In golf, the sweet spot is a place where a combination of factors results in a maximum response for a given amount of effort. I can feel the sweet spot most often when hitting a wedge into the pin. The ball glides from the club and lands a few feet from the hole ensuring a one-putt green. It feels effortless, but I’ve practiced that shot thousands of times since I was a little girl.
In a recent trip to The Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, MA, I enjoyed a discussion with Br. Nicholas Bartoli. He asked, “How is your prayer life?”.
“I guess I’m in the sweet spot in life where I know God loves me and that he is always with me. No matter what happens I know that I can count on Him not only for his power and strength, but also for his grace and mercy. It’s a sweet spot as I realize I am not in control and worrying has gotten me nothing in life. When I pray, I know that God listens and reveals himself when the time is right.”
Br. Nicholas responded, “How do you feel when God doesn’t answer your prayers, either not in the timeframe you want, or at all?”
“I used to be unsettled, wondering if God actually heard me. But now that I realize that He is always there, I’m looking each day to see where God is working, as much as my limited mind can perceive. It’s become an exciting life to see where God’s hand will be revealed next.”
Upon returning home, I started reading Frederick Buechner’s A Room to Remember. Buechner says,
“The past and the future. Memory and expectation. Remember and hope. Remember and wait. Wait for him whose face we all of us know because somewhere in the past we have faintly seen it, whose life we all of us thirst for because somewhere in the past we have seen it lived, have maybe even had moments of living it ourselves. Remember him who himself remembers us as he promised to remember the thief who died beside him. To have faith is to remember and wait, and to wait in hope is to have what we hope for already begin to come true in us through our hoping. Praise him.”
I have faintly seen His face, and I am joyous.