Written by Kathy DeVet
In the gospels, when Jesus wanted to call someone to follow Him, He did it personally. He said right to Peter, to Matthew, to Philip, to the rich young man: “Follow me.” Peter and Matthew and Philip left everything and followed Him. The rich young man went away sad.
Jesus continues to call each one of us personally. He knows us each by name, and He loves us each in our own individuality. We can be like Peter and Matthew and Philip and follow Him and know the joy that they knew rather than the sadness of the rich young man.
When did you first encounter God personally? When did you become aware of His very personal call in your life? Many people can point to the time and place. I can’t. My earliest encounters with God are hazy memories and my mom’s stories. I cannot point to a time when He was not personal to me.
My parents were instrumental in my relationship with God. They not only told me about Him, but they showed me their own encounters and responses to Him in their lives. God really was Number One for them. They certainly weren’t perfect people, but I could see their striving. I could see how He was their foundation.
Maybe you haven’t experienced that personal encounter with God. That’s OK. It’s not too late. He said seek and you shall find. He’s there waiting for you. Open yourself, ask Him to make you aware of Him. Keep asking. He will make Himself known in His perfect timing.
The one best thing that we can have is a personal relationship to God. We can then show the joy we receive from Him to others in our words and deeds, especially to our children or other family members and those close to us. This is evangelization—sharing your own joy. This is also the one best thing we can give to our children or other family members.
Growth in the faith, maturing and getting to know God more deeply, realizing the depth of His mercy and love are going to be life-long experiences for each one of us. And that is good.
Do not be afraid. Give God your time and see how He multiplies it for good. Look at your day. What can you do to carve out 5 more minutes in prayer time in the course of the day? Start small, work up. Be still and let God come to meet you—pay attention!