How “What God is Doing Now” Leads to “What We Might do Next”
Years ago, I attended a Bible study that focused on following the will of God. I don’t remember much about the study (which is more a reflection on my attention span than the study itself); however, I do remember one attitude changing suggestion: Instead of asking God what he wants me to do, pay attention to where he’s already moving and join him.
What if we look at service and missionary discipleship that way? Where is God already moving? How can we join him?
We Looked and We Saw
A group of people from our parish volunteer at the youth correctional facility just outside of town. They celebrate Mass, coach basketball, and hang out with the boys. God is moving there, so we joined him. Our youth ministry engaged the parish in a card-making campaign for the boys after Mass. We provided every possible paper color, marker color, and sparkly sticker we could find. We collected the cards and delivered them the next week. One young man was so touched that he asked for a second card. Simple service. We saw where God was moving and joined him.
A friend is a pediatric hospice nurse. When she talks about her job, I see God moving. So our youth ministry joined God there. My friend provided the first names of patients. Our teens got into groups, chose names, and made care packages for their respective kids. They did the shopping, the decorating, and the card-making. It was stunning and beautiful. We saw where God was moving and joined him.
So what might this look like for you and your teens? Encourage them to notice God during the day. Give them questions to ask themselves as they go to sleep at night: “Where did I see God today? What did he do?” Tell them to ask their family members these questions, too.
When they get to your classroom, ask them to share, and then shift their focus by asking, “Were you a participant or an observer? Can you become a participant? If so, how?” Compile a working list of service possibilities.
Not everything they see will lend itself to an act of service, but being on the lookout leads to more opportunities. It teaches them that service is an everyday thing and doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated.
Just pay attention to where God is already moving and join him.
Becky Groth is a producer for ODB Films.
This article was originally published in the April/May issue of Catechist magazine.
Image credit: MARIAN WEYO/SHUTTERSTOCK