She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” –Matthew 9:21-22
Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak. -1 Kings 19:11-13
Sometimes, it’s important to listen to that “light silent sound” and recognize it for what it is.
This has been kind of a crazy time at work for me recently. Between a recent acquisition and new management for my division, there’s been a lot of organizational changes, but until recently it didn’t look like it would affect me that much. I did not consider that a good thing, because I have been hoping for a change. I have a really great situation at work that allows me to spend time with my family and pays me well enough, so I wasn’t really looking to move, but when you spend 10 years working on the same thing, anyone could get bored.
So, I’ve literally written on my review for the last several years that I hoped we could find someone to take over “Project X” so that I could have more time to explore new opportunities with our customers. With the old management in place over those years, nothing ever really happened, so I was kind of stuck. But then, my boss and I met with the new GM a few weeks ago and he has reorganized the group and put me in a new role that looks like it’s going to be great.
Why do I mention all this? Because this is where that “light silent sound” came in. The meeting I described came in the midst of a tradeshow I was at, which is kind of like the violent wind and the earthquake. There was simply too much going on for me to recognize this gift for what it was.
And then, after I got back from the tradeshow, I went on a Catholic mission trip with my daughter and our parish Youth Group. For a five days, I spent my mornings going to daily Mass with the kids, and about 200 others from across the country, then rebuilding a deck for a senior citizen during the day, and then music, dancing, fun and, later, reflection in the evenings.
On one of those evenings, we ended the night with Eucharistic Adoration. It was during my meditation with the Blessed Sacrament that it suddenly occurred to me that God had answered my prayer. The whole reorganization at work has given me the opportunity to explore new paths in my career while still keeping the same family-friendly aspects of my job which, as I said, I’d been hoping for literally for years. The other thought that occurred to me is that, since this opportunity is a gift from God, I’d better not waste it.
There were other answered prayers that week, too. After the first day of wrestling with the deck, I prayed for the wisdom to know how to complete the project that, quite honestly, hadn’t gone as well as I had planned to that point. My prayer was answered when the camp director assigned another dad to help me on the project. Rather than receiving the wisdom directly, it came in the form of another more-experienced carpenter and together we got the project completed, and I learned a few things along the way. Prayers get answered, but not always in the way you expect.
Before I close, I’d just like to give a shout out to Catholic Heart WorkCamp the organization that ran the Mission Trip. They do nearly 100 week-long sessions throughout the US and internationally each summer, giving thousands of teens the opportunity to serve, connect with and love others. I was blessed to be able to share this week with my daughter, other teens and adults from our parish and even our new pastor came along for the week. I cannot say enough good things about the program and encourage you all to look into it for yourselves for next year.