God is waiting for us to be open to him
The God of our ancestors is a God of relationships. God is three-in-one, a community of persons we refer to as "Father, Son and Holy Spirit." God comes to us as a loving person. God is not simply the Unmoved Mover, the all-powerful Supreme Being and Intelligent Designer, nor the vigilant judge, waiting to condemn us, nor a distant force removed from our human experience.
The teaching of our faith provides a much more dynamic, personal and energetic image of God. God is Father and I am beloved child. God is Jesus, both savior and brother and constant companion. God is Spirit and I am alive, pulsating with the very life-breath of God.
Because we are in a dynamic relationship with a personal God, we humans are always in a process of becoming and discovering. God always has more to reveal to us. No matter how old we are or mature we think we’ve become, we can never be so arrogant as to think we have it "all figured out." Aren’t you glad God hasn’t given up on us when we’ve been so sure that we know it all and have everything "under control?"
One day the parent extends the car keys to a much wiser 16-year-old after his first fender-bender, and a loving mother consoles her daughter after hearing about an incident at a party when too much alcohol brought out the darker side of a group of college students. So also our patient, loving God continues to shape us and teach us throughout our lives, and especially on the far side of our failures.
Like a beloved companion sitting next to our bedside waiting for us to awaken from a coma, God waits and watches for our ears and eyes to open. God waits for that next teachable moment when we are finally ready and able to hear what he has been so eager to let us know all along.
No matter how convinced we are that we’ve "seen it all" – just wait! God’s wonderful surprises will continue to happen – throughout the rest of our lives and into eternity.
Father Dennis Hanneman is a retired priest of the archdiocese living in Omaha. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.