Like any good dad, he grants us plenty of freedom, but not without his constant superintendence and influence. By walking this divine tightrope, he somehow manages to give us the time and breathing room we need to choose what he would otherwise choose for us anyway. “God is the sovereign master of his plan,” the Catechism teaches us. “But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures’ co-operation.”
Think of it: The Creator of the universe bestows on us – bestows on me of all people! – the audacious privilege of cooperating with him in running the world. It’s wild and seemingly foolhardy, but there’s method in his apparent madness. Again, the Catechism:
This use is not a sign of weakness, but rather a token of almighty God’s greatness and goodness. For God grants his creatures not only their existence, but also the dignity of acting on their own, of being causes and principles for each other.
It’s a dignity rooted in freedom, not compulsion. He nudges instead of regimenting, and the bubbles of our wounded and weak souls rise to the surface and dissipate. He gives us leeway to rebel, to make mistakes and learn from them, which allows us the time and space to adopt his divine will of our own accord.
It’s all gift, all grace – the light touch of the Father. Providence is another word for it, and we see it at work all the time in our lives: “Chance” meetings that lead to serendipitous relationships, even marriage; “coincidences” that alter the course of our careers, our fortunes, our lives; “accidental” events that clearly couldn’t have been accidents.
Stop worrying about how you feel.
You lied, you cheated, you lusted, you gorged. You snapped, you hated, you cussed, you masturbated. You killed, you manipulated, you rejected or ignored.
God doesn’t want just half of your heart. God doesn’t want you to talk to Him only when you’re in the mood to do so. God wants all of you. He wants you when you’re sinless and when you’re sinful. He wants you on the days when you’re strong and on the days when you relapse. He doesn’t want just your beautiful parts, He wants everything.
Stop staying excuses. Stop listening to the devil. Stop thinking you can’t “go to God” because you feel you’re too unclean, ugly, or dirty. Stop worrying about how you feel because it’s not about you. Run to Him, even if you’d rather be dormant. Go to Him even if you’d rather hide in your guilt.
Ignore your laziness, embarrassment, and shame and go spend some time with the One who died for every dirty thing you think keeps Him away.