If it was possible, I believe this particular wedding invitation would have arrived with a slew of royal trumpet-players in its wake. Or maybe twelve doves carrying satin ribbons would have gently deposited the invitation in my hands before floating off into the clouds. Or maybe Ed McMahon would have knocked on my door and showered me with confetti and balloons as he hand-delivered this envelope.
This was a one-of-kind, no-holds-barred, attention-getting invitation for sure. There was no overlooking it among the stack of otherwise-mundane mail. It wanted me to see it. I had to see it.
It got me thinking: wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything God invites me to do was this obvious to me? Yes, I would appreciate that kind of in-your-face notification from my Creator, thank you very much.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit send us invitations constantly. Sometimes the invitations arrive looking all fancy, like a formal wedding invitation with all the bells and whistles. We know when we see this invitation that we are being invited to something wonderful, and we are asked to RSVP. But most of the time, the God-invitations I receive are small and not quite so obvious. They aren’t pre-packaged and delivered with fanfare. They aren’t waved under my nose and yell “Hey, look at me!” No, the never-ending stream of invitations from above is usually hidden in the goings-on of everyday life: everyday conversations, everyday encounters and everyday opportunities to say “yes.” They are invitations to take that one small step. Do that one small thing. Help in that one small way. And they are easy to miss.
Every day I pray that my eyes are opened to the multiple invitations I receive to be an active participant in the Body of Christ. That I will recognize a chance to pray for someone, or forgive someone, or encourage someone. That I will seek out the “least of these” that Jesus talks about and provide some assistance to them. That I will love and serve others wherever and whenever I can. This doesn’t mean I have to drop everything and fly to Haiti on a mission trip (although I would love to do that someday). This means buying a few extra groceries when I’m at the store today so I can donate them to the local food bank. This means taking a few extra minutes to talk to the lonely widow down the road when she calls to tell me the same thing she told me yesterday. This means making the bed every morning, even though I often find it to be a waste of time, because I know my husband loves the feeling of crawling into a made bed after a long day.
I have always believed the principle among Christians that Everything is a Gift—that everything I own, do, and experience is a gift from God. This attitude helps me build a sense of humility and gratitude for God’s blessings on my life. But now I also subscribe to the concept that Everything is an Invitation.
This was my summary in a recent prayer journal entry: Beyond being grateful for my life as a Christ-Follower, I need to recognize and respond to the small-but-mighty invitations that Christ sends me to help build His Kingdom. Everything is an invitation—and I need to accept those invitations and RSVP with joy!
With or without any confetti. Or doves. Or Ed McMahon.
How do you try to recognize the little invitations you receive from God every day?
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About Mary Beth Weisenburger
Mary Beth is a 50-something magazine editor, a family humor columnist and an author, but her favorite form of writing is prayer journaling. Praying with a pen every morning for years dramatically strengthened her spiritual life, even drawing her back home to the fullness of the Catholic Church after several decades away! She recently published a book with Beacon Publishing/Dynamic Catholic titled, “Praying with a Pen—the Girlfriends’ Guide to Stress-Free Prayer Journaling.” Married for 30+ years to her witty and wonderful husband, she's a mom to two adult children: one a seminarian studying in Rome and the other a happily married school social worker who promoted Mary Beth to grandma status in March of 2018. Mary Beth is a member of her church choir, loves to sing at big Catholic weddings and has recently begun facilitating Catholic book studies and retreats for women. With a background in corporate communications and marketing and a Master’s degree in Business and Organizational Leadership, she has spoken to over 100 groups on the topics of leadership, family humor, writing and prayer journaling. Mary Beth has a borderline unhealthy attachment to her little dog, Sammy and, when the mood strikes her, she blogs about prayer journaling (and Sammy) at www.prayingwithapen.com.