it is You, bid me to come to You on the water." He had to trust that that was actually Jesus standing there, because a minute ago, he and the other Apostles had been terrified that it was a ghost coming towards them on the water. Then, he had to trust that this Man was also God, because only God can walk on water or help a weak, hot-tempered, sinful fisherman walk on water.

He trusted Jesus. Even after he took his eyes off Jesus and got overwhelmed--"When he saw the wind he was afraid, and beg[an] to sink"--he still trusted Him, because he called out to Him: "Lord, save me!" He trusted that Jesus could save him from drowning.


When I allow the fears that I'll never find a job, the frustration that I never hear back from applications and in some cases can't even follow-up on (i.e. library applications...receptionist would  told me to "just check the status of your applications online"...and they can't update every single status because they have 5K applications for jobs in the county, so I won't know anything unless I get an email or phone call asking me to come in for an interview), the anger at myself for cutting back on my job hours because I was burnt-out...when I allow all that to overwhelm me and I "freak out," fearing that God won't provide for me, I am taking my eyes off Jesus, just like Peter.  My prayer life goes rapidly down the drain.  And then I start to sink under the weight of the fears and the worries and the overwhelming nature of the job-hunt.

I know this job-hunt is a perfect opportunity to trust God...but I am also so, so scared that the fact that nothing has panned out after 2 months of applications, is a punishment for quitting my job against prudent advice.

Deep sigh.

There, I said it. I am scared that God is punishing me for stupidly quitting my job before having another one lined up.

I know He's not like that, but I'm still afraid He is.

Now, trust is a good thing; and I know God is trustworthy--He always fulfills His promises, He always keeps His word--but it's very hard to trust when you've been betrayed and let down by people (like close family members) who were supposed to provide for you and be there for you and take care of you.  It's even hard to trust an omnipotent God Who you know always keeps His promises.

*
While I was at my part-time job last night, this song came to mind:

"Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart"

It had to have been a prompting of the Holy Spirit, because I can't remember the last time I listened to that song. I have heard it before, but it is not one of my favorite pieces of Christian music. Although I guess it should be, with its message of gratitude in everything.

"Let the poor say 'I am rich'": I'm not totally broke yet.

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His Son.
Give thanks with a grateful heart.
Give thanks to the Holy One.
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His Son.

And now, let the weak say "I am strong"
Let the poor say "I am rich"
Because of what the Lord has done for me.

(Give thanks to the Lord, give thanks to the Lord)
And now, let the weak say "I am strong"

Let the poor say "I am rich"
Because of what the Lord has done for us.
Give thanks.

In fact, I have a lot for which to "give thanks with a grateful heart." I have a roof over my head. I have food on the table. I have clothing on my back and in my closet. I live in a house with central heat and running water. 

As a friend of mine says when she prays for me over the phone: "Thank you, Lord, for all the ways You have provided for Emily, thank You for her perfect job, for the one You already know she's going to get. Thank You for what You are doing in her life--even though we can't see it. Thank you for how You are going to provide."

So, today's gratitude list:
#52. Food in the fridge.
#53. Central heat and running water.
#54. Spending Thanksgiving with my adopted family :-)
#55. Music to remind me to be grateful.
#56. Friends.
#57. Job applications. (That one might be pressed out through gritted teeth, but there, I said it. I am grateful for job applications.)
#58. Money in the bank account.
#59. The use of my roommate's car over Thanksgiving.
#60. A job to go tonight.
#61. Chicken noodle soup.

(And I know some of these are repetitive and seem very simple...like food and clothing and heat...but I figure I need to stop taking these necessities of life for granted.)

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
God Love Y'All!

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