Today’s readings offer a powerful connection between human and the divine through one simple word: yes. Mary’s willingness to serve God, even at the immediate expense of her reputation and her relationships, changed history forever. It’s such a small, seemingly easy word, “yes”—yet how incredibly difficult to say and to mean!
I think of all the things vying for “yes” in my day-to-day life: another meeting, another committee, another fundraiser, another social event. Certainly we can’t—and shouldn’t—say yes to everything. But that said, we as a society also seem to spend a lot of time complaining about everything that we have, in one way or another, already said “yes” to: our never-ending to-do lists, all the things that are competing for our time, money, and attention, everything that landed on our laps but actually belong on someone else’s. Instead of spending that precious time complaining, what if we spent it listening –really listening—in prayer? Are there things God is calling us to say “yes” to that we are actually ignoring? Or if not ignoring, is it perhaps that we simply can’t hear because we are too busy saying yes to everything else?
Saying yes to God requires trust in his direction for your life and is not promised to be easy. Can you even imagine being in Mary’s shoes? It may require shifting priorities, rethinking relationships, changing the way things are done. But God will always supply us with what we need, and his power and strength will never, ever fail us.
This Lent, I am committing to spending less time complaining, more time listening, and taking more risks in saying “yes” to God.