Sometimes we just want God to come down with a bolt of lighting, tell us what to do, make it perfectly clear, and then promise to come to us again with the same intensity and clarity the next time we have a decision to make.

Yet God doesn't usually speak to us in a dramatic "Ah ha" fashion. Instead, He says, "I'm here with you now. I love you. Will you love me? Now? Just as you are? Will you trust me? Now? Just as things are? Will you love your neighbors as they are?" And then, if our answer is yes, somehow, without our necessarily knowing how it happened, a question is answered, a decision is made, or peace creeps into the spaces of the unknown. It is in the daily task of sweeping away the cobwebs in our hearts, while striving and asking for more joy, more light, more trust, and more love, that we follow God's will.

As St. Teresa of Avila says, our souls are like beautifully cut diamonds; and for the brilliant light of God to shine through us, the darkness on our different surfaces needs to be scrubbed away. If all it took were "Ah ha" moments for us to grow in holiness, God would give us those, constantly. But too many "Ah ha's" can actually pull us away from learning how to trust in the unknown, how to be joyful in adversity, how to be true witnesses that Christ is alive and well in us, even when our lives seem to be falling apart. For it is such witnesses as these that transform the world.

God will give us, in His good time, the answers we need. Whether or not we can hear Him in our hearts, will depend on how polished our diamond is. And how does this polishing happen? In the daily, humdrum, quite mundane decisions of life:  whether to sit for an hour of T.V. or an hour of adoration; to drink four beers a day or four glasses of water; to read a romance novel or the life of a saint; to bring our worries into a bitter argument or into daily Mass: to go to the mall or visit the sick or imprisoned; to pay attention to friends, children, spouses, or to look for personal entertainment; to learn about the latest rift between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or to help an injustice in the world. If our primary goal is to be a reflection of the True Light of the world, then we won't need to look for a lightning bolt, we will be one.

Copyright 2011 Christine Watkins