St. Ignatius invites us to ask God for what we want or think we need each time we pray. He invites us to be up front with God. He calls this “praying for a grace.”
I find it kind of a difficult practice.
Questions of whether or not I’m worthy enough to ask for this grace as well as how I’ll feel if I don’t receive it always make it challenging to voice these requests to God.
Grace is something mysterious to me. It’s gifts from God freely offered, freely given. The packaging of these gifts as well as the gifts themselves are never quite what I expect.
Truth be told, the grace I receive is not always the grace I asked for or desired.
But it is always something I never knew I needed more.
Like for instance, when the grace God offers me is time. By time, I don’t mean time to relax or time to get away or time to catch up on work. No, not that kind of time.
Instead, sometimes the grace God offers me is a long period of time to wait. Sometimes I look back (as 41 year olds tend to do) and notice how unbearably long some things took.
Some dreams or hopes or plans for my life took long, winding roads and lots and lots of failed attempts at patience. While I was navigating those twists and turns, that kind of time didn’t seem like a grace. It didn’t seem like a gift.
But looking back, that time made me ready to accept the gift I was waiting for in the package God desired to wrap it in.
Are you in the middle of a long, winding road right now trying to make your way to something you desire?
Take comfort as I do in the words of Anne Lamott – grace has already met you on the journey and is leading you towards the light you seek.