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Finding God in the Chaos

May 13, 2020 | DAYRIN PEREZ

“Pay attention to God’s presence in the now”

I don’t know about you but life was chaotic before Covid-19. This pandemic brought a whole different kind of chaos to our lives.  A whole different kind of busy.  In a home with 3 young children and both my husband and I working full-time (a blessing I know!) it can get pretty loud and chaotic.  Now don’t get me wrong I know my busy, my chaos is nothing compared to what other people are experiencing, especially at this time, but, nonetheless it’s chaos. 

This new reality has allowed me to spend time with my kids and we have created some priceless memories.  But let’s be real…this reality has also brought some mixed emotions.  I have felt frustrated, angry, sad, overwhelmed.  Sometimes things are left undone and may be battling discouragement.  All of this make it harder to see God in the everyday.

I was feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and was feeling like a failure as a parent.  Am I not giving them the time they need and deserve?  Am I spending too much time on the computer on zoom calls? I found myself having these feelings and thoughts.  And you know what?  I allowed myself to have those feelings and thoughts.  Because we are all navigating something new.  But then I took all these feelings to prayer.  I was asking God to help me see the beauty in the chaos, in my chaos!  I decided that I was going to journal.  And since I’m being honest here,  I should tell you that  I haven’t really spent time journaling. It’s probably been close to 1 year.  I grabbed my dusty journal and decided to read the first page.  It so happens that I had used the first few pages of the journal for silent day of reflection guided by a Jesuit priest.  Here’s the first thing I read “Peace in God – to be in the midst of chaos and still be calm.  Pay attention to God’s presence in the now!” God has a funny way of answering our prayers.  He answered my prayer with words I wrote down a while back.  So I thought I would share the insights that the priest gave us during the day of reflection to help us find God in the Busy.

6 things to shift our focus to God in the Busy…or better yet, 6 things so that our life can be lived as a prayer:

  1. Be Grateful – Begin your day with a “Thank You”. Look up to God, say thank you and SMILE!  As simple as this sounds we don’t always do it, at least I don’t!
  1. Be Humble – Know who you are and accept yourself as an instrument of God. Embrace your humanity (the strengths and limitations), and relinquish control to God.   It’s ok to not have it all under control or be the perfect parent, sibling, daughter/son.  But we do need to acknowledge our limitations and ask for help.
  1. Be Present – Intentionality is key. Receive God’s grace through people and the moments of life.  The 3 tiny humans that follow me and call out to me all day also randomly come up to me to hug & kiss me.  God’s grace is present in the smallest of ways.
  1. Be Purposeful – God made you and me in His image and for a purpose. Take some time to discern and reflect on your God given gifts.  How are you using these gifts on a daily basis to do what God is calling you to do.
  1. Be selfless – practice acceptance & patience. One can read these and immediately our minds think of being accepting and patient with others.  And while that is true, this also means for ourselves.  Being patient and accepting of ourselves is probably the hardest thing.
  1. Be Generous – what we do is for the benefit of humanity. Again this one immediately makes me thing of how I can be generous with others.  But believe me when I say that this one also needs to be applied on a personal level.  So many times we are very generous with others and neglect ourselves.  So allow time for your own well-being.  A happy, rested, joyful you will benefit humanity!

These 6 items are what are helping me to lean on God and find Him in the chaos.  It isn’t going to stop the feelings or needing a good cry, but they are helping me to turn my actions, my everyday activities and encounters (both the good ones and especially the challenging ones) into prayer.  They are what I turn to when I need a reminder to look for God’s presence in the now.

How are you finding God in the chaos?