The other day I was writing in my journal. Usually months go by between entries. I remind myself, again, to try to write a bit more frequently.
But when I do take a quiet moment to write, I tend to first look back and re-read prior entries. Usually I am amused at how easily past experiences are brought to life again simply by remembering them. But I am also a bit saddened. I realize how easy it is for me to move ahead in life and leave behind wonderful events and encounters…until I read about them again in my journal. I really should write more often.
For me, the words of the prophet Zechariah are incredibly reassuring: "They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice." The prophet in today’s reading is intending to encourage the people of Israel, to give them heart that Jerusalem will again be full of life. He wants people to remember God’s promise, especially during the hard times.
No matter what, God will never forget us. I suppose the challenge is not God forgetting us, but when I forget God. Maybe "forget" is the wrong word. "Oblivious" is probably more accurate. I am too often oblivious to God’s love.
Looking back in my life, I am able to confidently echo Zechariah’s prophesy. When I reflect on the darkest moments of my life, I can now see how God was walking with me, giving me gifts of love and friendship. With time and distance to offer me perspective, I am able to tell the story of God’s faithfulness to me.
I just wish I could be more aware of God’s love right now at times in my life when I am busy with work and at home, or when I am struggling with sorrow and loss. "They shall be my people, and I shall be their God." Maybe this could be a mantra that can help me be more aware. I think I’ll write about this in my journal.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and is the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.