by Ken Rolheiser
2024 One Year Closer to God 

A boy asked the father, “What’s the size of God?” His father pointed to a plane in the sky and asked, “What’s the size of that airplane?” “It’s very small. I can barely see it.”

The father took him to the airport, showed him a plane and asked, “What is the size of this one?” “Wow daddy, this is huge!” Then the father told him: God is like this plane. His size depends on how distant you are from him. The closer you are to him, the greater He will be in your life!

How do we get closer to God? Through gratitude. It is impossible to be grateful and depressed. To have a happy 2024, we need to be thankful for all God’s blessings. 

In the poem “You Are Blessed”, by anonymous, the list of blessings includes: If you woke up healthy this morning; if you have never experienced war, torture, or starvation; if you can worship without fear; if you have food, clothing and shelter; if you have money.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because, though the majority can, most do not. And if you can even read this message – two billion can’t - you are blessed in so many ways.

The best way to be righteous, living morally and virtuously, is to be active in loving others. Let me share an example. On June 12, 2016, following a horrific mass shooting at an Orlando gay night club that caused fifty deaths, several employees of an Orlando Chick-Fil-A showed up for work on their day off.

Their restaurant, one of America’s largest restaurants, has maintained a strict “Closed on Sunday’s” policy since its origin. They are closing on Sundays so that employees can set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose.

On this day they cooked meals, packaged and loaded them up into vehicles for delivery. They handed the free food out at a local blood drive to those waiting to donate blood. They also shared the care packages with law enforcement and first responders reacting to devastation caused by the mass shooting.

It’s love that shines as a beacon of light to chase away darkness. Dr. Joshua Corsa, who attended at the tragic site, observed, “For on June 12, after the worst of humanity reared its evil head, I saw the best of humanity come fighting right back.” 

We pray such compassion will continue to pour out in the face of such tragedy. For love is the most powerful weapon against terror and hate. (Story from GodUpdates).

Let me conclude this New Year reflection with a blessing: Lord bless our families. Bless the children, the teenagers, the single, the married and the celibate. Help us all to hear your call this year. 

And Lord, let us pray for all to have a year of love, of soul full living, of artful living and living with inspiration. Lord, let us not waste our gift of Sundays. Albert Einstein said: If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.

We ask you Lord to let our characters develop through ease and quiet, through trial and suffering, and through ambition and success. Help us to be patient and humble. And give us wisdom.

Lord help us to count our blessings and to be grateful. Infuse us with the Holy Spirit. Call us with a gentle tap on the head.

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