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Stop Stalling

First Reading: Acts 18:23-28

After staying in Antioch some time,
Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence
through the Galatian country and Phrygia,
bringing strength to all the disciples.

A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria,
an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus.
He was an authority on the Scriptures.
He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and,
with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus,
although he knew only the baptism of John.
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue;
but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him,
they took him aside
and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.
And when he wanted to cross to Achaia,
the brothers encouraged him
and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him.
After his arrival he gave great assistance
to those who had come to believe through grace.
He vigorously refuted the Jews in public,
establishing from the Scriptures that the Christ is Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 47:2-3, 8-9, 10

R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.
All you peoples, clap your hands;
shout to God with cries of gladness.
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God is king of all the earth.
The princes of the peoples are gathered together
with the people of the God of Abraham.
For God’s are the guardians of the earth;
he is supreme.
R. God is king of all the earth.

Gospel: John 16:23B-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have told you this in figures of speech.
The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures
but I will tell you clearly about the Father.
On that day you will ask in my name,
and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.
For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me
and have come to believe that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

NAB

may 7

I don’t like making decisions. But I do like control. This seems a little contradictory, until I tell you about the seven months I spent vacillating over which running shoes to get, all in an effort to control the level of perfection of said shoes. The perfect fit, the perfect sale for our budget, the ones that will make me run like the wind, and—of course—how cool they look. Never mind that I if I’d just replaced my old running shoes in a practical way to begin with, I could’ve spent the past seven months actually running.

I read a blog post by Jennifer Fulwiler a few years ago with similar sentiments, and it’s stuck with me ever since. (Though clearly I need to get better at the application!) In it, Jen shared what she learned from the story of Saint Francis. While she would agonize over decisions, Saint Francis simply took action. When God told him to rebuild the church, he immediately started collecting stones to rebuild the crumbling church around him. God had something slightly different in mind, though; Francis hadn’t correctly discerned the small detail that God wanted him to rebuild the whole Church throughout the world, with all its misguided and broken people.

But you know what? It didn’t matter. God merely took Francis’s actions and zeal and redirected them. Looking around at the thousands of Franciscans in the world today, the fact that Francis didn’t make every decision perfectly before acting clearly didn’t hinder God’s plan one iota. He just needed Francis “all in;” God knew He could do the rest.

Apollo’s actions in the First Reading remind me a lot of Saint Francis. He didn’t have all the right information. But he had the zeal. That’s all God needed. When Apollo skewed some of the details, God simply sent people into Apollo’s life to redirect him. Because of this, Apollo went even further and preached even greater truths to the world than he ever could have hemming and hawing in his room.

If you agonize over the details like me (and Jen), it can be hard to let go. But we can remember that as long as we’re earnestly seeking God’s will and truth, He’ll effortlessly redirect us or fine tune our path along the way. He has all the sufficient grace ready and waiting to make it happen–He just needs us to cooperate and take that first step.

What has God been asking you to do, sister? Step out in faith with me today.

photo credit

Megan Hjelmstad is a wife, mom, writer and sometimes soldier whose real passion is equal parts faith and chocolate. You can find out more about her here.

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