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Encountering God in Hindsight

“Hindsight is 20/20”

Today’s reflection on encountering God comes from our the manager of our hospitality house, Danielle Walsh.

When I think about how I’ve seen God this year, I think of the old cliché about hindsight being 20/20. 2012 has been a busy year and I have to admit that, for me, busyness and mindfulness of God’s presence are often mutually exclusive. I have, metaphorically speaking, wandered through most of the year with blurry and unfocused vision.

Now that 2013 is approaching though, blessing me with an opportunity to examine the past 12 months of my life, my spiritual vision is somehow crystal clear—I see God’s fingerprints all over my lived experience.

While 20/20 hindsight is nice, I’m not sure it indicates awareness that’s sufficient to build a relationship with God. People who criticize religion often argue that religious people use their understanding of God to rationalize events that have happened in the past—events they wouldn’t be able to make sense of otherwise. For me, this is a very real temptation.

While reflecting on how all the hard work, disappointment and stress of 2012 served some greater purpose would make for a nice, cozy final week of Advent, I feel myself being called to a challenge: to remove the barriers that keep me from seeing God in the present moment.

Danielle on Advent retreat

Lately I’ve been thinking about the purpose of Advent. The best I can figure, Advent is about waking up to joy… not a stale, 2000 year old joy, but joy, present and incarnate among us in each and every moment. I don’t want to have to wait other 12 months to see and feel the joy that is God, here-and-now.

It will be a busy couple of weeks with the holidays right around the corner, but in this last week of Advent, I’m praying for God’s help to see the truth that’s right in front of me.

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We prepare and support lay Catholics for two-year international, one-year domestic and 1-2 week short-term mission service opportunities in solidarity with impoverished and marginalized communities across the globe.

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