Contents Links for Learners Eye On Entertainment Editorial Ask a Franciscan Modern Models of Holiness Faith-filled Family Book Reviews Subscribe
Have You Seen God Lately?
By Susan Hines-Brigger

Q U I C K S C A N

Where Faith Comes In
Searching for God
For Teens: Accentuate the Positive
For Kids: What Does God Look Like?

I saw God today. I saw him yesterday, too. In fact, I see him almost every day.

Now, before you stop reading because you think Iím crazy, let me explain. Itís not actually God that Iím seeing, but rather everyday examples of God.

Iím not exactly sure when it was that I first started noticing these everyday miraclesómaybe it was when I had my first childóbut now that I do, I see them everywhere. And theyíre not always as groundbreaking as the births of my children. Sometimes theyíre as common as hearing my one-year-old daughter, Riley, say a new word or watching my older daughter, Maddie, learn to read. The other night it was when I sat and watched my kids sleeping.

But itís not always positive and happy. Sometimes the messages I find can be a real wake-up call. One morning after I lost my temper with my kids, I was sitting in traffic in front of the local grade school. I looked up and saw the sign in front of the school bearing the message, ďUse self-control.Ē Point taken.

SPONSORED LINKS

Where Faith Comes In

I like to think that Iím not the only person who has these brief encounters with God. After all, God came to Moses in a burning bush. And donít we all have an encounter with Jesus each time we receive Communion? So maybe itís just that weíre not looking hard enough.

Thatís where our faith comes in. We know that God is always there for usóour Catholic faith teaches us that. But, unfortunately, we donít always execute that very well. Our faith is very much a living, breathing and changing thing. God is there; itís up to us to keep looking for ways God shows up in our lives.

Searching for God

Here are some suggestions to help in the search for God in your everyday life:

Stop and look around. Take five minutes out of your busy day and look for God. You might be surprised at all the things youíll noticeóand in a new way.

As I said before, I pass a grade school every day on my way to work. Since I connected with that one message on its board out front, I now find myself reading and reflecting on the weekly message regularly. Iím also paying more attention to signs in front of the various churches in our area.

Talk to your kids. Ask them to tell you how they think God looks. You might get some interesting replies. Share your mental images of God with them.

Tune in. One of my familyís favorite shows is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We watch it for a number of reasonsóto be inspired, put our own lives in perspective and celebrate the generosity of others. Take some time to look for examples of God working through others. They could be on TV, in a magazine or newspaper article, in a newsletter you receive or your church bulletin. Be inspired by them. For those stories that are not as uplifting, reflect and know that God is still with those who are suffering.

Be open. As adults, we tend to think we have a lot of the answers. Try to be open to new things or perspectives. Embrace mysteries. Pray, meditate or just sit quietly. Seek out insight from someone you would not normally turn to, such as your kids. Itís in those moments of letting go and opening up that you just might see God.

 

For Teens: Accentuate the Positive

These days, itís extremely difficult not to get bogged down with all the bad things that are going on around usóterrorism, war, illness, etc. But amidst all that, there are still really great and positive things going on. We just have to look for them.

For one week, take extra notice of all the ways you see God every dayóa new baby, a flower blooming, a selfless act. And then each evening say a prayer of thanks for those things.

Then the following week, try to do your part to be an outward sign of Godís love. It might be as simple as pointing out something positive when others are focusing on the negative. Or it could be doing something nice for someone elseógive a compliment, bake cookies for a friend ďjust because,Ē write a letter to say thanks or tell someone what he or she means to you. The possibilities are endless. And not only will you make others feel good, youíll probably feel great, too.

For Kids: What Does God Look Like?

Of course thatís a silly question, because no one really knows what God looks like. But we can imagine. I always pictured God as someone who looked similar to my grandpa. But for others the image of God probably is quite different.

A group of students in Hawaii a few years ago spent some time reflecting on ways they see God in their everyday lives. Their teacher sent them out to take pictures of things they thought reflected God. The result was the book Godís Photo Album. (This magazine ran a cover story on the project in October 2001.)

Ask your mom, dad, grandma or grandpa to get you a camera that you can use and then go out and find God. Or draw a picture. Write down and share with others how you think your picture shows God. Ask friends and family what they would photograph or draw a picture of to show God.

 

Do you have ideas or suggestions for topics you'd like to see addressed in this column? If so, send them to me at “Faith-filled Family,” 28 W. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202-6498, or e-mail them to Family@franciscanmedia.org.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ask a Franciscan  | Book Reviews  | Eye on Entertainment  | Editorial
Editor’s Message  | Faith-filled Family  | Links for Learners
Modern Models of Holiness  | Rediscovering Catholic Traditions
Psalms: Heartfelt Prayers  | Saints for Our Lives
Beloved Prayers  |  Bible: Light to My Path  |  Web Catholic  | Back Issues


Return to AmericanCatholic.org

Paid Advertisement
Ads contrary to Catholic teachings should be reported to our webmaster. Include ad link.

An AmericanCatholic.org Web Site from the Franciscans and
Franciscan Media     ©1996-2014 Copyright



 Find 
 FIND