I truly believe God answers our prayers and talks to us every day. We may not always hear because we don’t want to listen, but He always talks to us. And of course there is the issue of us no liking what He might have to say.
Many times I’ve said this to others, for example at work, when someone asks for my opinion. “Don’t ask the question, if you don’t want the answer.” What do I mean by this? Basically that if you don’t want to hear the truth, then don’t ask what I think because you might not like the answer. This could be why no one talks to me I suppose, oh well. People will do this, ask only questions of people who will agree with them, that will give them the “right” answers. I have never been one to do that. If they don’t get the “right” answer, they won’t accept the answer.
Many of us do, or have done this with God. We’ll pray about something, ask for something, but when the answer comes we don’t like the answer so we just ignore it, usually asking again and again. You soon find out that God isn’t going to change His answer, He knows what is best for us, better than we do.
Lately I have been praying about how I can live a more Christ-like way. In the past two years I have come a long way in my journey back to the Catholic faith, and faith in general. I now regularly attend church weekly, I go to confession, pray every day, read the Bible and other religious writings and rite this blog, which is part of my journey. But I know I am still not where I need to be. I have been God asking what I need to do, and yesterday I received and answer.
I have been hearing about C.S. Lewis’ book “The Screwtape Letters” which is basically about how Satan tempts us and gets us to leave our faith and God. Last night I began reading it. It is disturbing as to how accurate it is regarding what my life has been.
As I read Chapter 3, this paragraph jumped out at me, and I believe this is God answering my prayer.
Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the states of his own mind – or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties by directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself ,which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked the same office.
Screwtape, who is one of Satan’s agents is instructing his nephew how to keep his subject from God and Christianity. The “Enemy” is of course referring to God. The line I have bolded and italicized is the God’s answer to me. I spend too much time worrying about other things rather than the obvious things I need to do. I know what I need to do, but instead of doing it, I only worry and pray about it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I ray too much and shouldn’t, just that there comes a time for action. A time when I have to act, do the things I need to do.
In my case I am having serious financial difficulty in my life. what do I do? I worry, I pray, I stress. What should I be doing? Looking for a way to make a second income. No, I am not asking for anyone to send me money, nor am I expecting God to do so, but I realize I need to spend less time worrying about it and more time finding ways to make it. Things like paying outlets for my writing, freelance editing work, things like that which can be worked around my full time job.
The obvious. Satan has been distracting me by making me think I am doing good by doing nothing but praying, and while praying is good, it isn’t totally the answer.