I know that my faith in Jesus is not a feeling, but we all have times when we feel God’s presence more than others. There was a period of time, not long ago, where I felt I had lost the mojo, lost that connection. For me, as a Catholic, I had found that it was usually because I had not gone to the sacrament of reconciliation. For non-Catholics, it may be something else.
But this time, however, it was not the case. I had gone to confession, I had been studying my faith, but I was still missing the connection.
About three months ago my daughter and I heard Matthew Kelly speak and he challenged us, while at church every week, to ask God what we can do to be a better version of ourselves, to be a better Christian. He said the answer would hit us like a ton of bricks.
The first week I prayed and asked, “Lord, what can I do to be a better version of myself?” The answer was immediate. “Do more!” I knew that this was in reference to Sonlight Pictures. So, I immediately began pre-production work on our next feature An Unfinished Work.
The next week I asked again, “Lord, what can I do to be a better version of myself?” Again, the answer was immediate. I was holding my wife’s hand and the answer was “Love her more!” So, I did.
My mom used to say “Love is an action word” so, from that point forward I looked for every opportunity, great and small, to love her more. Amazingly, I have found my heart has only grown for her. After 18 years of marriage I realized I can always love her more.
The following week I was listening to a podcast from a show called One True Faith by St. Michael’s Media. The host, Michael Voris, posed a question. He said… “Do you want to change your life? Do you want to see your world rocked to the core? Then pray and ask “Holy Spirit, command me to do your will!”
I’ll be honest, that phrase kinda freaked me out. The answer to that question could be anything! “Sell all you have and be a missionary in Africa.” “Quit your job and volunteer at a homeless shelter.” The life changing options scared me. I was ashamed to admit it, but it did.
As before, the next week I was at church and prayed “Lord, what can I do to be a better version of myself?” I heard nothing.
The following week I was again at church and prayed “Lord, what can I do to be a better version of myself?” Again, I heard nothing. I even remained kneeling, staring at the crucifix and said “Lord, I’m patient. I’ll wait.” Still, nothing.
Later that day I realized that question which had been nagging at me for three weeks, the phrase about following the Holy Spirit’s command, had to be said, no matter what the answer. After all, the point is to get to heaven, isn’t it?
So, I took a deep breath and prayed “Holy Spirit, command me to do your will…”
I didn’t sound every enthusiastic. I followed it up with, “I mean it.”
The answer was immediate. “You already are… now get off your butt!” That may have not been the answer verbatim, but it certainly conveys the intent.
I complied with the Lord’s command and began writing the television series for Gabby Wells. I had been thinking about writing it for months, but was not thrilled about starting the tiresome and painful process of writing. However, now fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, in two weeks we’ve written five of thirteen episodes and have outlined two seasons worth of story lines.
After completing and reading the pilot episode with my daughter, I realized that the Lord wasn’t answering me before because there wasn’t anything He could say to me if I wasn’t willing to ask the Holy Spirit to command me to do the Lord’s will. I mean, what else matters if I can’t make an obvious commitment and statement of faith?
Now, I’m out of my funk. It appears I’m on the path the Lord wants me on, for the moment. Who knows, in another year, I could ask the same question and get an entirely different response.
But, for now, I’m just doing what is commanded of me and writing as much as I can.