What God Loves About Your Past1
November 21, 2012 by lucieromarin
It is certainly not a tenet of the Catholic faith that life only becomes valuable on the day you marry or make your final vows in religion. However, the kind of formation that emphasises the Great Big Urgent Necessity of Finding Your Vocation can train one to end up with something like that mindset: You are here to do a work for God. So you must find that work. Because that’s why you’re here. So for as long as you’re not doing that work you’re not doing the thing that He made you for – and so on, round and round.
Then, as one eases out of the category of ‘people-who-might’ and into the category of ‘people-who-still-haven’t’ – or, worse, ‘people-who-never’ – the sting in other people’s comments about your life, combined with your vocation-training, can lead you to wonder what on earth your life was worth. If we are here to fulfill a work, called to a vocation, and most of adulthood has not been spent in that work, then what was the point of all that time?
Well, there are many excellent ways to erase despondent thoughts, and more thinking is not always the best way. However, if you’re in a situation in which exercise, or socialising, or venting with a friend, or drinking blessed oil is not possible, here’s an alternative: make a list, either in your head or on paper, of good deeds you’ve done in each decade of your life. I mean things as seemingly little and as secret as, ‘that time I held my tongue at that annoying person,’ or ‘the time I helped that old woman up the steps.’
Anyone can make a list like this. (Seriously. You’ve done good stuff – you’re just not used to thinking about it.) Then, look down the list and say of each item, “God saw that. God remembers that. God valued that.”
See how different your life looks then! That time can’t have been a waste, because you used it – at least in part – to give these good things to the One who cares more about goodness than He cares about anything else. You may have made mistakes, but you haven’t only made mistakes – you’ve also given God a private treasure, and He loves it.
And that is something.
And of course, there are all the times you did a good deed and never even realized it… (It’s a Wonderful Life was all about that)