By Tim Lilley
Journey of Faith
“Having God in my life makes me relaxed and motivated.”
I copied and pasted the statement above a couple weeks ago when I saw it, but I didn’t note where I had seen it; now, I can’t remember where it was. Please forgive what I believe to be an age-related lapse of memory.
That statement reminds me of the Novena of Surrender and its basic prayer, “Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.”
Consider one of the novena’s reflections, this one from Day 8: “Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away on the flowing current of My grace; close your eyes and do not think of the present, turning your thoughts away from the future just as you would from temptation. Repose in Me, believing in My goodness, and I promise you by My love that if you say, ‘You take care of it,’ I will take care of it all; I will console you, liberate you and guide you.”
Now, let’s break down the statement in the context of the novena and its major prayer.
“Having God in my life….” By your willingness to pray – be it this novena, the rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet or any other prayer – you have God in your life; and more importantly, it seems to me, you want to have God in your life because you are actively engaging His presence through prayer.
“Having God in my life makes me relaxed….” Let’s return to the closing section of the Day 8 novena reflection; “I promise you by My love that if you say, ‘You take care of it,’ I will take care of it all; I will console you, liberate you and guide you.” If you feel God’s consolation, how can you not be relaxed? You have made a conscious decision to, as the reflect suggests, repose in our Lord and believe in His goodness. That decision inevitably relieves a tremendous weight from anyone – a weight composed of apprehension, anxiety, fear and other things.
“Having God in my life makes me relaxed and motivated.” I follow a number of athletes on social media, and their posts regarding upcoming competition also elicit a number of comments that include some form of, “You got this!” Seeing that encouragement undoubtedly motivates those athletes.
Back to the novena’s Day 8 reflection: “I promise you by My love that if you say, ‘You take care of it,’ I will take care of it all….” What a source of motivation; and God is providing it! Since I’ve made the novena part of my daily prayer life, I have been more relaxed and more motivated.
In the novena prayer, we tell Jesus we surrender to Him … to His will; and in light of that surrender, we tell him to “take care of everything.”
Make no mistake, friends. Those two simple steps – surrendering to God and telling him to take care of everything – provide three benefits, in my opinion.
You have God in your life; you will be relaxed; and you will be motivated.