Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
Have you ever considered the word ‘amplify’? It means “to make louder or louden or turn up, it also means to intensify, increase, magnify, boost to step up or raise.” This word has been on my mind over the last few weeks. I thought of it as my summer vacation was winding down, I thought of it while I was on the road, I pondered it in preparation for the renewal of my vows, I pondered it as I enter into new routines and I’ve been trying to listen to what it is saying to me and my walk with God.
Last year about this time I wrote about the word ‘strive’ and how it was motivating me in my journey. I believe amplify is doing the same thing. Maybe it is a September thing, maybe it is a mid-life thing or maybe it a word that God is tossing around with me so I can connect deeper with God. Whatever the reason or maybe it is all three reasons the word won’t release its hold on me.
This word is challenging me to look at my living. How am I doing? How am I living as brother? How am I living my vows? How am I claiming the gift to be alive? “Am I” can be found in the word amplify, which leads me to the great <I AM> and puts my “am I’s” into perspective. If my “am I” remains focused on me, and only on how I am doing and living then I believe amplifying becomes selfish and simply a motivation that may fade like a new year’s resolution. However when my “am I’s” causes me to look to the great <I AM> then my desire to amplify the journey I am on makes more sense and is in greater perspective.
There is a line from Deuteronomy (4:7) that says, “For what other great nation has a god so near to it that the Lord our God is whenever we call to God?” Each of us are a great nation, fashioned by our loving God, created for goodness, with a heart that strives to be one with our God and a desire to amplify our lives as witnesses to God’s great love and mercy. Each of us are these vessels of greatness and I think this why the word amplify continues to stir me. Our God is so near to us: a prayer whispered, a silent pleading, a weeping cry, a broken heart, a gratitude inspired moment, an ordinary day, a low moment, gathered in prayer together, nourished at the Eucharistic table, admiring creation, reflecting back on the day and journey so far, this is us calling out to our God. Indeed our God is near to us always.
With our God that near to us, it is no wonder that amplify sits on my heart. I now believe it has been on my heart from the moment of my first heart beat just like it has been for each of us. Our lives are gifts that are to be amplified. Some of us amplify it with good others desire to amplify in ways that are empty. Choosing to amplify means getting out of the way and allowing God to work through each of us. And it is in writing that statement that another light bulb goes on for me and the volume is turned up and the letters are magnified. Amplify continues to stir my heart and blends with the gift to strive because it reminds me that I need to continually rely on God, not get stuck on my “am I’s” but let go into God. I must entrust myself again and again to our God who is so near to us and trust that God indeed amplifies my life in so many ways. God also desires that I amplify it and help others to amplify their lives by the gifts he has instilled in me.
Hmmm… amplify – you very interesting word at work in me because our God amplifies love for us always for God is so near. It is not easy to let go into God and allow God to work in me. I want to know the right path right now. I want to be in control. I want to amplify my life in the way I see fit. Then I realize how empty that sounds and how I am limiting myself and so I desire again to let go into God and give God permission (if you will) to amplify my life in the ways that are life-giving, servant-hearted and draws me closer to our great God.
God of Life, the great <I AM>
as the journey continues on I once again entrust myself
to your amazing love which is amplified in my life,
intensifies the journey and magnifies how truly close you are
to not only me but to each of us.
Help each of us to see beyond the illusions that cloud our focus.
Help us to push beyond the barriers we create which only limits us.
Help us to let go into you so that the world around us may truly encounter
your goodness which is ever near to us.
Amplify in us your heartbeat made known to us in your son Jesus
and is continually activated by his Spirit.
Amplify… today and tomorrow.
Amplify… God at work.
Amplify… we are worthy.
Amplify… life as gift.