“Ouch!”, my three-year-old daughter cried as I tried to dig the back of her pierced earring out of her earlobe. Evidently, the earrings had been left in her earlobes for too long allowing the backs to close too tightly. While I was keeping calm for her sake, inside I was filled with anxiety. I felt like a loser as a parent, and I beat myself up inside for the oversight. How come I had not noticed this before? How could I let this happen? What kind of parent was I? For days, I felt so guilty for not noticing this sooner.
Life as a single parent can be all consuming. You are the first one up and the last one to bed. Sandwiched in between is a never-ending conveyor of tasks that must be done, many at the same time. It is easy to get distracted in the frenzy of each day. The same thing happens with our faith life. We are consumed by the pressures of life and our many anxieties, fears, and worries. This blinds us to how Jesus is working in our lives. He is walking with us through it all, yet we often don’t even recognize him. If this is you, don’t feel bad. This very same thing happened to the apostles after the resurrection. They too were blinded by their grief and anxiety and failed to recognize Jesus in their midst.
Jesus is just as present to us today as he was to the apostles. Only by taking time to pause from the crush of tasks and emotional stress that consumes us, can we recognize how Jesus is working in our lives, leading, encouraging, and helping us. Make time each day to put the world on hold and pray. When you do, you will then begin to notice all the many ways Jesus is showing up in your daily life. And, like the apostles upon recognizing Jesus, you will be filled with encouragement, courage, and joy.
“…The sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.” – John 10:3-4