This is Amy. Well, actually, it isn't Amy. It's a random picture of a beautiful little girl. However, this is a true story of a little girl who inspired me, but I wanted to keep her identity confidential so I will call her Amy.
I love prayer. I love it so much that I began Give Him 5 to encourage people to pray. Unfortunately, I will be the first to admit that I sometimes have a difficult time finding time to pray. Yes, I attend Mass a few times a week. Yes, I say my Rosary most days, (often while doing dishes at my kitchen sink.) Yes, I think about Jesus and talk to Him throughout my day. For the most part, these are all very good things that keep me connected to the Lord and submersed in my faith. My struggle is with carving out that quiet time each day to have a conversation and to sit with my best friend, Jesus.
Now, back to Amy. She is a little girl in the second grade who attended a retreat last week in preparation for receiving her First Reconciliation. At the retreat, there were different activities and stations to learn about the sacrament and to keep the kids interested. It was a three hour retreat! There were sixty children in attendance and it was a beautiful day. The Director of Religious Education at the parish did an amazing job of coordinating and coming up with creative ideas for the kids.
On that day, Amy received a Give Him 5 prayer bag and door hanger to hang up when she is praying. Included in each bag is a prayer card with steps for prayer. The first step is to, "Find a quiet place." According to her Dad, Amy didn't miss a night of prayer time and loved using her bag. "She has been praying every night," said her Dad.
Things were going well until one night when Amy ran into a little problem. There was a lot of extra activity going on at home and she was having a hard time finding a place to pray. The house was louder than expected and her usual spot for prayer wouldn't work. Amy didn't let that stop her. According to her Dad, "Amy went into the bathroom and hung up her door hanger outside the door." This was the signal that prayer time was going on and she was not to be disturbed!
When the DRE told me this story, it affected me in two different ways. First, my heart overflowed with joy at the thought of Give Him 5 having such an impact on a young life. (Every time I hear a story like that I get choked up.)
Second, it made me take a good look at how I'm falling short of my desire to spend more time alone with the Lord in a quiet place. It is in the quiet that the friendship is deepened. It is in the quiet that I can listen more closely for His voice.
I KNOW this. I know what I need to do, but I still struggle at times.
Amy has truly inspired me to think about my priorities and to find time for those irreplaceable quiet moments in prayer. I'm pretty sure that I will have different alternatives than the one Amy chose, but her creativity has motivated me to deliberately figure out how I can add the time for quiet prayer into my day. Because of her example, I am determined to find a way. Thank you Amy for inspiring me!