by David Yew
I’ve always wanted to learn more about God because in a vague sentimental and emotional sense I had imagined that He was real. So during JC, whenever I had a moment of inspiration or excitement about God, I would always pray a prayer that goes something like this; “Lord, let me offer up my time and everything I have to serve you, after my A levels”. But after my A Levels, the prayer became, “Lord, teach me to serve You as You deserve”, after this YouTube series, after this game, after this, after that, later, not now, and so on.
It was easy for me to fall into distraction after distraction but in all of the time I wasted, the only place I kept consistently arriving at was boredom and the question of, “What am I doing with my life?”. I knew I was not spending my time productively, but what else was there to do other than kill time? I didn’t know how to actually live a life committed to God, aside from being a Sunday Catholic. While I was in a place of wallowing in my purposelessness, inactivity and laziness, a friend from my church invited me to attend the school. It presented a radical change of pace. I thought, “Why not?”. Maybe it’s time for something to change.
So I came into SOW with the simple hope of having something to do, and every step of the way, I was surprised. Through the many sessions, I could feel a gradual process of learning things about my faith I didn’t know I didn’t know. However, in my mind was a quote from Viktor Frankl: the man without purpose seeks pleasure. I still adamantly believed I needed God to give me concrete meaning to be rid of my addictions.
So during one of the Eucharist Adoration sessions, I decided I needed to know what I was going to do with my life. I needed purpose. So I prayed, “Jesus, show me direction! You’ve given me this life that I’m wasting away. Tell me how to live it properly for You!? Tell me my life’s purpose! Tell me it’s outcome right this instant! What crosses and trials do I have to bear? Will I have to become a saint? What do I have to do in my life so that I might be welcomed as a good and faithful servant? Lord I want to know all this now! I’m ready, tell me, tell me all“.
And then suddenly, the littlest thought appeared in my mind. And upon further examination I felt like God wanted to tell me a simple message, “Calm down bro”.
I suddenly thought about the Israelites in the desert. God created a cloud for them to give them direction. Wherever the cloud went up and moved, the Israelites would move. And when it was still then the Israelites would stay. And that’s something that I really wanted. A cloud that always showed the next step. But if we think about it, it’s likely that the cloud was still for long periods of time, that God by extension, could seem unresponsive. But the cloud being still was never seen as a sign of abandonment or lack of direction. The clear message was, stay where you are. And when you’re ready I’ll call you. What I realised then was that I was asking Jesus questions about my life, without even knowing Him.
Do You Know? by David
Over the next few days, this became very apparent to me through the theology lessons. What I learned is that I have to actually understand Jesus and myself to be ready. I have to refine my own understanding of the faith, and the school helped me, through the sessions, masses, and theology.
Something that has changed for me is that I’ve learned to be patient. Meaning isn’t in knowing the whole answer, but slowly finding it out. Heaven isn’t achieved in an instant but through ongoing approbation. I still have plenty to do in the meantime. I can still mature in my faith. I have so many books to look into, so much more to learn about God. I haven’t even read the whole bible! And in any case, I already have the knowledge of how to live an honourable life because of the Church.
God is inviting all of us to serve Him. Sometimes, it’s important to recognise that when we follow Jesus, we won’t instantly know everything. We don’t always know where we are going or what will happen all the time. But we can always trust who we’re with. And that trust is one of the most meaningful things there is!