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Thursday, October 10, 2013
Today’s Reading | Matthew 7:7–12
“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” (NRSV)
I remember the first day of Miss Springsteen’s ninth-grade English class, specifically all the talk about the big research paper due at the end of the semester. Well, as the semester progressed and we were supposed to be working on the paper I wasn’t. And when the day came to turn in the rough draft—I didn’t. I lied and made up some story. And then came the final draft date and again I turned nothing in. I remember the weight of the guilt. The fear of my parents finding out. The fear of having to tell another lie. The anxiety of feeling so far behind. Eventually my teacher called my parents and the lies were exposed and truth made its way to the top. As a result, I was ashamed and embarrassed, but I was free, because the truth exposed my need and it allowed me to finally ask my teacher and my parents for help.
I know there were several reasons for not working on that paper, but in looking back at it now, a large reason was I was overwhelmed by the bigness of the project and didn’t know where to start. I was too embarrassed and scared to ask for help.
In getting older, oftentimes I still feel that if I ask for help what I am actually saying is I am not smart. I feel this in my job, my relationships, with my stuff, my time. Because truth be told, I want to look smart and in control. I don’t want to feel out of place or inadequate. Yet when I really look deep within myself, Jesus’ invitation to ask for help is an invitation to freedom. It is an invitation to live in the truth, that I need help, in my job, in my relationships, with my stuff, my time, everything. And amazingly, according to the Son of God, our Father loves to help us by sending us gifts, more specifically a Gift, his Son, our Good Shepherd.
God, please help me today. I cannot go it alone—I need you. Please be my light and path today. Amen.
Reflection written by Daniel Holladay, Senior High Youth Coordinator
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