The movie Rudy is about a young man who does everything in his power to be accepted into Notre Dame. He tries for years but is turned down time after time. Desperate, Rudy goes to church to see his mentor, Father Cavanaugh.
Father Cavanaugh says, “You did a helluva job, kid, chasing down your dream.” Rudy replies, “I don’t care what kind of a job I did. If it doesn’t produce results, it doesn’t mean anything. Father Cavanaugh replies, “I think you’ll discover that it will.”
Rudy said, “Maybe I haven’t prayed enough.”
The priest replied, “I’m sure that’s not the problem. Praying is something we do in our time. The answers come in God’s time.”
“Have I done everything I possibly can?” Rudy pleads. “Can you help me?”
Father Cavanaugh replies, “In 35 years of religious studies, I’ve come up with only two incontrovertible facts. There is a God, and I’m not him.”
For Lent I’m preaching through the short Old Testament prophecy of Habakkuk. Habakkuk is often overlooked, and I think I know why. We expect God to answer our prayers in our time and in a way that makes sense to us. Habakkuk saw violence and injustice all around. The “system” was broken from the top down.
Habakkuk discovered that answers come in God’s time.
If we could have a conversation with God, like Habakkuk did, we would ask the same questions he asks.
The first part of Habakkuk’s prophecy asks us, “If God never answers in our time, or in way that never makes sense to us, is it possible for us to be OK? Is it possible to be OK just knowing that God is God?”