Stay at Home and Do the Next Thing
A friend sent along this quote from John Henry Newman. It contains wise advice for those who think they would be closer to God if only their circumstances were changed:
A sense of the presence of God is a rare gift. If given and then withdrawn, we examine ourselves, seeking the reason within. This numbness sets alight a longing for His felt presence. This is how faith is established! Believe what cannot be seen or felt. Rely on what can't be grasped. The realization of faults, inadequacy, inferiority to others, is God's way of forcing our dependence on Him. He planned it that way.
We wish for pure religion, feeling near to God, praying without distractions, enjoying quiet time--but it doesn't always work that way for long. Action clears and deepens spiritual affections.
Don't strain to summon holy thoughts or feelings. Don't tell yourself you could be much more spiritual if you were somewhere else!
Stay at home, set your house in order, do the next thing.
The taking up of the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all; it consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us.
Newman is surely correct in all that he says. True heroism consists not in doing great things but in small things done with heroic obedience.
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