Don’t you hate it when you’re driving down the street in traffic and you’ve got to change lanes and the cars next to you won’t let you over? It’s beyond frustrating. I always wonder what the heck is so important about blocking my way? I haven’t done anything to you, so why do you need to block me out of the lane?
I remember pulling out of a gas station on my way to work one day seeing just enough room for my car to fit into the lane, until the woman in the car just to my left saw me trying to pull out and she immediately pulled forward, closing the gap and nearly taking off my front bumper. I was appalled! I tapped my horn to get her attention but she refused to look at me. She just ignored me and stared straight ahead, waiting for the light to turn green. What could possibly have been her excuse for cutting me off and blocking my way? It was so deliberate!
I remembered this story just a few days ago as I sat in my car, waiting for a traffic light to turn green. As is typical of the Holy Spirit, He used my thoughts as an opportunity to speak to me for I instantly recognized myself as that rude driver I remembered but in a much different way…
It occured to me how often I do the same thing to God, especially in times of temptation. There He is, just trying to insert His grace into my life so I can remain strong and not give in to the temptation, and there I am, just abruptly cutting Him off! I have an excuse for my actions, of course, and I often hear Him tap his horn at me, reminding me that the grace to persevere is right there, but I refuse to acknowledge Him. I just wait for the green light and proceed on my merry way. Poor, pitiful me!
Not only that, but it also occurred to me that I needed to continue working on forgiveness for others. Isn’t my motto always PFED (Practice Forgiveness Every Day)? Yet, here is some insignificant occurence I am still stewing over years later! Whoa. Lent is almost over and I need to refocus my efforts!
But this whole mini-reflection I had on my way to the grocery store also had some consolation in it – again, the Holy Spirit – reminding me that God is not looking for perfect Christians, just willing ones. Christians who love Him and want to do good. Christians who have a desire to live a virtuous life, even if they stumble a lot along the way. God is pleased when we struggle with temptation because it’s the only way to build the virtues we need to persevere and find perfection. And God will, of course, be right there to support us with His grace.
The Catechism tells us, The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ (CCC 737) so receiving God’s grace in times of temptation is something we can count on. That is, if we don’t block it from our hearts.
As we enter into the last two weeks of Lent, I invite you to examine your Lenten walk and see if there are places where you have knowingly or unknowingly been blocking God’s grace in your life and refocus your efforts on walking with Him to Calvary. I will be walking with you and looking forward to the glory of Easter.
Count on my prayers for you and feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.