“On our own, without faith, we can find a certain order in the world which allows us to make choices that are good. That’s the basics. But it’s not everything God wants for us. He doesn’t want us just to find the order and the good. He wants even more for us.”
– Catholic radio (source unknown)
I wish I could remember who uttered the above-mentioned words, but I can’t. I know they came from Catholic radio a few months back, and that they seemed profound enough at the time to pause to record them.
Back then, I was still actively involved in a blog with an atheist (An Atheist and a Catholic). As such, I was pondering deeply and often what faith means, how one comes to it, why some people find faith and others don’t, etc. And so this jumped out loud and clear and rang so true.
We can figure out so many things simply by observing the world and coming to natural conclusions through those observations. This is absolutely possible with or without faith. BUT…God is not content to just offer us that much — the ability to discern what is good and to find order in the world (though it’s a nice start). God wants more for us than just that.
And it’s all the extra stuff — the stuff that might not be immediately visible — that allows us to tap into not just happiness but true and abiding JOY; a joy that is only conceivable when a world beyond this one is taken into account. It’s only when the big picture is available to us that we can finally and fully be at peace about what life brings us — the good and the bad of it.
At this point in time, life is throwing me a few curves. Some are personal, some relate to family. Perhaps that’s why I’m finding particular comfort in these words right now — this reality that God is not, will never be, content with us just stumbling onto a pattern and accepting a decent life if we are so blessed. No, God wants us to have life in abundance. He wants that more for us and won’t be satisfied with settling on anything less than that. Nor should we be — for ourselves or for others.
So how do we find it? How do we tap into the more?
I think — though I haven’t figured it out to perfection by any means (nor will I in this life) that we can access the more by taking time to stay still. Remember Psalm 46:10?“Be still and know that I am God.” It’s one of my favorites, and it’s one I’m needing to remember right now, on this day I’m toasting to my 43rd year of life.
Maybe that accounts for my reflective mood. Birthdays seem to lend themselves to stepping back and reflecting on where we’re at, and what our more might be, as well as how close we are to discovering it.
Connecting back to the photo of my son at the Mississippi Headwaters above and thinking on our need to be still, I found this brief video that has been used in youth ministry but is a simple (and short) reminder to all of us of how we might access our more.
Q4U: What are some of the qualities of life in abundance to you?
About the Author
Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five from Fargo, N.D., is an award-winning children’s author and freelance writer who also enjoys Catholic radio hosting and speaking. Roxane co-authored former Planned Parenthood manager Ramona Trevino’s memoir, Redeemed by Grace. Her work is featured on "Peace Garden Passage" at her website, roxanesalonen.com