Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
When we find something we love to do or something that’s truly important to us, we often make significant commitments to fulfill it. If you find a sport you love, you devote your time to working out, practicing, and competing in games. Maybe your college education and your career is already important to you, so you spend hours doing homework, taking advanced classes, and building your college “resume.” Or perhaps you have a bunch of Snapchat streaks and you make sure to set aside time each day to keep them all going. We find ourselves willing and eager to sacrifice a great deal to pursue, sports, art, clubs, theater, music, academics, relationships, and more.
We dedicate our lives to so many of these smaller pursuits. But when it comes to our relationship with the Lord, I think we’re often inconsistent, lazy, and indifferent. For some reason we’re reluctant to be all in when it comes to our faith. We hesitate to make sacrifices. We’re afraid of surrendering.
“When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.”
Jesus knew His time was coming to embrace the cross and the unimaginable suffering He was destined to endure. If it were me, I would have put it off as long as possible, told myself I had more time, and avoided anything that brought me closer to the end. But Jesus “resolutely determined” to continue with the Father’s plan for Him.
What would it look like if you and I “resolutely determined” to deepen our relationship with Christ every single day, and devoted ourselves to surrendering to His will in every moment?
What if we determined to carve out time for prayer like we did for our Snapchat streaks? What if we devoted ourselves to the study of the Bible and the teachings of the Church like we did our academic studies? What if we put as much effort into our relationship with the Lord as we put into our relationships with our friends and boyfriends/girlfriends? You get the picture.
We spend so much time and energy on so many smaller pursuits. We don’t necessarily have to give those things up, but maybe we should ask ourselves if we have the same tenacity for things of the Lord. In fact, the more we give to the Lord, the more He will enrich our experience of all those things in which we're involved.
Let’s resolutely determine to walk with Jesus as closely as we can.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
What are the things in my life I dedicate myself to? How do I dedicate my time to pursuing them?
How do I prioritize my relationship with the Lord over other things?
How does my life need to change in order to put God first and follow the example of Jesus?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Help me be determined to follow you."
"I want to pursue you over everything."
"Give me the courage to walk with you."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Make a plan to build your relationship with the Lord- to determinedly follow after him. Think about the things you pursue every day and make a note of how you place importance on it, i.e. exercise for sports, study for academics, meetings for clubs and organizations.
Make a plan to schedule time to strategically grow in your relationship with God like you do in your other pursuits.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Dan Wolff, husband, father and spreadsheet extraordinaire in Crystal Lake, IL.
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