The rewards of being ‘useless’
JOHN HUNT writes that time spent with the Lord in prayer is most productive . . . .
Welcome to awards season! Our culture loves to honor artistic, athletic and political success. In a game for the ages, the Ohio State Buckeyes were just crowned with their first college football national championship since 2002.
The National Football League just awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. Later this month the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out the Oscars during the 87th Academy Awards. The list goes on and on: Nobel Peace Prizes, Country Music Awards and, well, you get the idea.
On a more personal level, awards are a pat on the back from the boss for a job well done. Now don’t misread what I’m saying, because the recipients of such honors are reaping the glory that comes from much pain and hard work to become the best in their chosen fields.
Of course, honors are an integral part of growing up. You and your teammates on your Little League Baseball team or Pop Warner Football team received those statuettes indicative of success … well, at least indicative of participation.
Then there are those aspects of life which our fast-paced culture deems to be useless. For example … silence … prayer. For some, if not many, prayer — silent prayer — is seen to be a waste of otherwise productive time. How sad because those periods of peaceful silence while one communicates with God can, and most likely are, the most productive periods in one’s day. Treasured silence can be a vehicle to help us understand that God loves me and wants what is best for me. In the silence we can more clearly hear Our Lord speaking to us, encouraging us, comforting us. Listen. Listen! He is at your side.
The beauty of silence is that it’s available to anyone who seeks to communicate with God.
There will be no honors bestowed on those who invest some time daily in silently communicating with God. In fact, the world will never know of this secret time, which can be the path to the greatest honor — that of eternal life.
One’s state in life — old, infirm or in the prime of an otherwise productive life — need not inhibit a person from dialoguing with God, offering the contradictions of the day and the weight of life’s more burdensome challenges to Him. Shhh! Listen. He is asking you to be useless!
JOHN HUNT is Legatus’ executive director. He and his wife Kathie are charter members of Legatus’ Chicago Chapter.