Today this body, mind, heart and soul considers assignments given by God. The very word "assignment" has three meaningful nuances. One is that of being given a task or duty to fulfill as job or study. Another has to do with allocation and distribution: an attribution of a person or something as belonging. The third relates to the legal transfer of right, responsibility, or liability.
Assignments from God are not exclusive to Catholics, to hermits, or to anyone. They are for all of us to anticipate and to attune ourselves to the reality that God gives assignments, God has assignations, and God assigns--all relating to our created purpose to love and do His holy will.
Many grasp this intuitively and respond beautifully. Others of us may be haphazard in awareness of assignments and even more so in fulfilling as part of our belonging to Him and His Body, and much less in realizing the great right and responsibility in being assigned tasks.... And all tasks given by God have in part the great purpose of helping Him save souls (including our own), loving Him and others, and abiding in His loving will.
This Catholic hermit is striving to do what is asked in each assignment, by first recognizing the present moment assignments as they unfold. Just the realization of God-assignments shatters the selfish in us. No more can we think we have little purpose, neither that we are in control of our purpose.
We do have work to do even if bed-ridden or mentally depleted; and that work is of God's will and choosing, not ours. The only choice we make is to accept the responsibility, the allocation of such assignment, and to perform the tasks (physical, mental, spiritual) necessary for hopeful completion. (Not all assignments come due in our lifetimes, and some require others to assist or take over.)
Every person we meet--is it us meeting the person? Or is it God bringing them to us or us to them? The woman I nearly hit last night as she crossed the street--dressed in dark clothing, dark-skinned, matching the dark pavement and shorter than the height of my truck. Why this near-calamity?
Thanks be to God, we saw each other in the nick of earth time! A few more feet or seconds and she would have been physically injured or killed. I pray about her yet, for I immediately realized such a dramatic and serious meeting, spared by the grace of God and our angels, has a serious assignment attached. In fact, the assignment was the reason for our "meeting." She needs prayers for something in her life, for her soul. And, if she realizes that I am an assignment as well, she hopefully will ponder our meeting and pray for me.
My previous neighbor woman and her husband, adult sons, and their sons (and even the wives who left children and husbands for reasons one can surmise), were each and all assignments. I lived by them and suffered much, but prayed much. As a friend put it later, "You surely don't have to live right next to them and be threatened in order to pray for them?"
God obviously intended for me to live next to them for how else would I have the intensity of experience in order to grasp the depth of the need for prayers? But He next brought me to a different location. Guess what? The first encounter with one of the new neighbors was his threatening to take part of the property I just purchased, by a little-used loop-hole law called "Adverse Possession." Yes, a new God-assignment!
But the thing about God-assignments is tenacity in the effort until God removes us from the immediacy by some sign or situation. When the sheriff's deputy insisted I needed to move, and my adult children were adamant and had been to the same, it was time to do so. Never should we stay on a task when God is making it clear that our physical presence is not necessary. However, in most all God assignments, our physical and mental awareness is necessary at least in the information gathering phase.
We learn to view all encounters with people, creatures, and situations as God assignments. We pray that others recognize this, too, and consider us assignments for them, given to them by God for the progression of our souls. And very important, indeed, is the reality that when we are given an assignment, we benefit in the process as much as the person, creature or situation find benefit.
We participate in the great work of Christ and His Body when we grasp, cooperate in and fulfill our tasks in God assignments. When the phone rings, be assured it is an assignment, even if a roto-call. A soul (in fact the soul's employer, supervisor, family, friends) is inside that voice. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we are given assignments by God. They are in the inner images and thoughts; they are in the external tangibles; they are in the past, present and future.
Assignments may also be given in our dreams. We must not dismiss any God assignment for what it is! Even when the devil attacks with a thought or reaction, it is God allowing; thus the God assignment is to counter with holiness whatever the topic or object of the devil's purpose.
Our task requires, always, love and prayer. I love that woman in the street. I see her face, startled. I love the priest and pray for his health, for he mentioned having a cold. I love and pray for the doctor who did not mention his allergies, but his voice and cough declared them. I love and pray for all hermits everywhere, not just the Catholic ones.
This loving and praying extends out for everyone, anywhere, in any situations. And I note it all the more in the God assignments--those persons and situations that He brings to my person or mind, physically or in thought and image. He brings assignments through brief perusal of news headlines and articles or video clips. He extends those assignments in my mind when, for an example, a sick child or accident victim or criminal is mentioned, for in my mind God can bring up other children, adults, victims, perpetrators, leaders, citizens, situations.
So we see how God assignments are veritably endless. The more the reality sinks into our awareness, the greater becomes our assignment notebook, of sorts. We are capable of endless assignments for now and all eternity because all things are possible for those of us who love God and desire to do His will. When we grasp that by doing His commands, we are in Christ and He is in the Father, and we are all one, then we get a little thread-hold of how the Holy Spirit can utilize us for God's great good and glory, for however long He has us on any given assignment or extension thereof.
The exercise of God assignments at root has to do with teaching us to learn to love to learn to love. It is part of desiring and striving for union with God, as that is gift as responsibility and is also the right God has given us as souls to be loved by Him and to love.
I hope this makes sense to others. I pray it opens magnificent possibilities and realities of our limitless God-given missions, made possible through, with and in Him.
God bless His Real Presence in us!