Getting plugged in to God

1 Feb

FEBRUARY 1, 2011 — I haven’t gone on a retreat in a while, but I think this is my year. There’s a lot of wisdom in stepping out of our fast-paced world where instant communication — and gratification — are part of our everyday experience.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with instant communication. It helps make life in the 21st century one of the most exciting times in human history. It enables us to spread the Good News around the world in a microsecond. Nor is there anything wrong with most kinds of instant gratification. My handy microwave allows me to have a hot lunch in less than a minute.

However, the instantaneousness of our culture can be all-consuming. It can also be a distraction from the things that matter most. Many of us — I dare say, most of us — don’t take enough time alone with God. My hand is raised because I’m in that camp. I’m quick to ask God for the things I need and to say “thank you” for prayers answered — but the truth is, my prayer time is inadequate.

One thing that taking quiet time for prayer does — especially on retreat — is help us recognize who we are in relation to God. With every year that goes by — or even with every nanosecond, for that matter — we are each closer to our final destination. The Church teaches very clearly that we have two options: heaven or hell. (Purgatory is just a pit stop along the way to heaven.) The choice is ours. We either choose Christ and his Church to the best of our ability or we walk away from it and do our own thing.

That might seem a little black and white, but Christ taught in pretty clear terms. He didn’t say, “I am one of the ways.” He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father” (Jn 14:6-7). I love this passage because Jesus is very clear in his final discourse to the disciples before his passion and death. His mission was to make God the Father known and open heaven to a fallen human race. How do we achieve the end for which we all were created? By knowing Jesus. Knowing Jesus means more than knowing about him. It means taking the time (prayer) to cultivate a relationship with the One who knows us best.

I’m looking forward my retreat later this year. I’m not sure where or when, but I know that God will provide the opportunity. One of my other resolutions for 2011 is to take more time away from my laptop, desktop and iPhone. If I unplug from my electronics a little more, I’ll have more time to plug in to the One who is my ultimate destination.

Patrick Novecosky is the founder and editor of The Praetorium. This article appeared in the February issue of Legatus Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

2 Responses to “Getting plugged in to God”

  1. Kathy Schiffer February 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    A great reflection, Patrick. I think our collective guilt has resurfaced, because we all need to spend more time in prayer! Having said that, in some way we can make all of life– the way we work, the way we interact with our children, the way we drive– a prayer, as well, by uniting our wills with Christ.

  2. April February 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Love it Patrick! I just went on a young adult retreat last weekend…the first specifically for my age range…and loved it! It was so uplifting and such a great blessing being with my peers and worshiping God as one (piece of the) body! Please do update us when you go on retreat later in the year…they are always worth it!

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