Editor’s observe: We conclude our sequence exploring every of the steps of the Examen. We’re utilizing the Examen model from Jim Manney’s e-book, A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer. Discover the full series here.
5. Look towards the day to come.
I’m a Sort A planner. So, after all, after I was pregnant with my first son, I had all the things deliberate out by his due date. I had my maternity plans settled at work, the room was prepared to go, and the automobile seat was already in the automobile. Then, nonetheless, the due date got here…and went. I went to the physician, questioning how far we might let this being pregnant factor go. In any case, I used to be prepared for it to occur now. The physician laughed and stated, “We will do what we are able to, however let’s give it per week. Then, if he’s nonetheless not prepared, I’ll induce you.” We scheduled the induction for the following Saturday morning.
I left the workplace a little bit unsure as to what to do now. I used to be already on maternity depart, and my home was so as. It was an fascinating place to be in for a planner; infants come when they need, and I couldn’t plan for when that might be. So, I sat till I couldn’t anymore, after which I cleaned. I’ve a transparent reminiscence of being on my arms and knees scrubbing the grout on the kitchen flooring (which I’m fairly positive I’ve not accomplished since). I organized and reorganized the nursery and my closet. And after hours of labor, it was nonetheless solely about 5 p.m. on the first day, and he nonetheless wasn’t right here. It was fairly an train in endurance.
As the week went on, I started to settle into the time I had. I moved a little bit slower via every day, noticing a little bit extra of my environment. I began to look with anticipation towards every new set of 24 hours, questioning what they might seem like and the place God could be shifting via them.
The final step in the Examen course of is to look towards the subsequent day. For me, that’s generally a problem. If I’m wanting towards the yr forward, I need to make a 12-month plan. If I’m looking toward the start of Lent, I need to have down what I might be doing all 40 days. And, as was the case with my son, if I’m wanting towards a giant change in my life, I need to look to all the results that change will convey as soon as it occurs.
That’s not what the Examen asks, nonetheless. As a substitute, the prayer asks us to look towards the day forward. Simply the subsequent 24 hours. It invitations us to take into consideration what we’re excited for and what we’re nervous about. It invitations us to take into consideration the place we are going to see God and the place God may be harder for us to see. And it invitations us to put together for the surprising—and which may simply be the hardest half. The place can we discover God when the child is overdue? The place can we discover God once we lose a cherished one? The place can we discover God when sickness comes unexpectedly? The place can we search for God in these moments of excellent and terrifying shock?
The day I used to be lastly induced to have my oldest son, there was a slight complication. His coronary heart fee dramatically dropped each time I had a contraction. With out telling me precisely what was happening, the nurses and medical doctors monitored the scenario, nonetheless permitting me to keep away from a C-section. I used to be vaguely conscious that they’d known as the NICU crew to stand outdoors the door “simply in case.” When my son lastly entered the world, I heard each the physician and the nurse sigh in aid and say, “Oh, thank God. I assumed that wire was round his neck.”
He was effective, however his delivery, like all births, was full of the surprising. The time I used to be given to watch for his arrival was a present. It gave me the alternative to look towards every 24 hours and say, “God, be with me.”