Sunday, September 25, 2011

God Changes Minds and Hearts

He said in reply, “I will not,” but afterwards he changed his mind and went. (Matthew 21:29)
Thank goodness our God give second chances. And more.
For years I said, “I will not.”
Well, I never actually said, “I will not.” More like – I am not ready or I am not sure or I think I will hang around the vineyard gate.
I liked God. I was pretty close to him when I was a child. But as I got older, other things took precedence.
I prayed to him once in awhile, when I needed something. But there was little worship. No daily prayer. No scripture.
Then I changed my mind.
I will always remember that day, sitting at Mass, with my husband and 2 little boys, suddenly knowing that it was time to commit. I wanted to become Catholic.
To me at the time, it seemed to come out of the blue. But looking back, I can see that there was a lot that happened that led up to that day.
I often feel sad about those days when I did not know God. When I did not worship God. When I did not make Him the Lord of my life.
But then I think about people like St. Augustine. Look at his late conversion and what became of him!
“Late have I loved you, O Beauty, ever ancient, ever new."
Look at Paul. Saint Paul.
Maybe some of us have to be later than others. And was I really late?
I have known God in some way all of my life. I have no doubt that he has always been with me. Even when I was avoiding him.
But it seems to me that my whole life has been headed in the same direction – towards God. I know I have made some detours, but God makes straight with crooked lines.
So here I am.
Was I late? Or was I on time?
Does it matter as long as I am with Him now?
God is still calling me into the vineyard. He is calling all of us - with ministries and sacrifices and the little everyday conversions that happen in our lives of faith.
I still avoid those things that scare me a little. I still often say No.
But I hang around that vineyard gate and then I change my mind again.
Praise our God of Second Chances.
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13 comments :

scmom (Barbara) said...

Thank goodness He is always waiting. Never begrudges our delay. Bless your Sunday.

Colleen said...

I agree! God bless!

Debra said...

How thankful am I for the God of second chances. Don't know where I would be without Him!

Blessings

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Amen.

Great post Colleen.

God bless.

Karinann said...

God's patience, mercy and gentleness with us always amazes me and comforts me as well. I too have been like the second son in the Gospel, and a few times like the first I am ashamed to admit.
Thanks be to God for His grace to change our hearts and minds.
Thanks for a beautiful reflection on this Gospel passage.
Hugs & blessings!

Colleen said...

Debra, I so agree!! God bless!

Victor, thanks so much!

Karinann, you are welcome! I am both sons at times too! Hugs back!

Jean Wise said...

amen - to the God of second chances. I love this verse this week. So often I feel His nudge and my first instinct is no I won't. I feel His affirmation to pay attention to HIs ongoing invitation and I will come to Him - hopefully sooner than later. Good post.

Colleen said...

Jean, thank you. I always hope sooner than later as well. God bless!

Sue Elvis said...

Colleen,
I said, "I won't!" for a long time. Then I said, "I will" but got distracted and lost and wandered away. When finally I made it back, I cried and told a priest how devastated I felt over that additional wasted time. He told me that maybe God meant it to be that way and the main thing was I was back. So I don't look back regretting I didn't get here quicker but instead I am full of gratitude that I got here at all. I am on time.

And you are so right. God keeps calling and how many more "I will"s do I still need to say?

Thank you for sharing and allowing me to share in return!

God bless.

Colleen said...

Sue, that was beautiful! Thank you! I guess we are both on time. God bless!

Kathleen Basi said...

Praise God indeed. I believe God is master of processes...the lightning bolts may come, but they're always well-rooted in the past experiences, if we're cognizant of them.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Our God is so remarkably patient with us. He never stops knocking at the door of our heart and coaxing us through our conscience and the example of others. Like you, I've done my share of hanging around the vineyard gate. At least I quit staying clear across town! Or in the next county or nation! His grace is so awesome. I'm glad you posted this.

Colleen said...

Kathleen, yes,that is why I think we need to look back from time ... amazing where we will recognize God in our lives.

Barb, thank you. I agree - His grace is indeed awesome!