“Will you be my Confirmation Sponsor?” asked my nephew/God-son as he held his breath in anticipation of my answer. With no hesitation, “I would be honored! Thank you for considering me!” I said as he let out his breath to replace it with new. Little did he know how I often felt less than adequate in my own spiritual journey, but he chose me out of everyone he knows. I was humbled at being selected for such an important role in a young man’s life.
The Confirmation service included three schools and was held in our city’s Cathedral which was beautifully decorated. The red flowers on the altar symbolized the Holy Spirit’s presence. Based on the time we arrived at church, we were blessed to sit in the front row. I prefer the front or second row in any church as I am easily distracted by these two types of people: someone taller than me or a whiney, wiggle-worm child. From this vantage point, I was able to enjoy the trombones and trumpets, a pianist on a baby-grand, and a beautiful choir from the high school nearby.
During the Bishop’s homily, he directed his message to the confirmands with this message: (paraphrased) “You will grow up to be in the service industry, lawyers, doctors, business owners, accountants, etc., but remember that you are always in the family business. The family business is directed by God and you bring God with you wherever you go.”
I pray that the confirmands understood what the Bishop was saying to them. If they did not grasp the importance of the message, then I believe the message was directed at me as I was reminded of the silent directed retreat I attended in March this year. I heard the Holy Spirit whisper in my heart that it is time for me to get off the bench and start being God’s first-string player. I know God is all around me, but I keep throwing obstacles in our path, trying to stall what He wants me to do. I don’t understand my reaction, because as it states in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So what am I doing?
In preparation for this confirmation day, my nephew and I spent time together discussing the Holy Spirit and I was reminded of my own confirmation of faith. I remember feeling as if I had a little pilot light turn on inside of me. It has taken me many years to understand that by being a willing servant of God; this little pilot light can start a raging firestorm.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I am an example to my nephew, family, friends, co-workers and strangers. I am tired of looking for obstacles to throw in God’s way on our path. Will you join me in meditating on what Jeremiah 29:11 means for our lives? After all, we are all in the family business.