A God Appointment

A God Appointment“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” –Matthew 19:24

Today I had a God appointment. This morning as I was reading the morning office, I had a strong feeling that I should forego morning mass and go at noon time at St. Bernard’s, an inner city church where I work.

Why would I do that? I’m awake and have plenty of time to make it to morning mass. It must be that God wants me at noon mass for a reason. It must be a God appointment.

As I entered the church, I immediately spotted Keith sitting where I usually sit whenever I attend mass there. I met Keith a few years ago. At the time, he was homeless. We have kept in touch seeing each other from time to time.

As we made eye contact he smiled a huge smile. Keith is a slight black man with a deep love of God.  As I made my way to the row and took a seat next to him, I noticed that he was praying the rosary, so I didn’t disturb him.

Is this the God appointment I thought? Am I here to help Keith? Perhaps he is homeless again or maybe he needs some money for food? Maybe God is calling me to minister to Keith?

After mass, we talked for nearly half an hour. Keith had quit his job after being continuously screamed at and made to feel worthless by two other employees. He wondered if he could find another. God has given Keith a hard life.

Why would our Lord put so many obstacles in his way? Why can’t Keith get a break?

And, I wondered why my life has been so blessed and easy.

I thought back to the gospel reading we had heard just a few minutes earlier.  It’s the one about rich people having a harder time getting into heaven.

Keith had the answer as he offered, “God has given me a hard life so I will appreciate things. My room has no running water, so I appreciate water, soap, and shampoo. I appreciate a shower and a roll of toilet paper. I realize that everything I have is a gift from God. I am so grateful!”

“If you are not grateful for the things you have, what makes you thing you will be grateful for the things you want.”  –Tony Agnesi

Wow, I will never look at a bar of soap or a roll of toilet paper the same!

It begs the question, “What do I appreciate? What am I grateful for?” We spend so much time worrying about the things we want that we fail to appreciate the things we already have.

Debbie is upset with her 5 series BMW.  She really wanted the 7 series. Keith appreciates soap.

Tom wanted the 60 inch flat panel television but could only afford the 47 inch. He finds it hard to appreciate the one he has.  Keith is grateful for a roll of toilet paper.

Ryan finds it hard to love his 40 foot Sea Ray boat in a harbor of 50 foot plus yachts.  Keith appreciates taking a shower.

No wonder Jesus warned about the difficulty of the rich entering heaven.  It’s about gratitude, understanding that everything we have is from God. It’s about appreciating little things.

I am certainly not rich, but I have a job, a home with running water, and soap and toilet paper.  I need to take a minute to be grateful for these things.

How about you? Are you grateful for little things?  If you are it will certainly make getting into heaven easier.

I came to mass today expecting that God would use me to minister to someone and here Keith was ministering to me.

As we parted, I gave him some money for gasoline for his truck and food to get by and the promise that I would keep him in my prayers. He promised to pray for me as well.

As it turned out God had a better plan.  He always does, if we just open ourselves to listening to Him.  He might just have a God appointment waiting for you.

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