By Msgr Philip Heng, SJ
If this question evokes an immediate, “No, not me,” then let us be more open to pondering on our faith more deeply and not take the way we live our faith for granted. This is because our answer to this question reveals the quality of our relationship with Jesus.
We all have a very personal way of living our faith – whatever this may be. Some Christians may practise their faith in church and say their prayers, but such spiritual engagements are separated and have no significance to their secular living.
Regardless of which group we belong to, do we give God only our ”leftover time”?
By “leftover time” I am referring to the quality and not the quantity of our time that we devote to God. Perhaps, it may be a helpful clarification if we ask ourselves, “Do I spend quality time with my family?”
By this we understand that a person can be at home the whole weekend, but may not be spending “quality” time with his family, if he/she is engaged in and self-absorbed with office work or with computer games, social media or interests that distance him/her from the family.
However, quality time with our family need not necessarily mean that we have to be engaged in the actual “doing” of things with our family, but the quality of our “presence” with them.
The quality time we have for God can be sensed in asking ourselves, “In my daily living, how conscious and connected am I with Jesus?” In other words, do we only find ourselves connected to God only during our prayers, at Mass or when we are engaged in some spiritual reading and spiritual activities?
God is “present to us” and we need to try to love Him at all the times, in all places and with all peoples with whom we relate to or come into contact. He is indeed in our midst, in our minds and within our hearts. He is in our moments of joys, pain, sorrows and trials too.
Very often, many of us have the tendency to dichotomise and “create” an “artificial space” where God is to be found. In such distorted perspectives, we subconsciously relate to God only in church, at prayer and in spiritual activities, and live as though He is “absent” in our secular daily activities.
Indeed, God is “present” to us at all times and in all situations. God can be found, and wants to be found. It is a matter of “tuning in and sensing” where and how He is present to us in our lives. To find God and to allow God to find us, we need to live a more discerning life (to be addressed in future articles).
Let us begin our journey of “discovering” God’s presence in our ordinary and what seems to be routine living to us. Be more fully conscious and be assured that when we pay special attention to God’s presence during the day, our day would be lived with greater meaning and purpose.
Such a change of perspectives “draws” us into a “newness” of life, and the Risen Lord’s Spirit will nurture us into knowing, believing and loving Him more personally and the Church more wholeheartedly. Indeed, the quality of our lives will improve and we will become more conscious of not giving God our leftover time. n
Msgr Heng is the rector of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.