Kevin Bates sm


October 11, 2013


Busy days, busy nights, challenges to meet, new frontiers to conquer, making changes, looking good, make up so much of the week for so many of us. The need to succeed in these projects so easily becomes all consuming. 


I wake during the night pondering what I’ll need to be doing in order to complete the tasks successfully that I have set myself the next day. 


These challenges become my main topics of conversation. They determine the time I give my family, the time I spend sharing meals, the time I take to relax and of course the time I give to prayer and a consideration of God’s place in everything.  


These projects, tasks, frontiers, while they are often exhausting and dominant in my life, are also the source of a great deal of satisfaction when I rise to the challenges they present and I can then feel good about myself.  


I like living this way, at least I think I do. I suppose I am too flat out to notice that anything may be missing.  


Then, a health scare comes along and I am no longer able to function in the manner I’ve been used to. A family matter such as the death of someone close to me intrudes on my timetable. The time comes when I am too old for these challenges any more. Then I become too ill and frail to enjoy the fruits of my labours.  


All of a sudden my whole identity is in tatters as I have been married to my work, my projects, my challenges and now what is left? Just an old shell! I can turn in on myself and become buried in a wave of self-pity or disappointment. I am no one anymore. I have nothing to contribute. I have nothing to do with my time. When my illness becomes too much the possibility of euthanasia suggests itself to me. I can’t see the point of just hanging around. 


This is perhaps why having a daily encounter with the Love who is God is not merely worthwhile, but is our salvation.  


We are made in the image of this Love, this God and we are made for Love, this Love Who alone is our deepest satisfaction, joy and home.  


As I attempt to replace this love with the demands of competitive business, with a sometimes competitive social life, with projects that may be good in themselves but which in the end, and by themselves, can never satisfy my deep longings, then emptiness will be the place where my heart will find itself.  


I need God. I need a daily dose of God’s presence. I need to develop a consciousness that everything I am and do is cradled in this loving presence.  


The grace of God’s presence deepens the meaning in every day. The grace of God’s presence makes healing possible in the darkest of times. The grace of God’s presence catches up everything that I am and enables me to live with purpose no matter what my age, health or fading memory. 


Psalm 46 gives the familiar encouragement: “Be still and know that I am God.” 


In these simple words is my path to a happier and more rounded life.  

“Being still” I listen beyond the immediate noise and chaos. “Being Still” I can search for a place to anchor my day. “Being Still” I know that I am loved and held safe.  


“Being Still” gives me the chance to taste God. “Being Still” gives birth to thankfulness in my heart and I appreciate the things that mean most rather than the things that demand most.  


I wish us all some still points this week, no matter how fast we are required to travel. 

Father Kevin